Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
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.
World Gym maintains its 25-year legacy of body-sculpting know-how at its West Babylon location, jump-starting workout routines with cardio equipment, free weights, and an expert staff of personal trainers. After running, jumping, lifting, or stretching, exercisers can linger at the smoothie bar to slurp up chilled energy before retiring to the locker rooms and hitting the showers. Beyond the fitness equipment, members can make use of the gym's other amenities, including tanning services and chiropractors who wrestle tension out of knotted muscles.
The instructors at Yoga Darshana Center believe that yoga is more than a series of stretches and breathing—it's a peaceful mindset and a unity of mind, body, and spirit that exists both on and off the yoga mat. For the past 11 years, the not-for-profit center has been helping students of all ages, abilities, and beliefs to reach this inner peace through yoga classes, retreats, and community activities. During these sessions, they teach students to stretch muscles, tone up their bodies, and develop deeper bodily awareness so they can hear their spleens’ innermost thoughts. They further unite their community by hosting inspirational movies, lectures, and healing circles to help students mend and reenergize from the inside out. For students who would like to start on a path to yoga instruction, Yoga Darshana Center's dedicated yogis also run a 200- and 500-hour teacher-training program. The training program is geared toward teaching not only the postures of yoga, but also the tradition and spiritual, philosophical background of the process.
Woodway treadmills whirr and weight machines clank 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Though staffed while sun's up, the fitness center is accessible via members' key cards at night, giving gym-goers ample opportunity to incinerate calories and tone muscles on a full range of Cybex equipment or pass off their tears as sweat while watching Homeward Bound in the cardio theater. Workouts are supplemented with private sessions led by certified personal trainers, online nutritional resources, and onsite tanning booths that gold-plate freshly toned frames.