Terrapin CrossFit empowers its students by offering workouts that facilitate freedom of movement. The CrossFit regimen is key to this mission since it uses a wide variety of functional movements—such as pull-ups, sprints, power lifting, and bodyweight gymnastics—to provide a balanced and inclusive workout for major muscle groups throughout the body. Dedicated and experienced coaches are on-hand for every group session, providing support, encouragement, and random bits of presidential trivia while ensuring that everyone remains safe by practicing proper form and technique. Since the scale and intensity of the exercises can be modified for each student, the classes can accommodate visitors of virtually any skill and fitness level. The gym also offers yoga classes and massage therapy, which contribute to the overall mission of helping people become more flexible, agile, powerful, mobile, and physically as well as mentally fit.
The 60,000 square feet of space at South River Fitness is divvied up between cardio and weight-training equipment and classrooms for Yoga, Pilates, and Zumba classes. But the amenities don't stop there--an on-site day care keeps watch over members’ kids and sensitive houseplants during workouts, while an organic smoothie bar refuels guests post-workout.
In a story by Patch reporter Elizabeth Janney, owner David Sturman described Elkridge Athletic Club as "a friendly gym," stating that “no matter what your fitness level is or what your shape is, you feel comfortable here." The welcoming environment—together with high-energy classes and cutting-edge equipment—may be why voters named the health club as the best local gym in an Elkridge Patch poll.
Each initiation-fee-free, month-to-month membership includes access to the sauna and hot tub along with unlimited group classes. Guests dance to straightforward moves set to Latin beats in Zumba workouts, and combine cardio and mind-body techniques in Hour of Power classes. Members also receive a complimentary personal-training session to design a customized fitness plan or learn to make a black leather purse that looks just like a kettlebell.
The coaches at CrossFit Towson are living proof that each WOD—workout of the day—can benefit anyone, regardless of his or her fitness goals. The staff includes a rower, a marathoner, lacrosse players, a football player, and a world-ranked kettlebell lifter, all of whom would perform the same movements if they participated in a class. So, too, would a housewife or a high school student. That's because CrossFit's exercises scale by intensity, not by form. Its weightlifts and cardio drills can be performed by students of all experience levels, and the shared workout—not to mention the instructors non-intimidating approach—can lead to a strong sense of camaraderie. CrossFit Towson schedules standard CrossFit classes in addition to open gym time, when guests can plan their own routines and target weak points such as the one pack on their six-pack that creaks.
Fitness guru Brandon Chasen, Sr. oversees four CrossFit facilities around the Baltimore area, including the new 6,000 sq. ft. CrossFit 695 facility. There, the team of coaches push exercisers through the functional exercises of CrossFit's intense workout of the day. That functionality paired with the support from the trainers and fellow exercisers make the workouts manageable for nearly anyone, including Batman when he's sick. That said, newcomers are encouraged to take the CrossFit Fundamentals class to learn proper lifting techniques.
Running on a treadmill and bench-pressing roommates aren't the only ways to get a good workout. Enter Pole Pressure, a studio dedicated to pole fitness. Here, students use fitness poles to tone muscles, strengthen midsections, and improve balance with spins, kicks, and twirls in a variety of classes. Each class tackles specific skills—for instance, Pole Level 1 introduces the basics, and Pole Trix includes advanced moves, such as choreography performed upside down.