Gold’s Gym lures fitness seekers from all walks of life with cardio decks, strength-training equipment, and aerobics rooms filled with energizing classes. Instead of reciting Shakespearean monologues as they jog and pedal, guests can watch movies in a cardio theater lined with treadmills, bikes, and an oversize projection screen. Free weights encourage biceps to bulge, and resistance machines tone arms, abs, and legs. Sports lovers dribble basketballs and volley racquetballs on shiny courts (available at most locations), raising their heart rates as they hone hand-eye coordination. Like the nightly news, Zumba classes take an hour and set Latin-inspired dance moves that vaporize calories to vibrant world music, along with a slew of available selections, including cardio and spin classes. Consult each location’s webpage for a class schedule and a list of additional amenities, which range from childcare to personal training (not included in today’s Groupon).
Studio owner Julie Branham and her team of registered yoga instructors at Lifted Life Yoga support students’ fitness goals by urging them toward a lifestyle driven by health and fitness, fostering an inclusive studio atmosphere where students of all abilities can develop their body awareness and hone yoga skills. Beginners can master the basics in patiently paced 60-minute classes where they follow instructors through muscle- and ligament-awakening stretches and breathing exercises to clear the mind. Once the knowledgeable teachers have successfully persuaded students over to the stretchy side, a plethora of specialty sessions geared to more experienced students addresses specific physical needs such as hot yoga, whereas ongoing power Vinyasa classes pay constant homage to the solar system's temperamental fire ball with a series of sun salutations.
With more than 30 years of kid-entertaining experience, The Little Gym provides a safe and noncompetitive environment wherein wee ones can exercise their brains and bodies. Maturing moppets aged four months–three years glean social and cognitive skills from a parent-child program that helps developing minds learn colors and numbers and helps parents learn to take turns and share. Gymnastics allows energized preschoolers and kindergarteners to tumble at their own pace and caters to differing ages, levels of muscle development, and hatred of vegetables. Grade-school gymnasts tackle the mat, bar, vault, and beam in classes set to their ability, not age, and dance and cheerleading classes allow the rhythmically inclined to shake and sway and the vocally enthused to yell things other than other people's Social Security numbers.
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 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.
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. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. 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.
Square 1 Fitness' around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Square's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Square's friendly, un-intimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.