As one longtime student says, "Jess doesn't care if you have three left feet." And it's probably this supportive and congenial attitude that earned her spots on Boston A-List as Best Zumba Class and RateYourBurn as one of the 10 Best Zumba Instructors for 2012. She approaches the dance-fitness hybrid sessions as a "feel-happy" workout, helping students of all experience levels feel welcome regardless of their natural rhythm. She only offers drop-in sessions, allowing students to come when it's convenient for them or when they've accidentally sleepwalked to the studio again.
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Atlantis Sports Club knows that people are more likely to reach their fitness goals if they enjoy their workouts. That's why every element of their spacious gyms is designed to create an experience that will leave members with restored and refreshed minds and bodies. From the moment visitors step into the elegant locker rooms to the point they kick back in a relaxing steam room, they encounter up-to-date equipment and stylish design elements. Members can pump iron with state-of-the-art machines and free weights, or join others for group fitness classes such as energetic Zumba, intense body sculpting, and mind-centering yoga. Certain locations bring an even better treat—the Nashua club features an outdoor pool and a patio, for instance, while the Cambridge location furnishes a junior Olympic size salt-water pool that sits beneath a retractable glass roof.
Towering 22 feet in the air, the main bouldering wall at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville stretches 140 feet across, leaving plenty of room for climbers to make their ascents. The wall is part of the facility's 28,000 square feet of climbable surfaces, which include a shorter bouldering area plus a 50-foot-high atrium complete with top-roping and lead-climbing routes.
These impressive features explain why Brooklyn Boulders Somerville has earned such glowing press, though that's not the whole story. The rest of the 40,000-square-foot center houses everything from climbing fitness rooms full of hang boards and pull-up bars to a yoga studio situated beneath a skylight. Other amenities include a weight room, a space dedicated to cardio equipment, and saunas for relaxing after a tough workout session.
The sauna isn't the only place to kick back at Brooklyn Boulders Somerville. The entire space is equipped with free WiFi—no surprise given the center's newly launched Active Collaborative Workspace, where groups gather launch start-ups, finish work, or get cranking on school projects in a setting that's about as far from "cramped conference room" as it gets. Elsewhere, pop-up shops spotlight locally made clothes and wares, and a gallery showcases rotating artwork.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
On its website, Redline Fight Sports boasts that it is not a typical, low-intensity health club. Rather, it is a 5,000-square-foot facility designed to train fighters and fitness enthusiasts who want to train like fighters but do not want to interact with large slabs of meat. Its coaches—most fighters themselves—preach purposeful and practical training, where natural movements replace rote exercises to help boost strength, speed, flexibility, and stamina. For example, instead of sitting at a bicep-curl machine, a student in the popular Fighter-Fit class may slug an uppercut bag or whip into a teardrop knee bag. This choreography of punches and kicks takes place in the training area, where heavy bags and lightweight striking bags hang, some on a custom, 40-foot rail system that slides them to and fro. In a back cage room, grapplers can train over fully matted floors and walls, even practicing throws on a crash mat.
A regulation-sized sparring ring is available for dedicated boxing training, and free weights work to boost strength capacity. An air exchanger circulates fresh oxygen into the gym, which also rents towels for its fighters in training.
Most boxers train to punch an opponent in the face, but some train to knock out fat instead. At Boston Boxing & Fitness, former fighters turned certified instructors lead classes focused on both the competitive and fitness aspects of the sport. Coaches design each course to tone specific body areas or improve the body's overall fitness through strength and conditioning sessions. The studio also runs ladies-only boxing classes and co-ed boxing classes. Classes run five days a week, with the gym hosting weekend sparring sessions and amateur team-oriented fight nights. When not in class, trainers and students alike also supplement their training with the gym's 1500 pounds of free weights and athletic training.