Instead of modifying one’s natural reaction to danger, YMA Krav Maga & K.O. Bag Fitness builds upon inborn instincts. Its namesake method of self-defense, krav maga, hails from Israel but has sharpened the arsenal of the Secret Service, FBI, CIA, and NYPD. The noncompetitive technique can be boiled down to a central mantra: use the nearest tool for the job to finish the fight as quickly as possible. This means striking attackers in vulnerable areas with whichever limb will land a blow quickly and efficiently—whether that is a fist punching the neck, an elbow or knee to the groin, or a toe tickling an armpit. Students master these tenants of krav maga in group classes, which also teach how to fend off takedowns and weapons by acting out real-life situations. Fitness and the ability to smell danger inherently result from krav maga training, and K.O. Bag workout classes can put some extra oomph into exercise with challenging cardio and strength routines that include boxing and martial-arts kicks.
For more than 30 years, the ladies at Women's Workout & Wellness have cultivated a supportive environment in which women can focus on health, fitness, and wellness. Whether grooving through Zumba sessions, pushing weight sleds, performing lifts, or sweating, students find plenty of challenges in the center’s classes. Staffers gauge fitness level by analyzing BMI and testing cardio, strength, flexibility, and the ability to karate-chop airborne cucumbers. Experts also lend advice on nutritional intake and help clients set personalized goals. Before and after sweat sessions, ladies can suit up and cool down in the spacious showers and locker rooms at each location. Daycare is available at some locations for a nominal fee.
Any martial-arts education involves hard knocks and tough falls, but U.S. Elite Martial Arts & Fitness Center cushions the blows with its 4,000 square feet of matted floors. Atop them, trainees exchange blows in boxing and muay thai kickboxing classes. Brazilian jujitsu, wrestling, and judo fighters perform takedowns as elegant as they are brutal, following up with holds and joint locks that immobilize an opponent’s body. The center also trains children in self-defense, tying their lessons into school to raise grades and impart nonviolent antibullying techniques, such as calling a playground summit.
Co-owner Craig Kastning and his crew of devoted personal trainers push clients toward the finish lines of personal fitness goals through fat-burning and muscle-toning exercises. Fueled by motivational words from exercise gurus and promises of a M*A*S*H-reunion episode, customers reduce corporeal circumferences by relying on a nutrition cheat sheet and custom workout routines. In addition to burning calories and building up formerly dilapidated muscle groups, the trainers at Chi Town Boot Camps boost trainee endurance through jogging and other exercises that set heart rates racing.
The Wellness Center brandishes a glass-enclosed pool, a well-stocked cardio center, and a slew of interactive, sneakers-on classes. Fit gatherings take place seven days a week, with more than 100 complimentary selections, including Zumba, flexibility, boot camp, and classes oriented around underwater sandcastle smashing. Specialty classes accommodate serious sports enthusiasts, seniors, and exercise aficionados with physical limitations, and aqua-fitness sessions take full advantage of the 25-yard glass-enclosed pool. A free goal evaluation—available to all members—guides muscle-mongers toward healthy targets.
Open 24 hours a day, XSport Fitness gilds pallid patrons with sunless Mystic Tan and VersaSpa systems as well as regularly relamped UV beds. With Mystic Tan and VersaSpa spray-tan sessions, unstained patrons stand in private booths while a moisturizing mist sweeps over the skin, bestowing the body with the healthy golden glow of a Spanish doubloon polished up for a night on the town. In about two minutes, airbrushes apply a natural tone that can be customized according to body size, skin type, and desired color. The formula imbues dermises with a bronze, line-free tan without the hassle of spending all summer loitering around sandcastle hard-hat zones.