Jessica, the mastermind behind Goddess Rising Fitness, began her fitness journey after losing her job of 11 years and deciding to try something new. She started Goddess Rising Fitness in 2010, when she rented studio space for an hour a week to teach a sexy chair-dancing class. Today, Jessica and her team of dance-trained instructors lead more than 15 weekly classes, which include high-energy Zumba classes, relaxing yoga, and strength-building “bombshell ballers” classes using stability balls. She offers Zumbatomic classes that get kids ages 4–12 dancing to age-appropriate tunes and working on age-appropriate long division problems. She also leads six-week boot-camp sessions that aim to help guests lose weight and build strength with functional exercises, weekly weigh-ins, and food journals.
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The instructors at Rumba Fitness pair Zumba's Latin-inspired dance steps with international music seven days a week. With a total of 17 classes, they range from no-frills dance-party workouts to Zumba Toning. The latter blends cardio and resistance exercises with lightweight, maraca-shaped hand weights to chisel muscles.
In lieu of weights, Zumba Sentao increases the challenge by incorporating a chair as a kind of dance partner that facilitate squats and never gets fresh like most other chairs. Rumba Fitness also features a kids' lounge, where children four or older can play while their parents dance.
Limbs are jiving, feet are stomping, and hips are swaying. That's dancing. It's also a great way to stay fit. At Dance Trance Deltona, instructors lead high-energy, exciting, upbeat dance fitness classes designed to be fun while burning calories. Classes feature fast-paced, high-cardio, and nonstop dancing. If it sounds intimidating, it's not. To make it accessible to all fitness levels, they offer a Dance Trance Breakdown class. That session slows the pace so that routines and dance moves are broken down and easy to learn.
The gym looks like equal parts Olympic training facility and old warehouse—here, exercisers hoist themselves up rows of pull-up bars, grunt around a collection of kettlebells, and hop through jump-rope routines. On a power-lifting platform, a lifter explodes from a squat, hoisting a plate-loaded bar up to his shoulders and then dropping under it to catch the weight over his head. Elsewhere, athletes do dips on gymnast rings and build a sweat on rowing machines.
This low-tech setting is typical of all true CrossFit gyms. Though the equipment may be basic, the results are not: CrossFit workouts develop all measures of physical fitness—from power to cardiovascular endurance—through workouts that are broad, general, and inclusive. This approach is often described as specializing in not specializing: it develops physical fitness in ways equally beneficial to everyone, from professional mixed martial artists and police officers to weekend softball players.
CrossFit gyms typically start clients in a foundational program where trainers teach the basic movements, such as the squat, dead lift, and pull-up. Every exercise is scalable to a version that clients can complete—a pull-up, for example, can be scaled back to a negative pull-up, a static hang, or body-weight row with gymnast rings. It can also be scaled to a more challenging version, such as the kipped pull-up. After students learn CrossFit's basic movements, they move on to open group classes, which follow the ever-changing WOD, or Workout of the Day. These workouts are short and intense, and they foster camaraderie through frequent team circuits. In addition to supervising WOD class, trainers coach members on nutrition, advocating a caveman-style diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as raptor meat.
At Good Vibration Yoga, a nurturing community of yogis learn to watch closely and see the world change in small increments, from trees sprouting new leaves to fellow students touching their toes for the first time. Here, seasoned instructors help their charges recognize these markers of progress, and celebrate them with movement and laughter. During Yoga From the Ground Up sessions, beginners learn to align their bodies into basic yogic poses and stretches. Ashtanga-yoga pupils summon sweat and build strength with athletic poses, while Yoga Flow students’ deep, focused breaths help them concentrate as they move from pose to pose with balance testing movements as graceful as a swan’s curtsy. In addition to hosting group classes, teachers provide one-on-one instruction to help students achieve specific goals, and organize community-building activities such as drumming workshops and movie nights. The warm scent of complimentary tea lures visitors into the studio’s boutique, where clothing and gifts help cultivate positive change with eco-friendly materials.