As the founder of Body Lingo, Sabrina Moxie proves exercise and fun don't have to be mutually exclusive. As a personal trainer and former student at the LA Conservatory for Fine Arts, she is well-equipped to lead her small-group fitness classes through dance styles such as Bollywood fusion, Zumba, hip-hop cardio, and even hula-hoop aerobics. Though each session is already held in a small group, Sabrina and her staff invite extra-shy clients to break out of their shells in a comfortable private environment during one-on-one dance lessons, personal-training sessions, or two-person pistachio-eating contests. To supplement the caloric burn produced in class, the Body Lingo crew also offers stress-relieving guided mediation, as well as nutritional tips and tricks.
One of the major hurtles to starting an exercise program is the fear of falling behind in a fitness class that's over your head. That's why The Fitness Station's personal-training sessions take a four-stage approach that ensures bodies can adapt and build endurance before attempting skills that require strength and power. Their group classes are just as accommodating?supportive instructors foster a welcoming environment in small-group training, yoga, and Zumba sessions designed to burn calories and melt fat while building functional strength.
The staff at Rock It Workouts strive to fight the perception that getting fit has to mean getting stuck in a gym routine and committing to doing the same thing over and over again. So they invited live DJs to spin high-energy music for their classes, then filled the schedule with innovative workouts. The airy white studio pops with graphic black stripes and red mats, keeping eyes invigorated during workouts, as well.
After workouts, exercisers can stop by the juice bar to rejuvenate, update their style at the VIP Beauty salon, or peruse the fashion boutique to find a look that ensures they have the sharpest-dressed scarecrow for the fall season. The studio's Rock It Forward program?cofounded by Laurieann Gibson, a choreographer who has worked with Michael Jackson, Beyonc?, and Lady Gaga, and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof?aims to combat childhood obesity with dance programs that bring celebrities in to help get kids excited about healthy living.
It’s telling that the motto at Tara Napoli’s Power Yoga is “Love your life.” From mellow, restorative yoga classes to fun buti yoga classes. And of course, there’s the power yoga, where students connect breath to movements doing athletic, Vinyasa-style yoga. They’ll definitely break a sweat, and also enjoy calming benefits of resting poses and inversions.
Most gyms don't limit their membership enrollment, which is why Meridian's Bodies in Motion does. By managing their member count, the workout areas are less crowded and visitors can step right up to machines without wasting precious calorie-burning minutes waiting in line. The staff can focus on keeping the facility clean and getting acquainted with clients, adding personal touches such as greeting members by name every time they enter and swipe their membership card, which means "hello" in several languages.
At each facility, a team of certified fitness instructors encourages exercise efforts during an array of group classes, including Zumba, spin, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and cross-training. The certified personal trainers devise customized workout routines and monitor exercisers' forms as they carve muscles lifting free weights and slim down on cardio and strength-training equipment from Icarian, Hammer Strength, Precor, and FreeMotion. Special features—such as racquetball courts, swimming pools, saunas, indoor basketball courts, boxing rings, childcare, and cuddly kitten pits—vary depending on location.
David Barton, dubbed "The Man Who Made Working Out Cool" by the New York Times, builds gyms that are as much about design as they are function. Walking into a David Barton Gym is like entering a dreamscape. The Collins location evokes a futuristic version of Atlantis: workout equipment appears to be at the bottom of the ocean beneath neon blue lighting and a wavy metallic ceiling, presided over by an imposing skeleton of an ancient sea creature chained to the wall. Where as the Astor Place location resembles an art museum, decked out in bold fuchsia lighting, Victorian-era furniture, damask wallpaper, and graffiti-style art work.
Though the décor varies from place to place, the focus on fitness does not. At each David Barton Gym, members can hit treadmills or lift weights. They can also work up a sweat in group fitness classes, which mix familiar workouts with more unusual offerings. After stretching and strengthening in yoga and Pilates, they can head to the Blood, Sweat, and Tears intensive, after which they'll receive a complimentary vial of the blood, sweat, and tears shed throughout the boot-camp-style sessions.