When Jon Hinds was designing Monkey Bar Gym, he drew inspiration from the playground to create a unique type of exercise that focuses on full-body workouts. The fitness regimen at the gym combines six simple skills learned as a child: running, jumping, crawling, climbing, rolling, and reacting. Jon Hinds and the certified trainers at Monkey Bar Gym have combined these principles into a high-intensity routine that was featured on Fox 6 news and in fitness publications such as Men’s Fitness magazine. “The workouts are intense, but you won’t see any training partners screaming their buddies through forced reps here,” says a reporter from Muscle & Fitness who visited the gym. “The challenges come in making the exercises as efficient as possible and constantly working to a higher level of skill and movement.”
At MBG Cypress, the air-conditioned fitness studio resembles a warehouse, and a set of monkey bars looms in the center of the room. Owner and instructor Leslie Niermeyer helms the classes, walking students through boot-camp, yoga, and strength classes that focus on movements people make every day. Moves vary, but students can often be found doing pushups, pull-ups, resistance-band training, heavy-rope training, and gymnastics-inspired moves on hanging ropes.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into the tanning booth or HydroMassage booth available 24 hours a day, which are exclusive to this location.
Handicap Accessible: No
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular service: Fitness facility
Brands Used: Precor equipment, Pura spray tan, HydroMassage
Koko FitClub’s digital keys unlock personalized strength-training regimens tailored to each guest’s abilities and goals. Each user receives a small, USB-like device that stores personal fitness data, which is extracted during an initial fitness consultation. During each workout, guests plug their keys into the host of strength-training and cardio equipment. Based on the key’s data, the machines display the user’s ideal strength-training and resistance level or number of reps for each session—and even rate how they’re performing. The system adapts routines as members work toward their goals, offering them the intelligence of a personal trainer without the costly fees or hassle of matching schedules. Online tracking further digitizes training, allowing users to see their progress on their home computers, in the very same browser where they’ll soon order smaller clown suits.
At CrossFit Ruffian, the workout space isn't packed with cardio machines and complex weightlifting equipment. Instead, coaches stick to the basics of CrossFit, motivating students to build strength and endurance through sprinting, jump roping, pull-ups, and gymnastic ring work.
CrossFit Ruffian's come a long way since it got its start by hosting boot-camp sessions in a parking lot two years ago. Since then, the gym has grown so fast that its owners have had to retool a garage to host all of their CrossFit classes, which means they'll have to retool a gym to hold all of their cars. The intimate space limits classes to 10 students and helps ensure that the staff can provide each participant with individualized attention and personalized training tips.
With more than 16 years and 18,000 hours of personal-training experience under his belt, Coach Ryan helps his clients exceed their personal fitness goals with positive motivation and a deep insight into the science of fitness. The seasoned coach guides students through intense, effective MetCon metabolic-conditioning workouts, which trade treadmills and sit-down weight machines for whole-body workouts of rest-free lifting, lunging, and aerobic exercise. During personal-training sessions, Ryan helps trainees build lean muscle and healthy exercise routines, while sport-specific training assists tennis, football, baseball, and basketball players in avoiding injury and boosting performance.
Morning and evening, BIOfit Bootcamp's trainers meet with students in parks, patches of grass, and parking lots to do battle with gravity. They lead students through intense outdoor workouts, which incinerate calories without taking too much time out of everyone's busy day. They also bring a splash pad to each session to provide a bit of watery fun for kids who accompany their parents or salmon who get terribly lost on their way to spawn. Even though each participant joins for their own reasons, the trainers try hard to build a sense of community—even offering incentives for current members to bring their friends along to try out the classes.