When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. Adele Fridman, founder of MetaBody, created a real-life version of that ticket with her MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
For seven consecutive years, Annapolis Athletic Club has earned What's Up? Annapolis magazine's award for Best Annapolis Gym, and a quick walk around the 20,000-square-foot fitness club is enough to see why. Welcoming grunts emanate from workout rooms as first-time visitors make their way along rows of strength and cardio equipment, through stylish specialty fitness studios, and into a full-service dressing room complete with a sauna and steam room.
When they aren?t working with clients in one-on-one personal training sessions, the gym?s experienced instructors fill their schedules with more than 60 group-fitness classes a week. After particularly grueling workouts, certified massage therapists ease sore muscles with various modalities of therapeutic and restorative massage. A staff of health coaches hand out nutritional advice during private consultations, which parents can attend after sending their kids off to an interactive childcare center complete with fun crafts and video games with weighted, barbell-shaped controllers.
Kicked Up Fitness isn't just some run-of-the-mill gym where people come to put in a few listless hours on a treadmill. Instead, the center's trainers challenge their students with the same intense workout techniques used by special ops forces, champion martial artists, and athletes of every stripe. Many of these lessons emerge during boxing and kickboxing classes, which find students pummeling heavy bags before testing their newfound talents during sparring sessions in an actual boxing ring. Kicked Up Fitness hosts non-combat classes as well, boosting total-body tone with power yoga sessions or increasing endurance with suspension training.
Jing Ying literally translates to "best of the best," a term befitting of both the teachers at Jing Ying Institute of Kung Fu & Tai Chi, and the students who learn from them. A team of seasoned black-sash instructors?many of whom have competed in national championships?helm progressive programs that help trainees hone strength and flexibility as they learn self-discipline. The schedule offers more than two-dozen classes each week, and includes training in classical and contemporary forms, sparring, and weapons. Age-appropriate kung fu classes, for instance, introduce the graceful throws and takedowns that enable students to use their opponents' own force against them. Contemporary wushu classes then build on that training by introducing acrobatic strikes and other movements. Therapeutic tai chi, women's shaolin fitness, and private personal training sessions round out the class roster.
Jing Ying also gives its students ample space to train. Housed inside a former boat-building facility, the more-than 6,000 square-foot space features three mirror-walled training areas equipped with padded or wood floors or quicksand, as well as private changing rooms and an array of fitness gear including heavy bags and pull-up bars.
It may sound like an oxymoron, but sometimes it's possible to find inner peace through intense activity. At least, that's what Temple Boxing aims to help its students achieve. Here, trainers create an environment completely free of outside distractions, including judges who only use the ring to discard their peanut shells. Such a focused atmosphere enables exercisers to zero in on their workouts and the targets in front of them, specifically during boxing classes. Punchers of all levels can build up their boxing techniques and improve their strength and conditioning.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap for each company, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.