For Rachel Robertson, five is a magic number. It's the number of movements that the spine is capable of—flexion, extension, lateral flexion, rotation, and neutral—and it's the maximum number of students she'll allow in one of her classes (which are 55 minutes long). Because the classes are kept small, her guidance is precise and personalized. She makes small modifications to each student's form as they segue from one exercise to the next, helping them not only to perfect their technique, but to become increasingly aware of the way their body functions.
Rachel's lessons incorporate mats as well as Stott Pilates equipment, from Reformers to stability chairs. Though all of her routines help to build core strength, balance, and flexibility, she tailors them to address the needs of each client, whether they're an athlete hoping to hone performance or someone looking to lose weight. Rehabilitative and specialty classes even focus on conditions such as scoliosis or pelvic-floor problems. Alongside her fellow instructor and former student Shyra, Rachel coaches clients of all ages and fitness levels to higher levels of wellness.
The Dollhouse Fitness classes provide multiple womanly ways to work feminine forms into firm yet flexible states. First-timers can wrap themselves around a pole-teaser intro class, in which instructors demo proper positioning, posing techniques, and how to strut like a diva for the impending paparazzi. Unlike army boot camps, booty-camp classes put bodies through an intense series of drills in preparation for storming the beach in a skimpy two-piece. Less-aggressive courses, such as the Goddess Yoga class, provide femmes with a focused stretch of time to contemplate universal connectivity and the overwhelming complexity of the cardiovascular system. There are about 25 weekly classes to choose from—the just-right amount according to three out of five Goldilocks.
Club One's clean, eco-friendly facilities furnish fitness fanatics with access to hundreds of weekly classes, as well as pools, saunas, and state-of-the-art cardio contraptions. Over the course of the week-long membership, the only limiting factor to how many workout sessions you attend, including spinning, kickboxing, aqua fit, Pilates, and 12 types of yoga, is the tendency of the human body to catch on fire from sustained friction. Schedules and fitness features vary by location.
The staff of Ambition Athletics finds that most gyms lead their members to failure. It may seem like a harsh stance, but it inspires them to push themselves to give their members hands-on education and coaching rather than turning them loose in a sea of machines. Indeed, the key piece of equipment the fitness studio uses has no moving parts at all: it's the simple kettlebell, whose use in strength training dates back about as far as you'd expect by looking at what's essentially a lump of iron with a handle. Focusing on fitness for performance, trainers help members to take control of their own wellness during personal training and small-group classes, where they teach everyone to safely swing kettlebells, use suspension equipment, and charm ropes to climb themselves.
Adventure Ski & Snowboard School helps skiers and snowboarders hone their mountain-shredding skills far away from snow-capped peaks with a rolling-carpet ski machine. Similar to a treadmill, the machine simulates the smooth, slippery surface of a powder-dusted slope, allowing riders to practice balancing and controlled carving. As guests glide over the endless slope, a padded, waist-high horizontal bar offers them a safety net when they attempt unfamiliar techniques, cheered on by one of the school's seasoned instructors.
Adventure Ski & Snowboard School is a member of both the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors, a testament to their off-slope training methods, much like the frequent attempts of abominable snowmen to infiltrate their facility.