Co-owners Adam Roper and Erik Cummings didn't always sport the healthy bodies they do now, but through years of dedicated practice and, eventually, Bikram certifications, Adam lost 35 pounds and Erik addressed a shoulder injury caused by a previous bike accident. Today, the two yogis share their passion for the heated practice with the help of a team of fellow certified instructors and Bikram Yoga Harlem's unofficial mascot, a pint-sized dachshund named Sebastian Kumquat. The studio welcomes practitioners of all experience levels, with Bikram's series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises catering to even the rustiest of tin men. Balmy temperatures around the 100-degree mark warm the muscles, helping students achieve deeper twists, binds, and bends, and encouraging the body to expel harmful toxins and clingy droplets of T-1000.
The bold red and black hues of CKO-Edgewater's fitness facility inspire intensity in exercisers pummel hanging heavy bags with kicks and punches. In each class, students burn calories and tone physiques under the tutelage of an enthusiastic instructor and their sidekick, an actual side kick. Or, students can work with staff one-on-one in 30-, 45-, or 60-minute personal training sessions that can incorporate weight training as well as kickboxing techniques.
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.