After absorbing core Pilates principles from Stott & Balanced Body, head instructor Fran gathered a crew of yoga, Pilates, and ACE–certified fitness masters to oversee the classes at Coreworks Fitness. Fran and her staff run two levels of mat classes, as well as two levels of reformer classes in a separate studio dedicated to the foundational apparatus. Students may also stretch their abilities on more advanced apparatuses, including the CoreAlign, which heightens the cardiovascular element of Pilates, as well as improves posture and balance. Coreworks Fitness is also an authorized Balanced Body University training center. The studio's academy equips aspiring instructors with pedagogical techniques and even extends its kinesthetic expertise to the performing arts, with body-aligning workshops for Irish dance instructors.
LA Boxing’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
The staff at Top Shape Fitness, led by principal trainer George Tyler, believes that expert guidance is key to workouts. To that end, the fitness center focuses entirely on personal-training sessions and group fitness classes. The company's freakishly strong roots lie in its signature cardio kickboxing class, known as GT Box. In these sessions, trainers blend kickboxing movements with dumbbell training, plyometrics, and other toning exercises. Elsewhere on the weekly schedule, Latin music plays during Zumba sessions, minds and bodies meld in yoga classes, and TRX suspension classes employ equipment developed by US Navy SEALs.
Let There Be Rock School disproves the cynical idiom, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach." with instructors who are working rock musicians. All of them are well-versed in performance and eager to coach young, aspiring stars. During weekly one-on-one lessons, they help students with their playing and stage presence, preparing them for the school's version of a recital: a concert at a local music venue.
Their mentorship is only one part of the curriculum, however. After being sorted into a band, students rehearse and jam with their teammates under the guidance of a band manager. When they aren't working on their songs, they retire to the Rock Lounge, where members can watch movies and study Pete Townshend's windmill technique in super slow-motion.
Kids can sign up for one of two Let There Be Rock School programs. The All Access Lesson Program is meant for beginning musicians, and familiarizes them with an instrument. More advanced students enroll in the VIP All Access Performance program, which focuses on music theory and includes band practice.
Though Synergy Pilates & Yoga has the spacious rooms, owner Charmaine Gordon keeps class-sizes small. This gives each participant focused attention from her team of trained instructors. Charmaine is a classically-trained Pilates instructor herself and has spent 20 years helping others stay fit, both at her Pilates and yoga studio, as well as at Synergy Women's Fitness, which she has owned and operated for 22 years with her husband, Rod.
Deemed the 2006 Small Business of the Year by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, The Colosseum Gym helps men and women to reach new health heights by using a smorgasbord of machines and free weights or enlisting the nutritional counseling and powerlifting tips of a professional. With more than 24 certified personal trainers on staff, the gym strives to toughen physiques of all exercise experience levels through arduous yet rewarding programs, such as strength-and-conditioning workouts that involve surprise 3 a.m. sprints across local lake surfaces. Additionally, a full-time physical therapist can target strained appendages with rehabilitative moves and heat packs. The Colosseum Gym bolsters its community as well as its members, hosting nonprofit initiatives that have benefited the Special Olympics, cystic fibrosis research, and the Howard County School System.