Treadmills, stationary bikes, weights, stair-climbers—most gyms are packed with equipment just like this. What makes Elite Fitness Center unique is that every membership also comes with a team of certified trainers who help each person get the most out of each workout. To begin, trainers assess personal fitness levels and use that data to apply the best methods for losing weight, improving stamina, and building enough muscle to open any jar. Their customized programs achieve that through cardio and resistance training as well as in-depth nutritional counseling. Elite also hosts kickboxing and karate classes, giving participants several group-oriented approaches to fitness.
The instructors at Defensive Edge Martial Arts Training Center see martial arts training as something bigger than a path of becoming a more skilled combatant. They see the tradition of training as a way of becoming a better person. In every youth and adult program, students develop character as much as they develop muscle, deepening their understanding of patience, respect, and integrity. Those virtues prepare them for success in relationships and the workplace as much as they prepare them on the mat.
Each program—from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to Muay Thai to iCAT Reality Martial Arts—is held in Defensive Edge's 5,000-square-foot facility with separate combat and fitness areas. In addition to martial arts training, instructors lead students of all fitness levels through non-combat fitness programs such as FightFIT, a high-intensity CrossFit-style regimen tailored to anyone's specific fitness needs and helps to quickly increase performance and conditioning for combative sports. Simulating two professional MMA matches, FightFIT classes use items such as dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX, battling ropes, and grappling dummies to pump up heart rate and increase metabolism. Most classes take place on weeknights and weekend days to accommodate members' day jobs and the FDA's recommended 18 hours of sleep each day.
During afternoons at Together in Motion, children, accompanied by their parents, safely crawl through tunnels, practice somersaults, or explore a Parthenon made completely out of padded building blocks atop a cushioned floor. Evenings, however, turn the tables, allowing grownups to take over the space to fling dodgeballs at opponents or rehearse martial arts strikes in time for their kids' Bring Your Ninja to School Day. Weekend nights find thumping dance soundtracks traveling through the rooms, as black-light parties for teens and tweens celebrate birthdays and raise funds for nonprofits.
Though they admit disparate age groups, these classes and events provide a venue for guests to connect through movement. Together in Motion's facility rents its rooms to independent organizations—Social Boston Sports and Arlington Martial Arts among them—that encourage exercise and camaraderie. From the Latin-inspired beats of adult-centric Zumba classes to the musical motor-skill activities of Movin' Groovin' Tots, all of the programs foster both communal support and a healthy sense of self-confidence.
Kismet Wellness Center's staff creates a community where spa services and group exercise combine to help health-seekers achieve wellness. The prudent therapists combine diverse massage techniques such as deep tissue, Swedish and hot stone to personalize each body’s treatment. Reflections retreat before a bipedal onslaught in the kickboxing class and hips roll and bounce through the Latin-dance workout of a Zumba session, which adds subtle hints of Latin flavor to a workout without using vats of salsa for resistance. Test abdominal endurance through Pilates pumping or stretch sinews along bones in a yoga class.
Certified martial arts instructors lead self-defense classes for students of all ages. They guide students through dynamic strikes and blocks while emphasizing the importance of conflict-avoidance, discipline, and self-confidence. They also conduct a rigorous fitness program, leading students through high-intensity exercises in kickboxing, cardio boot camp, and personal training sessions. Additionally, they offer a masters clubs, where athletes who have successfully earned a black belt learn the exclusive secrets of the art, from highly advanced techniques to a list of Bruce Lee's high school crushes lifted from his diary.