Recognizing the interdependence of fitness and martial arts, Thump Fight Gym & Fitness Center married the two, inspiring patrons of all ability levels to hone their combat skills while making strides toward an overall healthier lifestyle. The trainers and certified exercise physiologists lead martial-arts classes including boxing, muay thai, and jujitsu, challenging fighters to face off in the regulation-size boxing ring or the half cage—which has proven inadequate for housing feral exercise bikes. During each class, students burn calories and learn practical and potentially lifesaving self-defense skills. To supplement the combat training, the instructors also lead yoga and Pilates classes, spinning, kettlebell training, and CrossFit classes. The gym also accommodates solo workout routines with a weight-training zone and functional fitness equipment such as oversize tires and climbing ropes.
On the surface, Susan Hilferty appeared to be living the American dream—a promising position as a pharmaceutical rep, plus an upcoming marriage. But for a woman who grew up studying at The School of American Ballet and dancing on stages including Lincoln Center, selling pills felt empty at times, and Hilferty found her need for physical expression growing stronger. While visiting a friend in Los Angeles, she took her first pole-dancing class, and almost immediately, her life took a new direction.
Though she faced resistance from friends and family, Hilferty saw in her classes how pole dancing transformed women—giving them new confidence, encouraging them to overcome insecurities, and helping them heal from past traumas. She called off her wedding, continued taking classes, and eventually opened Pole Fitness Miami. Today, she and her team of trained ballerinas lead pole-dancing and dance-based fitness classes at two locations. Ranked on CBS Local Miami's list of Best Places For Unique Workouts, the boutique surrounds saunterers with purple walls, subdued lighting, and gauzy curtains to create a sultry atmosphere. Additionally, Hilferty and her crew help students obtain pole-dance certifications, as well as arrange pole-dance parties so groups of damsels can strengthen their bonds or celebrate becoming volunteer firefighters.
Dona Piza left her life as a New York stockbroker behind when she turned to yoga to rehab herself from a terrible car accident. On the first of the new millennium, she opened Prana Yoga in Miami, eager to impart the healing powers of the art to an area where yoga studios were a rare species. She says that the most fulfilling aspect of her job is observing how yoga transforms students mentally and physically, as was the case with a dear friend with cerebral palsy who—through regular practice of yoga—gained the ability to walk.
At her studio, she schedules more than 70 90-minute yoga classes per week for students of all skill levels, whether they are working through injuries or honing their practice. Inside the four spacious rooms, drenched in soft lavender hues, she and her experienced instructors lead a variety of yoga styles, mainly based in the Iyengar tradition, which focuses on achieving proper body alignment with the aid of props. They also lead serenity-enhancing meditation classes, vigorous core yoga, and relaxing candlelit sessions, which help students melt away the stresses of the day. During kids' classes, instructors teach yogis aged 4–9 basic poses using animal imagery and sounds, giving parents time to attend their own yoga classes or to secretly eat dessert before even making dinner.
Rina Jakubowicz has played the roles of yogi, author, and motivational speaker, leading to media appearances on Spanish television and the Discovery Channel Latin America, as well as in the Miami Herald. At Rina Yoga, she leads an expert team of extensively trained yoga instructors, who tap their expertise in a variety of yoga modalities to guide students toward holistic well-being in a noncompetitive environment. Each location's seven-day schedule accommodates pupils of all skill levels with sessions including beginner-friendly hatha classes, power yoga, traditional Vinyasa, and dharma yoga, which fuses poses old and new to focus on relaxation and meditation. The studio also conducts frequent events and meditation retreats that use chanting and sympathetic whispers to soothe wild spirit horses. Rina’s Book, Choose Peace, is also a large part of the studio’s curriculum and appears during seminar discussions that cover healthy lifestyle choices and a 15-step guide toward peaceful transformation.
With a diverse range of fitness backgrounds and specializations—from injury rehabilitation and prevention to martial-arts training—Metropolis Fitness & Spa’s staff of 15 instructors ensures a helpful match for nearly every client. The team leads more than 70 group fitness classes per week, including familiar favorites, such as yoga, Zumba, and spinning, and a few of their own inventions, including Video Dance Jam, which pushes exercises through fast-paced choreography. The ballet and jump-rope classes for kids help wee ones burn off extra energy without requiring you to construct a giant hamster wheel in your home.
In the main studio, a slew of cardio machines with built-in TVs and weight-training equipment awaits members, in addition to a room stocked with dangling punching bags and TRX bands. To recover from sweat sessions, guests can fuel up with healthful drinks and snacks at the juice bar.
At some point during Elite U’s signature X-Training classes, an exerciser probably wishes they could spread out across the facility’s turf-green floor to rest their aching body. The intense 60-minute workout consists of various functional and unconventional movements such as pushing a weight sled, climbing a rope, springing into the air holding a kettlebell, and pounding a tire with a sledgehammer to get to its candy center. The class is one of a handful of group classes offered at the center, along with MMA cardio and sport-specific training.