Kicking, punching and jabbing are typically discouraged, but not at Transformations Fitness for Women. The women’s-only gym’s kickboxing-style workouts give athletes the moves they need to tone physiques and brush up on their fighting maneuvers, no matter their level of experience. The gym’s two locations boast eclectic class schedules, with classes ranging from Zumba dance fitness workouts, which burn calories with sultry Latin moves, to sessions that enhance strength and flexibility through a fusion of yoga and Pilates. While guests work out, they can drop kids off at the gym’s complimentary daycare, whose staffers stay in touch with each other via two-way talk radios, rather than by sending them regular flocks of carrier pigeons.
After absorbing core Pilates principles from Stott & Balanced Body, head instructor Fran gathered a crew of yoga, Pilates, and ACE–certified fitness masters to oversee the classes at Coreworks Fitness. Fran and her staff run two levels of mat classes, as well as two levels of reformer classes in a separate studio dedicated to the foundational apparatus. Students may also stretch their abilities on more advanced apparatuses, including the CoreAlign, which heightens the cardiovascular element of Pilates, as well as improves posture and balance. Coreworks Fitness is also an authorized Balanced Body University training center. The studio's academy equips aspiring instructors with pedagogical techniques and even extends its kinesthetic expertise to the performing arts, with body-aligning workshops for Irish dance instructors.
With a drove of dedicated instructors, Synergy imparts peace upon its practitioners through myriad mat classes. Both introductory yoga and Pilates courses––such as yoga for every body, gentle Prana flow, and Mat I pilates––cater to balance-seeking beginners, with a focus on building core strength and overcoming pipe-cleaner envy. In upper-level lessons (including Mat II Pilates and Vinyasa yoga), aspiring Stretch Armstrongs can fine-tune their flexibility with more challenging poses. Specialized classes such as Pilates for Golf help limberize link lovers by bestowing more powerful swings and bogey-erasing Jedi mind tricks. Classes take place in Synergy's 4,000-square-foot sanctuary, where natural wood floors complement expansive sage walls, and floor-to-ceiling windows let stretchers draw real-life inspiration for poses like the tree and the shy centaur. Synergy also fosters a supportive atmosphere for students of all abilities, complete with a relaxing lounge where classmates are encouraged to meet after their scheduled class, to socialize and read each other’s fortunes over cups of tea or coffee.
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.
Deemed the 2006 Small Business of the Year by the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, The Colosseum Gym helps men and women to reach new health heights by using a smorgasbord of machines and free weights or enlisting the nutritional counseling and powerlifting tips of a professional. With more than 24 certified personal trainers on staff, the gym strives to toughen physiques of all exercise experience levels through arduous yet rewarding programs, such as strength-and-conditioning workouts that involve surprise 3 a.m. sprints across local lake surfaces. Additionally, a full-time physical therapist can target strained appendages with rehabilitative moves and heat packs. The Colosseum Gym bolsters its community as well as its members, hosting nonprofit initiatives that have benefited the Special Olympics, cystic fibrosis research, and the Howard County School System.
For more than 10 years, athletes looking to improve their game have turned to Axis Sport. Using their more than 5,000-square-feet of space and equipment including bands, balls, battle ropes, and more, trainers focus on performance training to hone their clients’ agility, strength, speed, power, flexibility, and running mechanics. But you don't have to be an athlete to get fit at Axis. Instructors welcome clients of all levels during group classes, from high-intensity interval training to less intense sessions that aim to get heart rates up and prevent injury.
Fitness Quest Health Club, a full-service gym and personal-training studio, lays out a buffet of fitness services and equipment for gussying up musculatures. Exercisers respond to the beckoning of the strength room, cardio room, and super circuit-training room depending upon mood and muscular condition. The gym's personal trainers work closely with clients to bolster fitness routines, sharing advice on training techniques and which species of buffalo is most receptive to bench pressing. Boot-camp classes channel military training techniques to send trainees of all fitness levels on a cardiovascular and strength-boosting adventure. The group setting creates a supportive environment where participants can meet fellow strivers willing to back them up at break-dance rumbles.