Designed by founder and renaissance woman Lynne Brick and her accomplished husband, Victor, Brick Bodies and Lynne Brick's health clubs share a fitness cornucopia of group classes, personal-training sessions, and women’s health tips. They stock their workout facilities with premium cardio and strength-training equipment, as well as offer amenities that may include pools, childcare services, and volcano-free saunas. Each of the seven locations sports its own personality, including the Owings Mills and Belvedere facilities, which operate as all-female communities.
The Brick's also employ a team of certified instructors, who lead more than 30 types of group fitness classes, allowing students of all skill levels access to sessions that range from low-impact workouts, such as BodyVive, to more intense courses, such as the kickboxing-inspired BodyCombat classes.
The MAC's state-of-the-art clubs offer experienced exercisers and more leisure-inclined visitors fun and encouraging environments in which to blast body fat and tone limbs. Group exercise reigns as MAC’s most popular amenity, and each session bulks muscles, fosters pliability, or burns calories without forcing participants to kiss firebreathers after each meal. The Harbor East locale promotes camaraderie with more than 60 group classes each week, headlined by a slew of Pilates reformer classes. Session pair each participant with a reformer, a Pilates apparatus whose moving parts increase one’s range of motion in order to mimic the waving arms and flailing legs of a cartoon character slipping on a banana on ice. The reformer also helps the Pilates exercises hone in on specific muscles, working to chisel core muscles in order to keep the body aligned, balanced, and strong. The Timonium location presents more than 25 classes in everything from yoga, Pilates, and Zumba to kickboxing and spinning.
For Bikram Yoga Baltimore's Emily and Eddie Garner, yoga isn't just exercise. It's a dance that purifies the body and silent song that stirs the soul. Drawing upon intensive study with Bikram yoga's founder and Emily's years of ballet training, the couple fills 90-minute classes with 26 graceful poses that stretch and strengthen the entire body. Heated rooms in Cockeysville and Harbor East loosen students' muscles, making them as pliable as a gymnast made entirely of pipe cleaners. Calibrated for both beginners and advanced students, the workout boosts circulation, which can help ease chronic pain and oust pent-up toxins. In addition to hosting classes, each studio rents mats and sells energy boosters such as vitamin-fortified water and Emergen-C supplements.
If instead of attending galas, Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre joined a yoga class, the venue would probably look a lot like MV Fitness. Inside a Mount Vernon mansion, stationary cycles face floor-to-ceiling windows beneath a vintage chandelier that is warmly reflected in an ornately framed mirror hung above the fireplace. Enormous wooden french doors open onto rooms full of weight machines and cardio equipment, potted plants filling lungs with fresh oxygen as members get into shape. In between punching bags and wall-mounted weightlifting machines, pop art and stained-glass windows add to the antique space's genuine allure. As Baltimore magazine wrote in its Top Gyms of 2012 column, besides the personal trainers and drop-in group fitness classes, “you’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier gym out there.”
Though it was originally designed only for starship evacuations and hikes through goblin-infested forests, the buddy system is also an excellent way to stay in shape, as today's deal proves. For $20, you get an hour-long personal training session (a $60 value) and two-month membership (a $168 value) to Federal Hill Fitness, a Baltimore magazine top gym. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
From its scenic perch upon Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Canton Club rallies small groups for fun, distinctive, strength-building workouts. Air yoga elevates traditional yoga poses with a supportive silk hammock and shoulder-stretching trapeze, enabling a greater exploration of the body's range of motion. The airborne equipment helps strengthen core muscles without straining joints or compressing vertebrae, allowing necks and backs to attain giraffe-like grace and browse from the highest PowerBar trees. FitWall classes gift bodies a spider-like workout, requiring all muscles to band together to adjust to a new, vertical universe. Designed to burn 900-plus calories per hour, workouts order up a menu of more than 100 cardio, climbing, and resistance-training moves to buff up biceps and prolong endurance.
After earning her Bikram yoga instructor certification from the practice's founder in 1999, Bikram Choudhury, studio director Sarah Ittmann traveled the world teaching the 26-posture practice throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Ireland. Now settled in Baltimore, Sarah, her husband Henri, and their team of certified Bikram teachers host daily classes in a 2,000-square-foot space.
Since the hot temperatures—which hover around the 100-degree mark—incite healthy sweating and detoxification, staffers regularly steam-wash the antimicrobial, nonslip floor to keep the studio as clean as Mr. Bubble's standup routine. They also provide men's and women's locker rooms equipped with showers, toiletries, and hair-dryers.