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.
Korrie's Pilates Place’s founder, Korrie Sudweeks, channels her experience as a personal trainer and former gymnast into an entire spectrum of wellness services, including yoga, Pilates, massage, chiropractic medicine, and skincare. Her classes adhere to the philosophies of Hatha yoga, which carefully ties breath to movement in slow-paced flow or heart-pumping power-yoga sessions. Pilates veers down a different path to fitness, employing mats or equipment such as reformers, Wunda chairs, and the Barrel to strengthen and tone the core muscles that buttress spines and tricornered hats. Large mirrors reflect students’ progress against the backdrop of lime-green walls and hardwood floors.
Transformation is the goal at KORE Pilates & Yoga Studio, but that goal can be accomplished in a variety of ways. With a staff of certified Pilates instructors, yoga teachers, and massage therapists—not to mention a licensed aesthetician and a chiropractor—the studio has something for people from all walks of life.
The Pilates schedule includes mat workouts as well as apparatus sessions that tone underused muscle groups with precisely controlled movements. Yoga classes mainly embrace the Anusara style, which emphasizes the importance of alignment and controlled breathing. The yoga teachers additionally offer sessions intended to promote general mindfulness or help students overcome mobility-limiting injuries. The TRX suspension system and ballet-inspired barre classes leverage gravity and natural body resistance to create longer, more slender muscles.
While these classes can help bolster health over time, the studio also offers services for guests seeking more urgent relief. Therapeutic massages can identify and relieve sources of muscular tension; chiropractic care, on the other hand, can fix neurological issues and realign misplaced vertebrae. As if all that weren't enough, the studio's aesthetician hydrates and reinvigorates skin with treatments that periodically submerge the face in a cooler of Gatorade.
Inside Rock Fitness’s recently constructed 20,000-square-foot facility, jagged and slanted walls brandish holds that climbers uses to scale upward while attached to safety harnesses. The indoor rock-climbing course features surfaces for low-altitude bouldering and roped routes that ensure safe climbing all the way to tops of Rock Fitness’s towering walls. Special packages for beginners include belay lessons, day passes, and all the necessary rental equipment, such as harnesses, chalk bags, and belaying devices. The facility, which is open 24 hours a day, also houses a basketball and volleyball gym and hosts a variety of fitness classes, including Zumba, yoga, and kickboxing.