Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's Gym members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
All four Total Fitness locations house a panoply of muscle-building, heart-empowering fitness equipment, and more than 45 energetically instructed classes. From cardio kickboxing and kettlebell to Pilates and strength training, the fitness curriculum readies muscles and cardio systems to take on new challenges, such as running a marathon at the bottom of the ocean. Aspiring Zumbalinas can opt for Zumba classes to learn Latin dance moves; time-hindered humans can choose the power half-hour class, a core-strengthening and high-intensity cardio blast that burns calories like a flaming donut; and those in search of motivation can take boot camp, which comes complete with a military-esque instructor. More than 160 classes are scheduled each week; check each location's online class schedule for more information.
Personal trainer Bobby Collins can connect with his clients in a special way, since he was once a skinny 17-year-old dissatisfied with his look. He tried the traditional route, joining a gym and working out with a trainer, but he found himself bored and bulking up very slowly. So he switched to another gym that focused on high-intensity circuits, and he started packing on the muscle. At One More Rep Fitness, the novice-turned-personal-trainer relays the techniques that helped him find fitness through training and weight-loss programs.
At Heritage CrossFit, instructors push exercisers to new levels of fitness, leading them through functional exercises and high-intensity workouts. Exercises can be tailored to suit clients at all levels of fitness, and each session includes a warm-up and a cooldown to help avoid injury.
In 1990, Christina Rondeau fell in love. With martial arts, that is. After earning her black belt and competing in amateur karate and martial arts tournaments all over the United States and Europe, Rondeau decided to go pro. She travelled the globe as a member and coach on the USA WAKO kickboxing team, and went on to win the women's lightweight title. Rondeau continued to feed her athletic hunger with a switch to pro boxing and appeared in numerous print media and television shows, including The Maury Povich Show.
Having achieved fame and glory, Rondeau took on a new fight: she wanted to help women and children defend themselves while gaining indomitable confidence. She has authored books, created instructional DVDs, and opened Rondeau’s Kickboxing. The women-only, 24/7 gym garnered Rhode Island Monthly’s readers’ pick for Best Fitness Center in 2010, due in no small part to its empowering blend of fitness and martial-arts-based classes. Rondeau also promotes safety in her community by participating in events geared towards ending violence toward women and girls and teaching local schoolchildren how to defend themselves or pass a math quiz without using weapons. She also coordinated a box-a-thon to help line the shelves of a Rhode Island food bank.
At USA Karate, which formed in 1990, a team of black-belt instructors leads more than 25 martial-arts classes every week, teaching students proper karate techniques as well as self-discipline. The schedule includes both adult karate classes and kids' classes for students as young as 4.