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.
The staff at Family Fitness Centers recognizes that good health and smart fitness habits often get their start at home. To help nurture a healthier regimen for the entire family, the gym has three locations throughout the Tampa Bay region, each with a number of programs designed to educate members on nutrition or jump-start metabolisms with boot camp and group fitness classes. Kids Club, or child care, is offered at all locations, while select locations offer pediatrician-supervised programs that help kids stay healthy by incorporating group exercise, emphasizing taking daily vitamins, and teaching kids how to cut an apple with only their mental prowess. Senior programs are also available and personal trainers are on hand to offer one-on-one sessions for more personalized attention.
As the name indicates, Around The Clock Fitness gives workout enthusiasts 24-hour access to ellipticals, treadmills, and stationary bikes, which are equipped with flat-screen TVs. The fully stocked health club also bulks up muscles with weightlifting equipment, including dumbbells up to 100 pounds. Punching bags, resistance bands, and step equipment also furnish the space, expanding exercise options to suit all fitness goals. After pushing physiques to their limits, members can relax their muscles in the gym’s HydroMassage bed, which eases aches in quick 10-minute sessions.
At Heat Yoga & Fitness Studio, students line up to sweat it out as a team of talented yogis leads them through classes that explore variations on the theme of superheated stretching. Perched atop wood floors in a sunny studio flooded with natural light, students explore traditional styles such as power yoga, ballet yoga, and yoga Pilates with the added benefit of heat, the force that induces sweat and prevents the formation of sentient snowmen each year. Therapists also treat clients with massages and bodywork to help alleviate back pain, improve circulation, and decrease stress.
Prior to opening a yoga studio, Aaron Ledesma had spent over a decade as a professional baseball player—playing for teams including the Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays. This grueling career resulted in a back injury, and it was while recovering from surgery that Aaron first encountered yoga. Impressed with the healing benefits, he made the decision to retire from baseball and take a hot yoga training course instead.
At Yoga 365, Aaron is joined by his wife Karen, who combines her background in psychology with classic yoga techniques to cultivate a deep mind-body connection. The duo—along with a roster of talented instructors—lead 60- to 90-minute classes from the early morning to the late evening inside an airy, modern studio. During classes, the rooms are heated up to 105 degrees to help detoxify the body and loosen muscles for deeper stretches. Should clients like to unwind or untangle, they can step inside a private treatment room for a soothing massage or chakra balancing. The gender-specific locker rooms have showers for post-class primping, along with amenities including shampoo, conditioner, and hair dryers. Yoga 365 also offers nutritional counseling and muscle response testing.