With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The Studio's team of dedicated Pilates and yoga instructors promote health and wellness by guiding students through 25 dynamic exercise classes per week. The studio’s robust schedule boasts lessons in four varieties, accommodating a range of skill levels from experienced to novice. In introductory mat classes, budding fitness buffs learn the 10 basic Pilates principles designed to build a strong foundation for future workouts. All of the beginner-friendly classes emphasize proper alignment and mindful breathing techniques during a series of standing postures and hip and shoulder openers, leaving challenging inversions, arm balances, and sun salutations to the sticky mat ninjas populating intermediate sweat sessions. Students can try equipment-based Pilates classes and utilize a system of ropes and pulleys to add more resistance to core-strengthening moves and help increase limbs' range of motion. They can also head to morning Pilates mat classes for an early-light fitness buzz, where they work toward building long, lean muscles capable of reciprocating bear hugs from an actual bear.
Aspiring bar- and beam-dwellers find supportive instruction at Team Central Gymnastic Academy and Olympiad Gymnastic Training Centers, which mold everyday children into lithe lads and lasses. A wide selection of classes are available for sprouts of all ages. The Tumble Bee program allows wee ones from 18 months to 3 years old to bounce into fitness, and older flip fanatics may start in a beginning boys or girls class, or catapult straight into age-appropriate trampoline and tumbling.
When Olympiad Gymnastic Training Centers opened its doors for the first time, it counted only 16 students on its roster. That was in 1979, and more than 30 years in business later, the gym has grown considerably. It now counts 10 locations and more than 150 employees to its name. Despite the changes to its size, the training centers maintain the original gym's mission to help children find health, happiness, and confidence through gymnastics. Olympiad's areas of study, open to boys and girls, include not only gymnastics, but tumbling, cheerleading, and trampolining.
Club Fitness makes exercise accessible, offering dozens of group classes to participants of all fitness levels at more than 20 locations throughout the St. Louis area. Teams of instructors lead lessons in activities such as cycling, ab-focused exercises, kickboxing, Pilates, yoga, and Zumba aerobics.
The modern athlete is a walking sculpture—made of chiseled brawn that can leap through the air, dart across a field, and pull off wearing a tank top that says, “The Muscles Not Necessarily from Brussels.” Given this grandeur, it's understandable that some athletes might overlook the means to the end. At Fitzmaurice Performance, co-founders Brian and Shawn Fitzmaurice and their highly experienced staff strive to offer athletes a well rounded path to overall wellness.
While the gym's 6,000-square-foot space lends it a "big box" feel, the family-owned Fitzmaurice Performance prides itself on the tight-knit feelings it fosters among its clientele. Brian and Shawn can now boast 20 years in the personal-training business and 13 years of ownership of Fitzmaurice Performance, offering one-on-one services as well as group classes. They take a four-pronged approach, focusing on performance training, nutrition counseling, motivation and recovery. These facets comprise their 360 Fitness program.
Those looking to get fit outside of the sports realm benefit from their expertise as well with personal-training and small group personal training classes. The instructors lead sessions including hallmark 360 fitness classes, which incorporate exercise equipment such as suspension bands and Power Plate machines. For good measure, Fitzmaurice Performance also has its clients channel their inner Rocky Balboa as they run up and down the gym's stairs.