Village Health Clubs & Spas are one-stop shops for fitness training, spa services, and amenity-stuffed facilities. One month of access to their four locations allows visitors to use the Village fitness equipment, clean up in the available locker rooms, shoot hoops on basketball courts, swim in lap pools, and much more. The two-week guided fitness program kick-starts fitness routines long stymied by malaise, time constraints, and road-blocking donut holes; with the aid of a helpful Village staff member, you'll get started by figuring out precisely where your goals and interests lie on the muscle map. A nutrition warm-up will educate you in the ways of healthy food choices, and a 60-minute fitness intro with a certified personal trainer will get hearts pumping and tendons quivering. You'll also be introduced to the vast panoply of available cardio equipment and group yoga and Pilates classes. Finally, "adventure time" commences with a workout, hike, bike ride, or round of tennis, the sport most avidly followed by excitable canines.
Named after the Sanskrit word for “community,” Sangha Yoga stays true to its title by bringing together yogis of all levels in peaceful classes six days a week. The studio’s curriculum incorporates both extremely gentle sessions and such intense rounds as the "rock my body, soothe my soul" class, which keeps sweat glands' hands full with challenging poses that strengthen the frame without overworking internal systems.
Daisy Anten loves fitness so much that she came out of retirement to teach it once again—even after a long career owning two fitness centers. With her business partner, licensed professional counselor Donna Peck, she opened Women's Fitness with Daisy: a women-only gym where Daisy could teach Pilates, yoga, circuit training, and her newfound passion, Zumba.
The center creates a supportive environment for women not only through group classes, but also through nutritional counseling and massage therapy. A mother-daughter membership program fosters fitness across multiple generations better than a pull-up bar bolted to a family tree.
The instructors lead students through Bikram yoga's 26 challenging poses and two breathing exercises in a heated room, which helps purge the body of toxins and allows limbs to sink deeply into stretches. Within a studio heated to more than 100 degrees, students flow through poses that strengthen and stretch muscles, ligaments, and joints. Each posture is designed to work muscle groups needed for the next pose, building a series of interconnected movements. By temporarily decreasing blood flow to specific areas of the body, the poses send in a rush of freshly oxygenated blood to joints, organs, and limbs when yogis unfold from folds and twists, unblocking the tiny traffic jams of hemoglobin. Most yoga classes are 90 minutes long, and most studios offer flexible early morning and evening classes. Visit the individual studios' websites to see their schedules.
As a 23-year-old junior, Tom Hatten didn’t spend his evenings at the raucous parties or ice-cream socials associated with college life. Instead, he’d spend the waning hours of his evenings waiting by the dryer for the last batch of towels before collapsing into bed. In the morning, he would lug them to Mountainside Fitness, the gym he opened as a student that he has thrown all his energy into maintaining ever since.
Today, the humble 4,800-square-foot space has bloomed into nine gyms that average a sweeping 41,000 square feet. Tom’s vision of creating a friendly neighborhood gym that greets each guest with a warm towel underscores every decision he makes for the different locations, from the colorful kid-care spaces to the entertaining group fitness classes. Personal trainers plan regimens tailored to each client, helping them lose weight, build muscle, or target the muscles that will help build a better golf game. Clients can create their own routines with the help of cardio and weight machines, or explore the different amenities at each location, such as saunas, rock-climbing walls, and indoor basketball courts.
In 1998, after 25 years operating health clubs across Phoenix, Kelly Bruce jumped at the opportunity to open his own club, Fitness 1 Gym. Today, Fitness 1 has expanded to locations across Phoenix, each and every one helmed by Kelly and his sons Chad, Richard, and Bobby. “We don’t just own them,” Chad proudly says, “we run them and we’re in the clubs everyday.” The amenities are certainly attractive, but it seems that what has really made Fitness 1 successful is the Bruce's dedication to their family-run enterprise. “I think that our members feel at home,” says Bobby. “I think [they] realize that it’s not a show… they're coming in here to get to work, to get results.”
Members—who are not forced into long-term contracts—can do just that thanks to an array of cardio and strength-training machines, free weights, and one-on-one personal training. The studio also offers members free fitness classes, such as Power Yoga, Chiseled, and Xplode—an interval-training class.