After living everywhere from Washington, DC, to Guatemala, the owners of Urban Moves wound up in Columbus, and decided to pursue their passion for fitness and entrepreneurship. They bought the gym from its previous owner, and transformed it into a membership-free fitness studio dedicated exclusively to exercisers working with trainers, either one-on-one or in group classes.
In the boutique studio, the team of personal trainers designs programs to suit their clients’ goals, whether they want to complete a 5K race or take a bite from the famed nougat peak of Mount Everest. The troupe also hosts a variety of group classes in a wide range of exercise modalities, from gentle yoga to high-tech Power Plate training—a bona fide miracle of modern science that shapes muscles through vibration.
With more than 30 years of combined experience and numerous competition wins, Rachel and Adam Maynard of Inspiration to Movement lead students in dance and Pilates classes. A sprung floor acts as the stage for classes such as Vaganova ballet—a Russian method developed esteemed dancer Agrippina Vaganova and beta-tested by thousands of music-box ballerinas. The Pilates studio peers over Franklin Park, providing a scenic location for cultivating strength, flexibility, and balance. The dancing partners also offer music-editing services for dance performances, and perform themselves for special functions.
At Victory Fitness Center, members pump iron in the weight room and pedals on the stationary bikes before giving weary muscles respite in the whirlpool or sauna. Besides providing fitness coaching to keep everyone on the right track, the gym also provides an environment free of intimidation with men- and women-only workout areas. To supplement those workouts, the staff designs easy-to-follow weight-loss programs, and certified trainers lead group classes such as Zumba, boxing, and boot camp.
Shape Fitness believes that since exercise is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle, people should be able to fit a workout into their own schedules. This spacious gym is staffed and open 24 hours per day, seven days per week, and clients here have access with their own key. Cardio and strength training equipment helps members stick to their fitness regimens, and group class are available for people who like to work out in a motivating, social environment. Certified personal trainers are also on hand to help train those looking to amp up their fitness routine.
After years toiling anonymously away in "big box" gyms, Greg Woods and professional bodybuilder Rich Lauro wanted to create a gym that felt a little less impersonal. Members get a keycard that lets them in at any time of the day or night, so they can work out on their own schedule. Personal trainers—three of who are competitive bodybuilders—work one-on-one with clients to headlock their goals, whether they'd like to lose weight or kick-start a career as a strongman and future governor. For a more communal fitscapade, instructors lead a host of fitness classes, including Zumba and Strongman and Strongwoman Saturdays—a boot camp that outfits bodies with rip-roaring muscles with squats, bench-presses, and sled work.
For guests who want to work out at their own pace, the gym stocks a staggering array of equipment. Guests buff up with the help of free weights, including Ader kettlebells and Intek dumbbells, or befriend Life Fitness and Hammer Strength strength-training machines to hedge their bets against the coming robot apocalypse. For a break from traditional workouts, members can get acquainted with functional fitness equipment, such as medicine balls and tires that weigh anywhere from 150–610 pounds.
Within the temperature-controlled interior of what used to be a warehouse, students flow from sun salutations to standing lunges before rising into rigorous poses. At the head of the class stands the studio's founder, Julie Verhoff Pipes, relaying the athletic blend of yoga and aerobics that she personally developed from a combination of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Bikram yoga techniques.
Though softened by woven curtains and hanging lanterns, the studio's raw, industrial feel remains. The Spartan decor increases focus since the studio possesses no distracting pictures or traditional yoga clowns.