Now celebrating 130 years of health, fitness, and community, YMCA remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult-fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, personal training, and a full gymnasium outfitted with equipment for basketball, boxing, and rope-skipping. They’ve also filled their fitness center with free weights, cardio equipment, and rowing machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during yoga, cycling, and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, after-school programs, and youth basketball.
Cultural development is also a priority at the Cambridge YMCA, fulfilled through operas and plays held in Durrell Hall, the center's historic Victorian theater. This YMCA outpost further strengthens and unites the Cambridge community through its Central House facility, a 128-unit, substance-free housing complex that shelters men in need.
The variety of classes at Karma Yoga Studios might seem overwhelming at first. From beginners slow-paced yoga to heated core-power yoga, the studio doesn’t skimp on diversity. Beginners, though, need not worry, as the founder of Karma Yoga developed a special introductory course called PhysioYoga to ease students into their practice. All classes are taught by certified, passionate instructors eager to share the benefits of yoga with any person or flamingo that walks into one of their spacious, wood-floored studios. They designed their studios with green practices in mind, and all locations provide free, eco-friendly Manduka mats to students.
Most of SaachaBYoga's yoga and movement classes have enrollments of eight or fewer students. This allows instructors to give each student individual attention, whether he or she signs up for morning Vinyasa yoga, prenatal yoga, Pilates, or more than a dozen other classes. SaachaBYoga's staff also performs massage, craniosacral therapy, and reiki healing.
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.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
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.