The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts acts as both the patron and the glittering stage for the local arts community, raising awareness of Pittsburgh's visionaries-in-residence with a host of educational programs and exhibitions. Its members scamper freely through galleries stuffed with canvases and sculptures by local artists such as Brian Dean Richmond and Gregory Witt. Prospective Picassos and vicarious Velazquezes, meanwhile, can pour their inner outsider artist into bright and bold Plexiglass prints, hand-hammered metal jewelry, and subtle Chinese brush paintings during a day of three hour-long studio sessions at an Arts Crash Course. If you're still suffering from excess inspiration afterward, burn off the rest before it curdles into images of poker-playing dogs with a $25 member discount to sign up for ongoing classes in watercolor painting, ceramics, and other crafts. Admission to the galleries at local cinema and media center Pittsburgh Filmmakers is also included with your membership benefits, as well as a 10% discount on colorful blown glass vases and funky jewelry in the gift shop and assorted discounts on art supplies at three area stores.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Rebecca Rankin and Lisa Lau came out of college prepared to be an architect and an engineer, respectively. Today, they own Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill. Their goals haven't changed much, though—Rebecca specializes in the architecture of the human body, and Lisa studies its engineering, teaching students how to bend and breathe during each 90-minute class.
These classes are held in a studio heated to around 105 degrees. But newcomers to the practice needn't worry—as the space's website says, "The heat is not there to make it tough, it is there to help." As participants move through the 26 asanas, or postures, of Bikram yoga, the heat loosens up their muscles and encourages a detoxifying sweat, allowing for deeper stretches and a smoother post-workout slip-and-slide ride. Rebecca, Lisa, and their fellow instructors limit their class sizes to better personalize their guidance, and welcome guests of all skill levels to attend any session.
The Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh pursues its mission of upholding an exemplary, thriving, and engaged community rooted in Jewish values. The Center contains state-of-the-art fitness facilities, complete with group exercise programs, personal training, and modern facilities that include gyms, basketball courts, and swimming pools. Leaders also organize other programs that range from day and overnight camps for kids to art classes, dance programs, aquatics seminars, and physical education for all ages.
It can be hard to find room for exercise in the busy modern lifestyle, especially when group fitness classes don’t match with one’s schedule. Club One Pittsburgh aims to correct that problem by hosting more than 300 classes a month, or roughly 10.1 classes a day. At their two main locations, they teach 11 varieties of Pilates, nine styles of yoga, and six different spin classes, the latter of which earned a CBS accolade as being the city’s best.
Both of Club One Pittsburgh’s locations are packed with state-of-the-art workout equipment, and the East End location also boasts indoor and outdoor pools and a full spa. Guests also receive complimentary towel service and free parking, a result of the now-canceled Hitting Parking Meters with Baseball Bats exercise course.