Atop sleek hardwood floors, students work through karate and aiki-jutsu moves at New England Martial Arts Dojo. Instructors teach traditional self-defense techniques during classes geared specifically toward beginners, advanced students, or families. To get students into fighting shape, the school also boasts a workout room with Olympic weightlifting bars, weight machines, and dumbbells.
At World Gym International’s Seekonk location, a full complement of cardio and weightlifting equipment awaits exercisers in an expansive, multilevel facility. Off of the main workout area, private studios are outfitted for yoga, Pilates, and circuit training. The facility also offers childcare services and group fitness classes daily.
Rather than having members continually saddle ellipticals and stare at plasma TV screens, Fitt 101 keeps bodies and minds engaged with a versatile regimen of cross-training, CrossFit, boxing, and cycling. Fitness experts guide newcomers through the 5,200-square-foot facility, building workout routines based on each client's specific needs. Trainees hoist barbells, toss medicine balls, leap on plyo boxes, and stretch resistance bands, burning fat while building lean, strong muscle.
In 1990, Christina Rondeau fell in love. With martial arts, that is. After earning her black belt and competing in amateur karate and martial arts tournaments all over the United States and Europe, Rondeau decided to go pro. She travelled the globe as a member and coach on the USA WAKO kickboxing team, and went on to win the women's lightweight title. Rondeau continued to feed her athletic hunger with a switch to pro boxing and appeared in numerous print media and television shows, including The Maury Povich Show.
Having achieved fame and glory, Rondeau took on a new fight: she wanted to help women and children defend themselves while gaining indomitable confidence. She has authored books, created instructional DVDs, and opened Rondeau’s Kickboxing. The 24/7 gym garnered Rhode Island Monthly’s readers’ pick for Best Fitness Center in 2010, due in no small part to its empowering blend of fitness and martial-arts-based classes. Rondeau also promotes safety in her community by participating in events geared towards ending violence toward women and girls and teaching local schoolchildren how to defend themselves or pass a math quiz without using weapons. She also coordinated a box-a-thon to help line the shelves of a Rhode Island food bank.
It's tough to make Zumba—a dance-inspired cardio workout set to upbeat music—feel any more festive. Still, the certified instructors at Vital Spark Fitness & Wellness Studio have found a way. They host Night Style Zumba classes, turning on the studio's black lights and donning neon bracelets that outline arms as they wave in time with twirls and steps. Along with Zumba's resonating beats, the experience lends the studio a pumping, nightclub vibe.
Even without black lights and glow sticks, though, the staff strives to make every type of workout an engaging one. The schedule includes more than one take on popular yoga and Pilates techniques, including PiYo and Yogalates. They also lead cardio-kickboxing drills, boot-camp routines, and the interval-training exercises of Tabata.
Although the top priority at Evolutionary Sports is to help others get into shape, the facility aims far beyond that by creating an environment that makes every guest, member, and first-time exerciser feel part of something bigger. To accomplish its mission, the business offers group workouts, personal training, and a full slate of classes at two different facilities. Those classes range from boot camp and yoga to karate and cross training, which fuses kickboxing techniques, cardio drills, and weight training into one intense session.