Laced with elements of yoga, Pilates, and gymnastics, the women-only classes at Aradia Fitness sculpt lean, toned physiques. And though physical fitness is a cornerstone of the studio, it's not the only one. Classes such as Striptease and Lap Dance foster a certain amount of unrestrained confidence that, as Aradia puts it, “teach[es] women to unapologetically love their body and themselves.” At 17 locations across the country, Aradia's staff of certified instructors, including world-record holder Amanda, lead women of all shapes, sizes, and experiences through sessions ranging from pole-dancing classes that teach aerial lifts and holds to Sexy Fit classes that forgo the pole for yoga fusion, boot camp, and lap dancing. No matter the class, the environment at Aradia is always light hearted, nurturing, and more supportive than a stainless-steel hammock.
As evident by its fox mascot, Downtown Fitness & Wellness is all about fun. That doesn’t mean, however, the instructors don’t take exercise seriously. The 3,380-square-foot facility boasts joint-friendly sprung floors, which jostle beneath the energetic kicks, dance steps, and aerobic movements made by students during regular classes.
One wouldn’t often expect to combine pinot noir with spandex and sweating. But at My Favorite Cardio Place, instructors seamlessly blend social time and exercise in a relaxed, friendly setting. Participants spend the first 15 minutes mingling, sipping, and stretching before moving on to 60 minutes of calorie-burning exercises. Instructor and fifth-degree black belt David Aquino teaches tae kwon do, cardio kickboxing, and martial-arts classes that are therapeutically targeted to children with autism, ADD, or Tourette’s syndrome.
LA Boxing offers fitness classes in boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts. The proprietary style of the LA Boxing workout is a mixture of genuine fight training, engaging fitness, and stronger-than-earth gravity. Quasi-boxers and martial artists may burn from 800 to more than 1,000 calories during these total-body routines, which combine external inspiration with jukes, jabs, and kicks. Both men and women are welcome in the ring, where they'll learn new techniques and methods to blissfully break into a sweat in an energetic group setting. Gloves are provided during the one-month trial membership, as are a set of reusable pro-quality hand wraps and complimentary motivational mumbling from Burgess Meredith (all three subject to availability).
Elite-level physical fitness isn’t just a goal at Cary CrossFit. It’s a passion that drives coaches and exercisers alike during Olympic-inspired workouts. Goal-oriented and intense, like a staring match between two dark-roasted coffee beans, each CrossFit session squeezes a hearty dose of cardio and strength work into 55 minutes. Teams of fitness-seekers band together during group training, cheering one another toward personal bests during exercises such as squat variations, handstand pushups, and kettlebell swings. In a 7,500-square-foot training area, medicine balls and lifting platforms encourage muscles to ripple, and a 45-meter track inspires calories to melt during sprints and plyometric drills. In addition to absorbing training tips from a staff of certified personal trainers and conditioning specialists, clients seeking sports-performance gains can build power, speed, and agility using equipment from Legend Fitness, Ivanko, Concept 2, and Pendlay. Those looking to lose weight can sign up for a BodyMetrix test, which analyzes the body’s levels of muscle and fat using ultrasound as high-tech as a segway-drawn carriage.
Lead by Dr. Daniel Bannard, a national lecturer and holistic expert with 25 years of experience to his name, the team at The Bannard Center uses a range of treatments to promote full-body wellness. The staff specializes in holistic chiropractic work, augmenting healing with sauna sessions and acupuncture treatments. During massage work, a certified specialist rubs clients' muscles to release pent-up stress and loosen the gnarled knots of shoulder anxiety and misplanted back saplings. All visits take place in a professional office space, recently renovated with hardwood floors and warm colors.
The staff at Too Sexy knows just how tough it can be to get in shape. Two instructors have gone on lengthy personal weight-loss journeys: one lost 60 pounds, while the other lost more than 200 pounds. They aim to make others’ journeys easier by enlivening workout regimens with high-energy classes, such as Latin dance-inspired Zumba, boot camp, and line dancing. They also offer flexibility-enhancing yoga classes as part of a robust schedule of more than 50 classes per month.