As a Zumba instructor, Diana Blandon saw how much people enjoyed burning calories while swiveling their hips to the Latin-inspired beats, so she decided to open her own Zumba studio. She recruited a team of certified instructors and decked the studio walls in yellow and purple to complement the high-energy classes.
Less than a year later, her studio's grown faster than she ever thought it would. "I'm actually looking for something bigger," she says. "Every [class], I'm getting more people."
Diana attributes the overwhelmingly positive response to a few factors. As patrons attend classes, they can rest assured their wee ones are safely frolicking with free childcare. Kids can watch movies, play games, or use the WiFi to work on homework assignments or download longer and more boring homework assignments. And then there's the workout itself: "It's a fun way to burn calories," Diana says.
In addition to adult classes, Diana hosts kids Zumbatomic classes, leading wee ones in games, dancing, and exciting exercises—welcoming their parents to join in and then stay for the adult class afterward. Her instructors also offer a weekly yoga class and dance lessons in Latin styles such as salsa and merengue.
Fit Boot Camp's team of certified trainers and CrossFit coaches lead students through motivational fitness adventures featured in New Jersey Life. Each 45-minute workout incorporates plenty of personal attention and modifiable exercises to prepare the body for everyday physical challenges such as hoisting groceries and moving the refrigerator from room to room. Bucking traditional gym exercises, engaging workouts such as tire dragging, tire flipping, rope climbing, and sledgehammer swinging help shed weight, tone arms, tighten torsos, and strengthen sinews. Plyometrics such as box jumps cultivate power and speed, saving people the hassle of having to simulate those qualities with foam barbells and strobe lights.
In addition to teaching youths and adults to punch and kick properly, Rockaway Fight Center imparts self-discipline, self-confidence, and self-respect. Instructors specialize in Israeli combat tactics including knife fighting, ground survival, and HaganaH, a full-contact form of self-defense that incorporates krav maga and hisardut. The center also offers combat fitness classes, which condition bodies using HaganaH fighting techniques, as well as Zumba classes, which eschew combat in favor of pure calorie burning. For an East Asian approach, the center’s Brazilian jiu jitsu lessons teach students to overpower a larger attacker or a declawed grizzle bear using chokes and holds, while taekwondo classes focus primarily on striking and thrusting with kicks and punches.
Fitness Factory's three North Jersey locations each have their own distinctive features, but they share at least one common trait: a dedication to help clients achieve personal wellness. Each staff of trainers offers personal training sessions and also leads group classes that range from fast-paced Zumba and boot camp to more mellow yoga classes conducted by sloths. To further accommodate clients, the fitness clubs offer a smoothie bar, sauna, and babysitting services.
More than 20 years into a career in the fitness industry, RDA owner Rob knows he's in the right field. His passion for helping people realize their full potential is actually why he founded the center. "Allow us," he asks on his website, "to be part of your journey toward a healthier, happier life." A community- and family-oriented gym, RDA is where group fitness and independent workouts are equal partners in success. Free morning childcare services don't hurt, either.
The facility is stocked with everything to help exercisers reach their goals, including treadmills that face floor-to-ceiling windows and certified trainers who help lead the way in 15- or 30-minute sessions. Spacious studios also host a packed schedule of mostly 60-minute classes that help participants get fit and still have enough time to name each of their new ab muscles.
Best friends Jessica Kucinski and Michelle Minster took inspiration from others in creating their ladies-only, classes-only fitness studio. They present more than 10 classes, such as Skinny Sculpt, belly dancing, Zumba, Interval Blast, and different types of yoga. For a more individual-focused experience, Jessica leads personal training.
Though they didn't always run their own fitness studio—since always would encapsulate the 16th century, in which neither of them were interested in paying the king's 100% tax rate levied on all fitness studios—Jessica and Michelle have always loved working out. One night, however, over glasses of pinot noir, they realized they were only going to the gym in order to attend classes. They agreed that classes made fitness fun, and that other women inspired them. At the time, Michelle was crisscrossing the skies as an airline employee. Jessica was working in sales, though in 2009, the day after completing her very first marathon, she had established the Montville Adventure Boot Camp for Women. An avid runner, Michelle was eager to land her sneakers back on earth. Thus was born Little Black Dress Fitness Studio.
Large, rough-hewn stones border its waiting area, and purple mats fleck the class area's airy, spacious layout. Though there aren't any onsite showers, the staff offers towel service and complimentary coffee and tea.