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.
Not many events can combine puzzles, obstacle races, and charitable giving-all while filling the downtown area with people in gorilla suits. Gorilla Challenge accomplishes all of these things in a single afternoon. With annual events held across the country, it is quickly becoming the premier event for raising fun and social responsibility. Several of the event's clues are designed to bring awareness to topics such as literacy, poverty, environmental concerns, animal welfare, and elder care. Amid these consciousness-raising events, the company's gorilla-suit-clad staffers make surprise appearances to award participants prizes and collect bribes in the form of fresh bananas or sign-language-speaking kittens.
The state-of-the-art gyms offer experienced workouteers and more leisure-inclined visitors a fun and encouraging environment to blast body fat and tone tummies. The Hunt Valley Express location offers quick cardio and strength-training equipment for the unfussy athlete, while the Timonium and Harbor East locations will impress even the most distinguished gym designer. Both locations boast aquatic centers complete with a lap pool; two warm-water therapy pools for relaxing, float training, or injury rehabilitation; and a 104-degree coed whirlpool. The Harbor East locale offers more than 50 group classes each week, and Timonium offers more than 100 classes in everything from yoga, Pilates, and Zumba to kickboxing and spinning. Both gyms house more than 100 pieces of cardio and strength equipment, nearly all equipped with personal entertainment systems. The Harbor East location boasts four squash courts for fierce battles of paddling domination, and both locations offer Internet cafes and kids clubs where pre-Olympians participate in stimulating and creative activities under the watchful eye of the friendly MAC staff.
Ali True has been an All-American lacrosse goalie, trained Dolph Lundgren, earned a degree in kinesiology, and received Baltimore magazine’s 2009 Best Personal Trainer award. No amount of accolades, however, can replace her passion for educating and training others to lead healthy, fitness-friendly lives. To this end, she left behind her days of celebrity-sculpting to open True Balance Studio, a facility that welcomes students of all levels of health and fame.
Neat rows of black kettlebells sit in front of mirrored walls until one-hour classes fill the gym with grunts of effort and the whistles of kettlebells about to boil over. Standard strength machines sit beside flexibility-boosting climbing frames or gymnastics-style rings suspended from the ceiling. Oscillating between the classrooms and the gym floor, Ali and her trainers coach their clients on cardio equipment, offer nutritional advice, or coax one last rep from straining muscles.
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.
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.