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 to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
"Pain is weakness leaving the body" may be mantra at Mean Genes Fitness, but founder Chris and his fellow trainers just want to help people feel their best. In the boxing rings and spacious studios of the Fighting Arts Emporium, the training team guides kickboxing classes, boot camp sessions, and the fitness outfit's signature workout. Though most of the students are novices, Chris himself has an extensive martial arts background, having studied a wide range of martial arts since his teens rather than being raised by a pack of karate uniforms.
Sweat Factory CrossFit's trainers expect hard work of their exercisers, but for good reason. Their CrossFit workouts change every day, which means muscles never become complacent and stop changing. CrossFit's blend of conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting, and throwing helps clients power right through weight-loss plateaus.
Foxy Fitness Studio & Pole specializes in group fitness classes for all levels of experience with a flirty twist. The course names?such as Foxy Boxing, Chair Fit, and Sexy Conditioning?speak to the venue's playful atmosphere, which is as supportive as it is sultry: instructors welcome women of all experience levels to tone their muscles and let loose. In addition to fitness classes, they lead gravity-defying pole-dance and aerial silk sessions. Complete beginners can sign up for an introductory pole-dancing class, which covers basic spins and floor-work. From there, students progress to building their own routines, practicing inversions, and bending the pole at a right angle for truly impressive moves.
A five-time American Taekwondo Association World Champion, chief master Von Schmeling, began Victory Martial Arts to teach pupils confidence and leadership skills while imparting martial-arts techniques. Classes capped at 30 students, with at most 10 students per instructor, cover disciplines such as general martial arts, krav maga, and self-defense for thwarting assailants and heavily armed spiders. Budding martial artists hone their craft alongside loved ones in family sessions or practice maneuvers in age-specific sequences for kids, teens, or adults.
A tough upbringing didn't stop Lincoln Wallace from achieving a happy, successful life. Now a seventh-degree black belt in karate, Lincoln opened Wallace Fitness to help others reach their fitness goals, and he wrote a book intended to inspire others to stay positive and achieve their own ambitions even when the cards seem stacked against them.
At Wallace Fitness, Lincoln Wallace and wife Siné, who is also a black belt, lead pulse-pumping personal training, self-defense, and strength-training sessions. Classes and personal-training sessions employ kickboxing workouts, TRX suspension cables, and interval training to spark the metabolism, burn fat, and build lean muscle mass.