Few professionals can credit Flashdance with rerouting the course of their career. In fact, Richard Giorla could be the only one. The unconventional dance moves he saw in the film motivated the former Pennsylvania Ballet Company member to hit the streets of his new home, Manhattan, and learn breakdancing from dancers at the heart of the movement, trading his own dance expertise as payment. Richard’s career was in full swing when, struck with an injury, he started teaching a ballet-barre class. Though he appreciated its stretching and toning components, Richard craved a more aerobic workout. So he created his own solution—Cardio Barre. The unique workout consists of high-energy, zero-impact movements that sculpt the long, slender body of a dancer without a student ever having to step foot in a traditional dance studio. As they balance on the ballet barre, or whichever classmate is closest, pupils direct all their focus to one muscle group at a time, while the entire body stays in motion for maximum fat burning. His approach’s pudge-busting abilities have made the fitness method a favorite of many health magazines and celebrities Allyson and Rob Carrier have always dreamed of owning their own business— so when Allyson started taking Cardio Barre classes, Rob took note as he saw her body change and heard her talk about how great she felt because of the class. When they moved to Costa Mesa in 2010, they decided to bring Cardio Barre to Orange County with their own studio.
At The Training Zone, Sean Canova and Trevor Duncan have combined two decades of experience in the health and fitness industry to create functional exercise programs that even NFL cheerleaders find challenging. Canova has a background in mixed martial arts and previously ran his own personal training business, and Duncan?who holds a degree in sports training and certifications through CrossFit and the American College of Sports Medicine?spent 13 years as a personal trainer and post-physical-therapy conditioning trainer, helping patients heal at an outpatient physical-therapy clinic.
They keep class sizes small to give students maximum attention and motivation. During Fixed Gear stationary cycling classes, which are held in a modernist space with corrugated metal paneling, nightclub-like music plays as instructors lead spinners through high-energy workouts. Fast-paced Train 60 classes incorporate body-weight exercises such as pull-ups and squats, as well as boxing and kicking maneuvers. The training center's bright green walls provide a cheerful backdrop as overhead fans steal away rising body heat and reveal which guests are using inflatable dumbbells.
Studio founder Patrice Simon established the Bikram Yoga College of India "to nourish the soul as well as the body," a mission reflected in the studio's noncompetitive environment, highly trained instructors, and deliberately designed practice space. Each of the studio's certified instructors studied Bikram at the feet of the style's eponymous guru Bikram Choudhury, where they learned to master the athletic Bikram style, and to shepherd students of all skill levels through Bikram's 90-minute, unchanging 26-pose regimen. During each of the seated, lying, and standing poses, instructors assist students by supplying modifications to accommodate inexperience, injury, and pregnancy. Every posture methodically pushes oxygen-rich blood throughout the entire body, encouraging healthy organ function and building muscle tone. A pair of mindful breathing exercises helps students maintain focus amid the practice space's sultry temperatures of up to 105 degrees, a sweat-inducing environment that allows attendees to safely push each stretch further while perspiring away any toxins that fail the body's citizenship test.
Guided by a mission of embracing every student's quest for personal growth, the team at YogaWorks offers programs for all ages and walks of life. Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flow classes enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks.
Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it. Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
The instructors at Escape Pilates Studio boast a diverse range of skills and experiences⎯from playing collegiate water polo to earning degrees in kinesiology and biology⎯but all share an abiding passion and studied expertise in Pilates. They practice the method of Pilates developed by Joseph Pilates, which was designed to rehabilitate those suffering from spinal injuries. With these principles in mind, their courses present an achievable challenge for students of any fitness level, ranging from those recovering from an injury to robust athletes.
Escape Pilates's homey studio, which is characterized by plants, dark-wood accents, and ample sunlight, is chock-full of Pilates Reformer machines—a system of pulleys and weights designed to add resistance to workouts without straining the joints. Here, instructors lead small-group classes, semiprivate sessions with up to three students, and private sessions, for those who would like a dose of personal attention more concentrated than teatime with grandma.
Sheila Kelly S Factor New York's empowering fitness philosophy encourages women of all ages, shapes, and sizes to celebrate their bodies and express their femininity through invigorating pole-dancing classes. Hollywood actress, classically trained dancer, and S Factor founder Shelia Kelley began her career in sensual fitness while preparing for a movie role which required her to hone striptease and pole-dancing skills. Quickly recognizing the physical and emotional benefits of performing these slinky, strengthening movements, Kelley devised a routine that merged ballet, yoga, and Pilates with her new choreography and set out to share the workout with women across the country. In the process, Kelley and her pole-fitness technique have acquired celebrity students such as Eva Longoria, Amy Adams, and the flagpole outside Grand Central Station, as well as features in People magazine and Time Out New York.