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.
The gym can be an intimidating place for unexperienced exercisers, which is why Better Bodies introduced its Healthy Start training program. During the initial session, the staff uses a computer program called the Virtual Fitness Planner to reveal basic biometrics and calculate the likelihood of health risks such as type-2 diabetes. Once you're informed, you can take action by signing up for a personal-training session, attending a group-fitness class, or lifting on the fitness floor's Hammer Strength machines. For busy parents or particularly ripped nannies, Better Bodies also provides complimentary childcare services for members.
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.
CrossFit The Tracks adheres to the belief that functional movements best support physical fitness. The facility is outfitted with all the necessary tools for workouts: barbells, hanging rings and ropes, rowing machines, kettlebells, giant tires, and 1-ounce dumbbells. CrossFit instructors guide clients through custom workouts that run throughout the week.
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.