Bally Total Fitness enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day guest pass includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, Step Fitness, and High-Impact Hopscotch (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers work to torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts a bulk-building army of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room, ideal for drenching annoyingly dry towels. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
Jacqulyn McDougal, Nisa Windsong-Frazier, and Dr. Jen Bogus co-founded Soul Pilates and Wellness to combine their talents for bodywork, fitness, and naturopathic medicine. Jacqulyn specializes in therapeutic massages, using deep-tissue and neuromuscular techniques to dissolve tension and lingering resentment of your successful cousins that is stored in muscles. In Pilates classes that use either mats or a wall-mounted piece of equipment called a SpringBoard, Nisa helps guests build core strength using full-body resistance exercises. Finally, Dr. Jen uses naturopathic medicine to treat ailments such as allergies, chronic pain, and debilitating fear of the zoo. The three founders of Soul Pilates and Wellness also offer group fitness classes such as yoga and Zumba.
The mission of Body and Brain Yoga—alongside its affiliate yoga centers—is to make yoga accessible to everyone, everywhere. To this end, each team of instructors modulate movements based on Korean sun do to match each students’ needs. Classes emphasize aligning the body and mind equally through stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation, and each session is capped off by a 10-minute tea time, during which students and instructors can socialize or reenact Alice in Wonderland's interview with the Easter Bunny.
At Tilton's Gymnastics, founder Lori Tilton and a staff of instructors lead lads and ladies through the intricacies of floor-based gymnastics and tumbling exercises. Teachers make an effort to learn students’ abilities and personality on an individual basis, using their intel to determine the most appropriate class for them. Students caper and gambol at a pair of area locations, both of which cultivate a supportive atmosphere free from competition or posters of Béla Károlyi’s stern, uncompromising mustache.
When Amy Ramage wrote her five-year plan in 2006, she knew she wanted kids and a body that could dominate at a fitness competition. A few years passed and two beautiful children arrived, but she was no closer to her fitness goal than before. So she decided to get serious, training for her first competition while helping other moms get in shape.
Knowing firsthand the struggles of raising young children, she designed her gym, Fit for Excellence, to be mom friendly. Childcare is available during boot-camp classes, and a 12-week Haute Mama program teaches moms how to workout when they can’t leave the house. Alongside two other trainers, Ramage now leads both co-ed and women-only boot-camp classes, with personal-training sessions available for an extra fitness boost. Her team also helps aspiring fitness competitors get in peak physical condition and prepare for the mentally exhausting long-division portion of competitions.
Heat permeates Bikram Yoga West Linn’s sprawling studio, whose circling ceiling fans symbolize the constantly flowing movement that takes place in classes below them. The 105-degree temperature loosens muscles and releases toxins, as students flow through Bikram’s 26 poses, taught by 16 instructors. In this setting, instructors helps students of all levels get the most out of Bikram yoga by building strength and developing the flexibility of an astronaut who can rap, cook, and touch her toes while freestyling about beef stroganoff. For 90 minutes, teachers help pupils control their breathing, resulting in more oxygenated blood.
Adrenaline Fitness preaches self-improvement through focused workouts, sensible eating, and a belief in the philosophy of mind over matter. Owner Scott Graham heads a rotating roster of nationally certified trainers, each of whom leads intense, 30-minute workouts designed to tone muscles and spark metabolism. Adrenaline’s rapid-paced workouts leave no room for waste, as students jump from swinging kettlebells and jumping rope to knitting form-fitting sweaters for 20-pound medicine balls. Workouts change daily, a process that keeps muscles confused and exercisers free from boredom. In addition to overseeing sweat-inducing workouts, Adrenaline Fitness’s team can help augment results through detailed nutritional guidance.