Doug Petschow founded Strength and Fitness Club as a complete haven of healthy living. The 19,000-quare-foot club does the basics right—each piece of equipment on the cardio platform features USB ports for charging an iPod or cell phone, cooling fans, and a flat-screen high-definition TV on which exercisers can catch their favorite shows or watch their kids playing in the Mini Muscles Daycare through a special channel. Lock-and-load selectorized equipment eliminates the need for pins, and a nine-piece circuit training area guides members through a full-body workout in half an hour. The staff stocks the free-weight area with dumbbells, plates, Hammer Strength equipment, and power racks, and there's also a separate, padded ab area set up with BOSU balls, mats, and other equipment. Four fitness studios host boot camps, yoga, spin, and other classes on the bustling group-class schedule, including mixed martial arts in a dedicated space. Meanwhile, personal trainers help members home in on specific goals, such as toning their muscles or lifting their entire teddy-bear collection into bed at once.
But Doug didn't stop there. He set up a juice bar where members could wash down turkey burgers with protein shakes after a hard workout. To help members look and feel even more fabulous, he set up a massage studio and tanning beds onsite. The staff keeps the locker rooms and neatly tiled showers sparkling, cleaning them twice a day.
The smooth roll of considered exhalations drifts up toward a high ceiling and into the garden waiting room at Yoga Flow. Though instructors there draw upon more than 25 years in business while leading classes, the floating bamboo floor and other improvements in the 25,000-square-foot center are the product of a recent renovation. Seven days a week, teachers lead yogis of all levels through classes that blend breathing exercises and hatha yoga poses. Yoga pupils settle into guided meditation, and Zumba courses let pulsing rhythms drive quick footwork beneath ebony pictographs on bamboo screens.
Fit for Life Fitness Center presents visitors with three levels of exercise options. The ground floor is home to free weights and strength equipment, while the second and third floors host Life Fitness cardio machines, including ellipticals, treadmills, steppers, and bikes, which can be used alone or with the help of a personal trainer.
There's also the mirror-walled class studio, where students work off calories with festive Zumba routines and the boxing drills of Punchout. Several classes focus on the core, from Pilates to Awesome Abs, whereas others, such as Total Body Conditioning, incorporate a full-body workout to address all major muscle groups. The class curriculum is diverse enough to accommodate two boot camps, "Rugged" and "Kick Start." Rugged improves functional strength with varied weight exercises, and Kick Start combines those intervals with the fast-paced jabs, kicks, and angry cabaret lines of kickboxing. Other amenities—a protein shake bar and a supervised childcare room—add convenience to workout sessions.
At Gold Medal Fitness, positive energy does as much work as anyone's muscles to propel group classes. These courses cover the grounded poses of Power Yoga, the barbell lifts of BodyPump, and the festive spins of Zumba with more than 50 sessions per week. Cyclists can even choose between 45-minute spin classes and the more vigorous rides of super spin, which increase the challenge by adding an extra 15 minutes and asking your parents to stop putting a stabilizing hand on your back. Regardless of the discipline, however, instructors motivate their students by carefully balancing the room's camaraderie with a honed focus on every individual.
This personal approach typifies the gym as a whole, where the staff strive to memorize each member's name as they arrange workouts for all fitness levels. A nationally accredited team of personal trainers draws on specialties from boxing to Pilates to back rehabilitation, pushing their clients toward coveted milestones. On the gym floor, an assortment of machinery and free weights, as well as a designated stretching area, bespeaks the same regard for diverse goals—visitors can complete a round of resistance work on the FreeMotion circuit equipment, toss a medicine ball to a partner, or step onto a StairMaster. Other amenities include a childcare station, athletic speed school, HydroMassage, and a juice bar.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
The certified personal trainers at Flo Fitness want to make fitness fun, effective, and positive for their clients. Offering personal and group training sessions at their functional gym, they help clients achieve tangible results, be they weight loss, improved strength, or simply better health. In combination with nutritional coaching, gym goers at Flo Fitness learn to to get and stay fit in a supportive and encouraging environment.
Sweat removes toxins from the body. Fevers burn away unwelcome invaders. Heat allows muscles to extend and contract further. Heat can be healthy, a lesson Bikram Choudhury embraced when he moved his yogic practice into a 105-degree room, 2 degrees hotter than the average temperature inside a yak. The idea caught on, spreading around the world and eventually coming to Bikram Yoga Westfield in the form of Bikram-certified teachers. They lead Choudhury's classic series of 26 asanas and two breathing exercises, a 90-minute session of stretching in which each pose builds upon the benefits of the last. In addition to their signature heated yoga, the staff members also facilitate wellness with massage services, holistic nutritional counseling, and even CrossFit coaching through their sister organization, CrossFit Westfield.