Former college-football player Michael Reeves draws on his years of training and a degree in physical education as president of and a personal trainer at Top Form, a gym and field house. Whether training teams of young athletes or adults looking to get into shape, he blends his academic and practical experience to leave clients with a mental cache of exercises and routines. During personal-training sessions for individuals or groups, Reeves’ cadre of instructors uses muscle-isolating equipment such as stability balls, free weights, and medicine balls to shape cores or kick off impromptu games of dodge ball. On the artificial turf of an indoor field, athletes perform functional-movement drills while pulling weight sleds.
Reeves' wife and the gym’s vice president, Jen, leads mothers with newborns and toddlers through yoga-inspired workout classes. Little ones lie down or break dance on mats during the stretch and light-weight session as parents and progeny bond.
While E Studio Hot Yoga may never reach the size of General Electric—one of the companies for which owner Emily has led corporate fitness efforts—it's still an ambitious undertaking. A team of instructors leads the center's classes, which range from ballet-barre workouts set to upbeat music to power-yoga sessions held in a 90-degree studio. Like a crutch with a manufacturing error, the schedules at both the Clifton Park and Latham locations are flexible; classes take place seven days a week, with a variety of morning and evening classes held throughout the week.
The certified instructors at Hot Yoga Saratoga believe that heated exercise has more benefits than just boosting the body’s flexibility. For nearly 20 types of classes, they warm up their studios to help bodies heal injuries, release toxins, and thin the blood so it can flow more easily to tissues and organs. From silent Bikram sessions in 105-degree heat to yoga sculpt classes set to 90 degrees and upbeat music, the studio aims to have something for yogis of all ages and experience levels.
Joe Yoga's talented instructors promote flexibility and relaxation by guiding budding yogis through body-bending poses in a variety of classes. Classes typically last 90 minutes with shorter sessions available for beginners and mannequins who are just starting their stretching education. If you're new to yoga, this is a great chance to learn basic poses such as the downward dog, upward dog, and the omniscient narrator. Yoga stretches the muscles, relieving stiffness and pain. It also increases flexibility and strength as deep core muscles support each pose, improving range of motion, balance, and posture––all vital to moving up in the corporate world, seeing over the steering wheel, and slicing your morning bagel.
The Revolution celebrates the invention of the wheel with an indoor cycling studio and bike-centric classes. Hop aboard a Spinner bike and rage against immobility, burning up to 1,000 calories per expert-led session. Classes focus on five fitness principles: balance, strength, flexibility, endurance, and power to produce muscles so tight that fleets of quarters bounce off them and lodge into steel surfaces.
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.