Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Dede Barbanti is a go-getter. The former professional choreographer and dance director found herself a single mother of three and weighing more than she wanted. So she dove head-first into researching fitness and created her own workout, Boogie Box, which combines cardio and strength training during sports-endurance drills, martial arts, latin and hip-hop dance, plyometrics, and resistance-training exercises. A 70-pound loss in fewer than seven months put Dede back on the right track, along with a strong urge to share her success with the masses. She's developed more workouts, and even released a DVD that follows a 90-day workout program. At Boogie Box Fitness, students find a supportive environment as they blast through Dede?s workouts, burning calories without gym equipment.