Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
Mary Rider took her first Zumba class three years ago. A year later, she decided to become a licensed instructor so she could guide students through the Latin-inspired dance moves that helped her lose 75 pounds. She went on to found Move Your Body Fitness inside a 1,200-square-foot studio. Now, Mary and her instructors teach classes that range from Zumba to Yoga and Pilates.
Every day at ELMNTL Fitness is different. Workouts that change daily keep participants engaged while also challenging different areas of the body, so as to safely build muscle and shed pounds without over-exerting specific physical zones. The program's functional exercises are based on everyday movements, to help condition the body to prevent injury and burn calories.
Fitworks is home to a dedicated cadre of certified muscle architects who guide eager physiques through intense, small group workouts. Peruse the schedule before sampling a tension-undoing yoga class or a weekend-morning muscle-pump session, ideal for prepping for an underwater bench-press that will determine the office's next round of promotions. One-hour Zumba classes harness the rhythmic power of merengue, conga, belly dancing, and more to kill calories while resuscitating sleepy toes. After classes, students can freshen up or flex unused singing muscles in Fitworks' shower facilities.
CrossFit doesn't just work out a one muscle per day, but every muscle. The program's foundation is Workout of the Day, which comprises a different blend of strength and cardio drills in each class. These sessions target new muscle groups and prevent workout-routine boredom. After an exercise review and a warm-up, students adapt the functional movements?which may include Olympic weightlifting, sprints, and medicine-ball tossing?appropriately to their fitness level. The routines pick up in intensity as the workout progresses, and a limited class size guarantees personal attention from a certified CrossFit level-one trainer. Click here for a workout schedule.
The coaching staff at D1?which is co-owned by professional athletes such as NFL player Peyton Manning, MLB player Chipper Jones, and NFL player Philip Rivers?refuses to discriminate between professional athletes and everyday exercisers. They scale the strength-and-cardio workouts of their group boot-camp classes and one-on-one intensive courses to individual abilities, bringing out the best in each student regardless of his or her workout history.
The typical D1 gym houses modern indoor turf fields with adjoining weight rooms, giving instructors the space to invent expansive obstacle courses that may require students to lift tires or tug 747s. In the boot-camp program, coaches meet with students one-on-one to discuss progress and find ways to improve. Each facility also houses a sports-therapy clinic, where expert therapists ease muscle injuries through rehabilitation programs and strength-restoring exercises.