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, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates with INSANITY routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.
International Institute of Cosmetology founder Carmelo Gugliotti began his career as a professional hairdresser when he was 16. He gradually built his passion into a successful business, entering international competitions and earning leadership positions within multiple cosmetology groups. Now supported by his beauty-minded family—including his wife and three sons—Gugliotti trains stylists and aestheticians in rigorous, accredited courses.
As part of their training, students offer a full menu of hair, nail, and spa services that incorporates Wella coloring and Dermalogica skincare products. Instructors supervise each treatment to ensure pupils don’t disregard protocol or use their untutored genius to make clients too beautiful for this world.
Paul Carson and Jack Banks started teaching fitness classes 30 years ago in a small abandoned dairy. Since those humble beginnings, they built Malibu Fitness—a modern gym where they help people build rippling muscles. Their trained group fitness instructors lead classes in yoga and Pilates, as well as more high-energy Zumba classes that set Latin dance moves to international tunes. Meanwhile, you’ll hop on a stationary bike for the spinning classes, which rely on intense climbs and sprints to elevate heart rates and burn calories. There’s also the option of one-on-one workouts with personal trainers, who can tailor workouts that shed girth, strengthen muscles, and improve athletic performance.
There are a number of nice bonus amenities at Malibu Fitness—it has flat-screen TVs, locker rooms, and a SunDome stand-up tanning booth. And if you’re hungry after a workout, there’s a shake bar that doles out Island Oasis protein shakes. The well-staffed team here even provides child care. And each year around Thanksgiving, the owners sponsor a road race that donates thousands of dollars to charities to offset America's turkey footprint.
Tyler English knows the look of frustration. In his eight years as a fitness professional in Connecticut, he has helped thousands of health-seekers who feel bored or fatigued by solo workouts at big health clubs find a better path. At his gym, he promotes what he calls an ?anti-health-club? environment, enlivening workouts while aiming to quickly whittle fit and healthy bodies through his innovative programs. English, a professional natural bodybuilder and author, leads metabolic-conditioning workouts, which boost the body?s anaerobic and aerobic capacity with interval-based cardio. He also folds in a series of strength sessions that incorporate moves with dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, and medicine balls encased in concrete. Tyler also counts on The Diet Doc's weight-loss program through nutritional guidance.
"Torture chambers"?that's how many students of Bikram Yoga would describe the studios where they practice their craft. It's an apropos name for places set at a blazing 105 degrees that feature students twisting their bodies into 26 yoga postures. However, these hatha-inspired positions heal rather than hurt; as students flow through the therapeutic positions, the simmering heat soothes away chronic aches, boosts flexibility, and encourages everything from weight loss to increased circulation to healthier lymphatic flow.