With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fit-seekers challenge themselves on Nautilus and Hammer Strength cardio and strength machines and hoist free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’ staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms.
Perhaps his degree in physics from Georgia Tech or his longtime stint as a partner in an engineering firm prepped Jeff Sousa to understand the improbable poses that yoga demands. Before starting Ember Yoga, he knew that he wanted to take possession of his own physical health, and so he left his engineering days behind and became a full-time yoga teacher. He opened Ember Yoga as a venue for others to discover their own passion for yoga.
Now, 16 other passionate yoga teachers?including former basketball players and professional cyclists?aid Jeff in teaching 16 unique yoga classes. Along with the hot-yoga courses, including Vinyasa, the team leads diverse groups through sessions intended for children, and practitioners intent on mediation. This panoply of offerings recently won the Woodstock-Towne Lake Patch Readers' Choice Award for Best Gym. The 4,400-square-foot studio features four distinct areas, including a hardwood hot-yoga studio, locker rooms with onsite showers, and a boutique full of yoga equipment and apparel.
Glowing neon-red-and-blue wall accents complement the staff members' bright attitudes at American Bodyworks gyms. They strive to make connections with each member, remembering their names and favorite prime numbers, as they guide them through rows of cardio equipment—each with an attached LCD TV screen—and strength-training machines affixed with illustrations on their use. Guests can work out in the daytime hours or swipe their membership key for nighttime access, pushing through free-weight reps while personal trainers sleep inside their resistance-band cocoons.
Source4 Fitness delivers comprehensive exercise programs and professional health and nutrition advice in a state-of-the-art facility. The two-month membership (a $29 value per month) includes access to boutique fitness facilities and enrollment in group fitness classes ranging from Pilates, yoga, kickboxing, and boxkicking to Mom and Me, a joint class for mothers and children ages 2–4. A FitPro will guide eight 30-minute personal training sessions (a $30 value per class) that help clients achieve long-term health goals through custom exercise programs and nutritional consultation. Each 30-minute, tailor-made workout is designed to achieve Source4 Fitness' tenets—energize, inspire, rejuvenate, and improve—reaching well beyond the quick fix in an effort to bring about sustainable health improvement. A FitPro will also help members develop a customized nutrition plan (a $39 value), meeting twice per month to help shape an effective plan of attack and discuss which Muppet is the most lovable. These 20–30 minute sessions cover lifestyle issues and include weigh-ins, measurements, and supplement consultation.
Bodyplex Fitness boasts a 28,500-square-foot facility, equipped with group classes, modern equipment, and personal trainers to whip burgeoning muscle mavens into shape. Health-hunters can attend three selections from a schedule of more than 50 classes, slurp down a complimentary smoothie from the in-house bar, test out a bevy of Life Fitness and Precor cardio equipment, and train for spontaneous, t-shirt-tearing flex-offs in the free-weight area (a $44 value). Meanwhile enjoy body-pampering amenities such as a 30-minute massage (a $45 value) and unlimited 30-day access to the 200-watt tanning systems (a $33 value).