Though Body FX boasts all the amenities found in larger gyms—such as cardio machines, strength-training equipment, workout studios, and a carrot tied to a stick—its staff of certified fitness professionals is the thing that sets it apart. Trainers collectively flaunt certifications in Zumba, TRX suspension training, and speed training. The trainers meet with each client individually to develop an exercise and nutrition program that best suits his or her fitness goals. Within large, airy studios, instructors lead personal-training sessions and boot camps to sculpt silhouettes quickly, as well as aerobic classes such as Zumba, Body Sculpt, and TRX suspension training.
From a season as a professional ballplayer in Marina di Ravenna, Italy, to a position as spring-training consultant for the New York Yankees, Coach Frank Dolan has seen, trained in, and taught conditioning techniques around the globe. As his professional baseball days metamorphosed into a career in sports performance, he decided that students—kids and adults—needed access to the same techniques that professional athletes were using to hone their bodies. So, with the aid of his father, Coach Dolan opened All 4 Sports and Fitness to reach a broader audience. Now, students of all stripes come to the 3,000-square-foot Sports and Fitness Performance center to get in shape or learn the sport they love, selecting the program that best suits their needs from the multitudinous course offerings. Apart from training in football, lacrosse, and snowboarding, the Coach also teaches high-performance fitness boot camps, readily squeezed into the busy schedules of adults or used to help teenagers clarify their contentious relationship with footwear.
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.
Climbing in the Himalayas is less than an optimal time to have a medical emergency. But in 2000, Angela Strynkowski suffered a life-threatening seizure while 17,000 feet above sea level. Surviving this ordeal gave her a newfound purpose in life, eventually inspiring her to open A Jewel in the Lotus in the hope of bringing others onto their own paths of self-discovery.
At A Jewel in the Lotus, whose name comes from a mantra she picked up during that Himalayan trip, Strynkowski carries out her mission by teaching such styles as Vinyasa and classical yoga. She also leads holistically minded events and workshops and trains aspiring yoga teachers. She even has led groups out of town to seek inner peace during yoga-focused retreats.
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.
As history would tell it, karate has its roots in 5th century China, when a monk brought both Buddhism and martial arts training to the country. The art's first public demonstration in Japan, though, wasn't until 1917, when a group of martial artists captured the Japanese peoples' imaginations with their athleticism and skill. The Okinawan martial art quickly became a staple of Japanese culture, and branched out through the world. George Santiago, one of the most recent in a lineage of masters of the art, teaches an evolution of that same karate today at Bushido Karate Dojo, Inc.
He and his fellow teachers hold classes for both adults and kids, with training starting as young as three years old. They instill in their students not only martial skill, but a deep sense of respect and duty toward themselves and others, regardless of rank.