In 2003, two fitness-industry veterans, both tired of gyms' reputations as exclusive and elitist establishments, decided to start Fitness 19, a series of gyms dedicated to cultivating a friendly and convenient environment for families to work out in. Needless to say, they experienced meteoric growth—a Fitness 19 logo now hangs above the gym doors of numerous locations spread across 26 states. The gym's owners invest entirely in equipment, outfitting each location with dozens of treadmills, free weights, and resistance-training machines. They also ensure every location has a kids' playroom with games appropriate for the youngest tykes, as well as TVs and DVD players so that tots can watch their favorite shows, such as Thomas the Tank Engine's Total Body Workout.
Garnering accolades from numerous athletic associations and websites, Life Time Fitness’s area locations offer various multi-use sports arenas, fitness centers, family recreation areas, and spas for gym-goers of all sorts. Basketball courts, volleyball nets, and racquetball matrices provide tangible barriers to determine out-of-bounds abuses, while audible battle cries on the indoor climbing wall and poolside water slide release workday tension. Calorie burning and muscle building options abound with Life Time Fitness’s impressive array of cardio machines, free weights, and resistance training equipment. Night owls and sleep-swimmers alike will appreciate Life Time Fitness’s 24/7 open door policy. Complimentary lockers and towels sweeten the experience with storage space for your keys and a new patch for your perspiration quilt. Post-work out, relax in the sauna or get pampered at the LifeSpa & Salon.
At their old gym, founders Dave Chisholm and Jim Dockeray sometimes intimidated fellow members who were unaccustomed to the duo’s intense, committed workouts. So the well-chiseled compadres decided to open 586 CrossFit Asylum, a challenging yet encouraging environment for hardcore, functional-movement-based exercises. Dave and Jim take students of all fitness levels under their muscly wings, teaching newcomers Olympic weight movements that form the basis of subsequent intensive workouts.
After protégés display a competence in squat, press, and deadlifts, they jump into the fun and furious WOD—or Workout of the Day—which blends body resistance with kettlebells, box jumps, and gymnast rings. Classes convene as early as 5:30 a.m. and promote enthusiasm and inspirational competition between members. With a wall-length spray-paint mural of their straight-jacketed mascot, 586 CrossFit Asylum harbors an alternative vibe, and its instructors sometimes pause workouts on Fridays to reenact scenes from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
Motor City CrossFit's certified trainers coach saplings 5–13 years old during 45-minute fitness classes, customizing age-appropriate workouts designed to strengthen and condition youthful edifices. One of the seasoned staffers closely supervises varied exercises, which are each formulated as fun activities, for safe and efficient workouts. In addition to buttressing their pintsize biceps, kids will also hone their problem-solving skills as they strategize to achieve the best results while completing exercises such as lifting tractor tires, pushing vehicles, and bench pressing tricky algebra problems.
While almost everything else that is five millennia old has fossilized, the ancient practice of yoga remains relevant. At The Yoga Studio of Shelby, teachers with a minimum of 200 training hours teach students the age-old art, which builds strength, enhances flexibility, and aids with stress management. The studio’s classes range from hot Vinyasa, which is a flowing style taught in an 85-degree room, to Hatha, where meditations help to clear students’ minds without making them forget their Social Security numbers. Expectant mothers can stretch with low-impact poses in prenatal-yoga classes. Studio workshops on partner yoga, meditation, and other specialty topics round out the schedule.
At Fit Zone for Women, ladies workout in a friendly, supportive atmosphere highlighted by natural light and a bright color scheme of purple and light pink. Upbeat music plays as members bounce from treadmills and elliptical machines to free weights and pin-select weight equipment. And to keep exercisers in the cardio area distracted from the burn, the gym boasts large screen TVs airing popular TV shows and videos of woodland creatures practicing yoga. The gym eschews the presence of sweaty and grunting power-lifters for the mindfulness of Pilates, yoga, and women’s self-defense classes. Members can even grab a paperback from the gym’s book nook before starting their workout to include their brain in their full-body workout, and lock up their belongings in the spacious locker room with private changing areas.