In a story by Patch reporter Elizabeth Janney, owner David Sturman described Elkridge Athletic Club as "a friendly gym," stating that “no matter what your fitness level is or what your shape is, you feel comfortable here." The welcoming environment—together with high-energy classes and cutting-edge equipment—may be why voters named the health club as the best local gym in an Elkridge Patch poll.
Each initiation-fee-free, month-to-month membership includes access to the sauna and hot tub along with unlimited group classes. Guests dance to straightforward moves set to Latin beats in Zumba workouts, and combine cardio and mind-body techniques in Hour of Power classes. Members also receive a complimentary personal-training session to design a customized fitness plan or learn to make a black leather purse that looks just like a kettlebell.
Owner Anita Ammon’s disinterest in logging jogging hours on the treadmill led her to develop Xpose’s approach to keeping fitness fun. The class schedule offers 50-minute sessions organized into varying degrees of difficulty by the cheerful staff. Beginner sessions prep strengthening, walking, and transitional moves while advanced offerings focus on climbing, inverted moves, intricate spins, and introductory astrophysics. Choose the classes that are right for you, and then call ahead to make a reservation. Both pole and chair classes employ natural movements to increase flexibility, improve cardiovascular fitness, and produce long, lean muscles while maintaining a fun environment.
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 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.
Though Synergy Pilates & Yoga has the spacious rooms, owner Charmaine Gordon keeps class-sizes small. This gives each participant focused attention from her team of trained instructors. Charmaine is a classically-trained Pilates instructor herself and has spent 20 years helping others stay fit, both at her Pilates and yoga studio, as well as at Synergy Women's Fitness, which she has owned and operated for 22 years with her husband, Rod.
The staff at Top Shape Fitness, led by principal trainer George Tyler, believes that expert guidance is key to workouts. To that end, the fitness center focuses entirely on personal-training sessions and group fitness classes. The company's freakishly strong roots lie in its signature cardio kickboxing class, known as GT Box. In these sessions, trainers blend kickboxing movements with dumbbell training, plyometrics, and other toning exercises. Elsewhere on the weekly schedule, Latin music plays during Zumba sessions, minds and bodies meld in yoga classes, and TRX suspension classes employ equipment developed by US Navy SEALs.