With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Sequestered from the fitness studio, cardio room, and kid center at St. Julian's Fitness, a quiet room plays host to massage therapy. Here, a duo of licensed massage therapists—Bethany Kovach and Ryan Debelak—improves muscle health with soothing hand movements. Both Bethany and Ryan possess the know-how to induce relaxation with gentle Swedish strokes, relieve chronic pain with firm deep-tissue kneads, and target areas of tension with a sports massage. However, Bethany alone practices Thai-yoga massage, which is performed on the floor without lotion, oil, or ranch dressing. Massage therapy is available without a gym membership, and guests are welcome to enjoy a 15-minute Jacuzzi session prior to each appointment.
Movementality Yoga & Wellness Studio's tranquil practice space plays host to a slew of classes ranging from yoga and tai chi to upbeat Zumba. The team of certified instructors at the studio share a belief in the link between physical movement and mental well-being, fostering an encouraging environment in which students can explore the limits of what their body can do. They lead classes through safe stretches and movements during Vinyasa, Easy Flow, or intermediate yoga courses, along with more upbeat Zumba classes.
• For $10, you get one month of tai chi classes (a $55 value). • For $10, you get one month of cardio fitness boot camp (a $55 value). With plant life, rock waterfalls, and Asian script art decorating its open hardwood-floored studio, Satori Martial Arts and its dedicated instructors provide mind- and body-builders with meditative and self-defense training. Twice a week, tai chi instructor and University of Toledo professor Dr. Chen demonstrates the basics of tai chi’s stress-melting mannerisms, offering solutions to stressful problems and bi-weekly crossword puzzles. Students can summon their inner enlightenment on Tuesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Advancing students are expected to devote 15 minutes a day towards practicing at home.
The fitness professionals at Transformate Fitness foster a supportive, community atmosphere by encouraging clients to motivate one another in group fitness classes. In physical disciplines that run the gamut from aerobics to weightlifting to martial-arts-based regimens, instructors promote peer interaction in an effort to bolster motivation and mutual accountability. The hope is that by recognizing that they are a necessary part not only of their own success but also of their classmates, patrons will build the determination to continue attending classes, resulting in slimmer waists, stronger limbs, and positive relationships with both instructors and other students.
Alongside instructor-led group classes, personal trainers tailor cardio and weight-training workouts to each individual, helping clients of any fitness level achieve optimal health. Additionally, in an effort to prove that there are easier ways to get a tan than replacing your bed with a pile of flashlights or letting the sun bear-hug you, the facility proffers custom airbrush spray-tanning services wielding organic-based Norvell products.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.