Awarded the Best Fitness Club in The Capital's Reader's Choice 2011, Big Vanilla's modern facilities aim to make a healthy impression on bodies and minds. Both locations jam-pack weekly schedules with more than 60 fitness classes such as cycling, Pilates, Zumba, Cardio Combat, and yoga. Pasadena's Step-N-Abs intertwines intermediate cardio choreography with abdominal exercises to build lean muscle to the core without having to endure elective washboard implants. Dance-inspiration class also permeates into group groove sessions, which pump hit tunes as exercisers wiggle to urban, club, and Latin-inspired moves. The Arnold gym tones an anatomy's worth of muscles in TMC, which challenges physiques with 60 minutes of resistance training toughened by dumbbells, stability balls, and lead-based chocolate cakes.
Replete with rolling fairways and picturesque wooded hills, the course at Bay Hills provides a fun challenge for ball-based beginners and putting-pros alike. The 18-hole, par 70 links feature a wide expanse of water challenges, placing a large emphasis on strategy. With a two-month membership, a bundle of benefits emerge, including waived twilight-hours greens fees (twilight hours begin at 1 p.m. until March 1 and at 2 p.m. thereafter), unlimited range balls, and merchandise discounts. Although not included with today's deal, each cart fee (usually about $17) includes two draft beers or fountain drinks for staying hydrated through gritty sand traps. Additionally, each membership comes with one anytime round of golf with both cart fee and drinks included, ensuring at least one spectacular day of wearing heavily starched knickerbockers, which historically keep the feral golf gnomes at bay.
Emily and Philip Vendemmia look after their students by wrangling a massive schedule of more than 72 classes per week spread over three locations. Bolstered by a strong team of certified Bikram yoga instructors, the duo guides students through Bikram’s 90-minute routine, consisting of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Instructors crank each studio’s practice space to a hot and humid 105 degrees to help pupils’ muscles safely sink into deep, healing stretches and purge harmful toxins from the body. Each of the standing and seated poses is designed to work every muscle, ligament, and joint while sending freshly oxygenated vampire food to the organs to help support health and fitness.
Trainer Jacob Bedard knows that an active lifestyle doesn't come naturally to everyone—he confesses to having lived a sedentary life throughout his high-school days. After graduation, he discovered the positive effects that fitness and proper nutrition had on his life and dedicated himself to helping others lead healthier lives as well. At GroupFit Boot Camp, Jacob motivates his clients to reach their fitness goals through a results-oriented program featuring workouts that change daily, a process that maximizes impact by keeping muscles confused. These outdoor boot-camp sessions are designed to suit clients of all ages and abilities—from those who want to shed a few vanity pounds to those looking to lose some serious weight—and may include resistance training, core-strengthening exercises, and cardio. To help his clients keep up a healthier lifestyle outside of camp, he also posts workouts that can easily be done at home and maintains a comprehensive online nutrition program.
Inside an unassuming brick building, Ridgely Retreat takes its name seriously. The multifaceted spa, wellness center, and yoga studio offers mental escapes in the form of hot-stone massages and meditation classes as well as physical relief in the form of acupuncture and chiropractic services. The eclectic yoga offerings range from gentle and Vinyasa classes to yoga dance, wine-and-cheese yoga, children’s yoga, and the newly added aerial yoga. On the spa side, services such as glycolic peels and Fraxel laser resurfacing flaunt a modern edge, though the cherry-blossom facial, detox body wrap, and warm bamboo treatment let clients experience the kind of classic relaxation enjoyed by hedonistic pandas the world over.