UpDog Yoga Centers’ master instructors lead students of all skill levels through yoga, tai chi, and kung fu workouts. The studio’s robust, six-day schedule of classes includes Yoga 101, where instructors acquaint beginners with the foundational postures and secret yogi handshakes that prepare them for more challenging classes. Seasoned yogis gather for hot Vinyasa sessions, where intense heat helps bodies wring out toxins while students flow through a series of strengthening poses. During Yin yoga, students target connective tissues, ligaments, and tendons by holding deep stretches for up to five minutes at a time, or until the tyrannosaurus rex decides the classroom of yogis are nothing but unappetizing trees. Instructors in traditional tai chi classes help center spirits by demonstrating a peaceful practice of flowing movements; students in kung fu work to master precise moves for cardiovascular and self-defense benefits.
At Riviera Fitness Centers of Madison—a women-only fitness haven—patrons tackle Les Mills group fitness classes, strength and cardio equipment, and one-on-one personal training, all designed to make gals feel comfortable as they forge toward their fitness goals. The onsite childcare staff supervises tykes so moms can cartwheel off to classes such as BodyAttack and Zumba. During Zumba classes, the studio transforms into a club-like dance-party atmosphere, accented with colored lights and thumping Latin-inspired beats. The instructors lead the easy-to-follow dance steps on an elevated stage, allowing everyone to see the right moves instead of getting discouraged and reverting to the Hokey Pokey. Boot-camp sessions fuse cardio and resistance training to tone physiques as campers wield exercise equipment including kettlebells, barbells, and bosu balls.
In addition to getting fit during group training, ladies can seek one-on-one fitness advice during personal training sessions, which are tailored to suit their goals. Riviera Fitness Center also offers tanning, bronzing recently toned bodies for the beach or flexing in front of a mirror.
Firm Body Bootcamp blasts apart repetitive gym routines and packs the fissures with functional strength training and a blend of fun and no-nonsense equipment. During indoor and outdoor camps, clients may swing kettlebells to crank up triceps, wrestle with battle ropes, toss medicine balls, or use their own body weight to build muscle on suspension equipment. The 45-minute routines kick-start heart rates with cardio drills, and team-based exercises breed camaraderie among campers and ensure backup should the exercise equipment rise up against its masters. Because its maneuvers are fully modifiable, there's ample room at the fitness table for guests of every experience level, including those who have never set foot in a gym.
Supplementary dietary plans and progress-tracking tools collaborate to keep metabolism racing outside of class. To date, Firm Body Bootcamp has helped more than 13 individuals lose 100 pounds each, the weight equivalent of a compact car that refuses to exercise.
Beginning in 2001 as a small fitness operation in the basement of an office building, Pure Barre has since blossomed into a widely acclaimed, widely publicized approach to exercise with a nationwide following. Dancer, choreographer, and fitness buff Carrie Rezabek Dorr founded Pure Barre more than a decade ago in Birmingham, MI. Since then, Carrie has traveled around the country, hopping from gym to gym demonstrating the innovative program that draws techniques from ballet. Much like angering a witch with a penchant for frog spells, performing the Pure Barre technique can be a fast and effective way to transform your body. Motivating music slices through the 60-minute workouts, each of which utilizes a ballet barre and small isometric movements designed to burn fat and tone muscles.
At CrossFit Madison, co-owners Sara Longshore and MIchelle Simpson helm a team of certified coaches and experienced athletes. This team's goal? To get their clients in the sleekest, strongest physical shape of their lives.
Fortunately, they've found a powerful tool in CrossFit, a high-intensity workout program that challenges the mind and body with functional exercises. The workouts themselves change daily and may include plank holds, handstands, sprints, and sustained screaming. The secret?if you can call it that?lies in constantly varying the movements to keep muscles guessing. Workouts are always conducted in small groups so the instructors can tailor the exercises to each student's fitness level.
While yoga can certainly be transformational, it can also simply be fun. At Yoga Fire, the instructors believe that students should experience both at their yoga classes. The studio's classes are flow-based, and accommodating to all ability and experience levels. Restore yoga takes a gentle, therapeutic approach, helping students cool down and relax their minds. Flow yoga adopts a slightly faster pace and uses a combination of standing poses, core work, and weight-bearing exercise to boost strength and flexibility. The studio's most popular class, Ignite Yoga, relies on a heated room to enable deeper stretches and greater detoxification as students flow through through an athletic series of poses.