When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first of their gyms in 1980, they chartered their gym around three values: service, cleanliness, and having owners operate their own facilities. True to the founders' original vision, each location's employees strive to keep their cardio and resistance equipment spic and span as they care for facilities. In addition to personal training, instructors lead a schedule of more than 400 group fitness classes—including cycling, Kardio Kick, and Zumba—offered each week across their eight locations. At the clubs, trainers also help guests master CrossFit functional equipment and use TRX suspension training systems to help them connect with their vine-savvy pet orangutans.
In 1998, Larissa Mychaskiw arrived at work to discover a locked door and that her boss had gone AWOL. Passionate about Pilates and the fitness center's clients, she decided to step in and take over the business herself. Today, she holds on to that passion and sense of commitment when organizing a schedule of mat- and equipment-based Pilates classes for individuals or groups of up to 20. She and her team of certified trainers focus on posture, core strength, and balance using Reformers and other Pilates equipment. Pairing motivational instruction with individualized attention and the Pilates method, they work together to lengthen muscles and tone full physiques. They also aim to improve heart health by lowering cholesterol, strengthening the heart, and protecting it from roaming baby angels with arrows.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches 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.