Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
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 slim 20-foot storefront of Silhouettes for Women may look unassuming, but it opens to a 5,000-square-foot facility with two group fitness studios, private changing rooms, and a private weighing area. In addition to women-only fitness classes, personal training, and cardio equipment, the gym also offers nutritional counseling from certified weight-management consultants.
Xpose Fitness transforms its students into fit, confident divas with sultry exercise classes that have been featured on TLC and CNN. Certified instructors lead 50-minute workouts for all fitness levels, pairing muscle-lengthening stretches with isometric exercises to build strong, svelte muscles throughout the body. Floor and chair sessions blend yoga and Pilates poses into a dance routine that makes sexy props out of everyday objects such as desk chairs, loveseats, and throw pillows shaped like Grover Cleveland's moustache. In pole-dancing classes, the teacher imparts basic spins with step-by-step instructions and a steady stream of encouragement. Exercise modifications are available at each workout, helping new exercisers and injured participants move safely and comfortably. Consult the class schedule for times, and visit the FAQ page for a list of items to bring along.
Charm City's founder Kim Manfredi has instructed the Baltimore Ravens since 2004 and brings her 22 years of mat experience to courses that range from beginner-friendly Level 1 classes to advanced Level 3s. In beginner-yoga classes, a slow pace and careful verbal instructions impart the basics of breath awareness, mental concentration, and dodgeball mastery. Charm City’s signature Hot Vinyasa–style classes take place in 85- to 90-degree rooms, designed to loosen up ropey limbs to make stretches deeper, more effective, and more impressive to any inflexible invisible friends you may have. Other styles taught at Charm City include Ashtanga, which emphasizes dynamic postures, and prenatal yoga for those stretching for two.
Interactive Fitness began in 2006 as the personal-training studio of co-founders Cristhian Ruiz and Charlotte Hetterick, and it has since grown into a full gym complete with strength and cardio equipment and a variety of individual or group exercise options. Ruiz, a Colombian-born fourth-degree tae-kwon-do black belt and hapkido black belt, directs the center. He has gathered a team of instructors that includes a triathlete and former University of Kansas football player, a certified Body Pump instructor and marathon runner, and light heavyweight boxer Willie "For Real" Williams. Members and nonmembers pay the same price for services including personal training and group classes. The warehouse-style atmosphere is accented by a large reproduction of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt, an artist renowned for having highly developed biceps and deltoids in his painting arm.