In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old?12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
The athletic alchemists at Brown Fitness’s Camp Kettlebell stir flexibility, strength, and cardio into 45-minute class concoctions designed to whip bodies into shape. Employing the kettlebell, a grip-granting handled weight, certified BMI-abolishing instructors lead sessions tailored to activity amateurs or the workout-weathered, who attend three times a week. A one-month membership to the online nutrition program grants students custom recipes, following an initial body assessment. Participants should come prepared with a towel, workout mat, bottled water, and comfortable clothing on their person, and "Eye of the Tiger" playing in their ears. Morning, midday, and evening sessions fit even the surliest schedules. Prospective iron pumpers should call Brown Fitness to schedule their first class.
Kyle Brandt and his team of fellow trainers?who include his wife Sarah?are, of course, fit. But they don't believe in exercising for exercise's sake. Instead, at Brandt Fitness & Self Defense, they offer what they call "functional fitness for life." This belief, which also serves as the company's motto, manifests in two ways. First, it means that by focusing on martial arts, Kyle and his team can coach students of all skill levels?first-time exercisers, four-year-old martial arts novices, professional athletes?to defend themselves from danger. The second function they ascribe to fitness? Community. They believe working out should be fun and social. Fridays' happy hour workouts encourage as much gum-flapping as they do deadifting. And like the martial arts classes, Brandt's CrossFit sessions welcome a diverse array of attendees. The gym even hosts holiday parties, which are very popular, although their papier mache pi?ata full of kettlebells never quite got off the ground.
Larry North has spent his 25-year career inspiring people to change their bodies and their lives through his infomercials, talk-radio show, television appearances, three books, and, most notably, his six Larry North fitness centers. "Success," North believes, "is not about how many gyms or how many members we have. It is about successful clients who lose weight and keep it off..." Adhering to this mantra, he wants to make sure that every member has access to the best resources and tools to achieve their goals. He sees to it that all of his spacious and sleek gyms boast a high trainer-to-member ratio and are jam-packed with weights, strength machines, and cardio equipment from industry-leading manufacturers.
All North's spacious and chic facilities offer a bevy of group classes that include kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, dance-based fitness sessions, and their signature 30-minute abs workouts.