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.
The attentive trainers of Core Studio sculpt bodies and impart fitness-focused wisdom within an intimate, boutique-style facility. Guests can take their pick of five group classes, all of which inspire camaraderie among buffness buffs, keeping muscles motivated and preventing predatory medicine balls from picking off stragglers. Zumba, propelled by invigorating music and custom choreography, entertains as it chases off rhythm-phobic calories. Yoga sessions revitalize lungs and limbs alike, and cycling and strength training forge firmer cores and promote balance, stamina, and endurance. Check the schedule for class times.
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.
Tyler English knows the look of frustration. In his ten 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 increased circulation to healthier lymphatic flow.
Magna Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Center is a well-rounded physical therapy center offering many different treatments, recovery tools, and injury prevention methods. Licensed massage therapist Heather Gananca has 20 years of unknotting experiences, and with five different types of one-hour massages to choose from, patrons can pick the best match for their back and call their parents to inform them they’ve met the one.