Fitworks is home to a dedicated cadre of certified muscle architects who guide eager physiques through intense, small group workouts. Peruse the schedule before sampling a tension-undoing yoga class or a weekend-morning muscle-pump session, ideal for prepping for an underwater bench-press that will determine the office's next round of promotions. One-hour Zumba classes harness the rhythmic power of merengue, conga, belly dancing, and more to kill calories while resuscitating sleepy toes. After classes, students can freshen up or flex unused singing muscles in Fitworks' shower facilities.
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.
While running a Stroller Strides exercise program for new moms, personal trainer Candice Peters found her calling. As she said during an interview with Cincy Chic, she wanted to recapture "the energy of women…[in] a non-intimidating and non-judgmental environment." To that end, she opened Hyde Park Body Boutique, where she ushers ladies of all ages and body types toward their fitness goals. She emphasizes no-frills functional fitness with TRX suspension gear and a distinct lack of fancy machines—the studio only stocks treadmills and elliptical machines that drop their "g"s and prefer bagels to crumpets.
Because of this stripped-down aesthetic, the studio leaves room for the sun to dapple the hardwood floors as Candice pilots weight-loss regimens, postnatal workouts, and sports-centric routines alike. During group classes, which include boot camp, TRX, and kettlebells, she continues to embody the accepting attitude that led to her studio's creation, encouraging students to set their own pace.
Sunlight pours onto the hardwood floors and exposed brick walls of BeneFit Studio, creating a serene backdrop for a diverse range of wellness services. Cardio and strength-training equipment speckle the studio, challenging trainees as they work their way through personal-training, boot-camp, and yoga sessions. Just beyond the training rooms, soft white curtains shroud the salon and Aveda spa, where guests perch upon cushy chairs as aestheticians dole out cuts, colors, and manicures, as well as facials and professional BEAM spray tans. Massage therapists also revitalize clients with Swedish and sports massages. And for ongoing wellness, a staff nutritionist crafts custom meal plans based on the goals and shadow heights of individual clients.
The instructors at Pendleton Pilates’ four locations teach 125 classes each week, showing students how to elongate and strengthen their muscles on mats, inflatable exercise balls, and the studio’s reformer machines. During each group or private session, instructors customize workouts that use a rotating selection of 500 core-focused movements developed by Joseph Pilates in 1945. Additional classes include sessions in which students use parallel ballet barres while performing Pilates exercises, as well as spinning classes at the Westchester location.
Eastside Wellness Connections’ studios offer a range of core-strengthening workouts. Stationary bikes form rows inside one room for spinning classes led by a certified instructor. Laminate floors provide the stomping grounds for yoga classes, where students on mats bend, twist, and somersault their way into a series of poses. And Pilates students use mats and reformer machines to build long, lean muscles.