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, fitness frontierswomen 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.
At Ellipse Fitness, the only pieces of machinery that you operate are the levers, pulleys, and ball-and-socket mechanisms of your own skeleton. The gyms abstain from treadmills and bikes in favor of a full class schedule and a cooperative group atmosphere. With 35 or more lessons scheduled per week, certified instructors guide students of all experience levels through an ever-changing line-up of strength and cardio drills. These routines incorporate tools such as resistance bands, TRX suspension cords, kettle bells, battling ropes, and kickboxing equipment, though the primary instrument is always the human physique.
In addition to their standard classes, the staff also hosts boot-camp sessions and seminars on mastering your metabolism. Their weight-loss programs encompass weekly check-ins, during which clients receive nutritional resources and gauge their progress by taking measurements instead of stockpiling all the food they didn't eat in a jar. Regardless of its ultimate goal, each Ellipse Fitness regimen involves personal attention and a holistic, full-body approach to wellness.
Inspired by watching her sister turning and leaping in ballet class, Harley Atkinson began dancing at the age of 3. Throughout her life, she has gained a strong groundwork for dance, performing at the prestigious Makaroff School of Ballet and moving on to study contemporary and modern dance in college. Now a teacher at her own studio, she believes that everyone can learn to dance. She aims to free her students of their self-imposed limitations, motivating them to move their bodies to the music and gain confidence in their own styles. Following in a tradition she learned from her parents, Harley also offers reiki sessions for people who want to relax sans toe tapping.
The studio’s light and airy atmosphere contributes to the freedom of leaping as high as your body will allow. Upbeat music plays over the speaker system, a cushioned wooden floor prevents injuries, and floor-to-ceiling mirrors wrap around the walls to expose any tap-dancing shadow people.
Ryan Dart's passion for sports started when he was five years old and continued through his college rugby career and beyond. After trying his first CrossFit class, the positive experience had Ryan hooked. Now this dually-certified CrossFit and weightlifting coach shares his knowledge with clients at his own gym, CrossFit Appleton. Ryan adapts CrossFit's scalable approach—which is used to train military personnel—to people of all fitness levels, from cage fighters to the elderly. Both he and his fellow trainer, Marie McCarthy, often encourage their students to go on a Paleolithic nutritional plan to achieve maximum results. This no-nonsense approach to eating cuts out carbohydrates such as sweets, sodas, and delicious looking wax fruit.
Snap Fitness, bustling with cardio and strength-training gear, throws open the doors to its facilities 24/7. Before exercisers put sneakers to treadmills or lift their first weights, staff meet with them to talk about their fitness goals before suggesting personalized fitness plans based on clients' strength, cardio condition, and bionic-limb manufacturers. The gym keeps members motivated with regular check-in calls and demystifies healthful eating with custom online meal plans designed by nutritionists. Staff also forestall exercise-routine boredom by working individually with clients on a routine basis.
As a member of the National Yoga Alliance and certified teacher of Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, Lotus Yoga studio founder Yelena Storma shepherds students of all skill levels through a variety of limb-limbering classes. Traverse physical, spiritual, and algebraic planes with power yoga, which challenges benders to push their limits and metaphysical boulders, or take a leisurely yogic stroll with a basic class. Slow-flow yoga lets students practice and perfect singular poses, while family yoga invites the entire brood to find their gooey, chocolate center in the lotus position.