Leo Costa, Jr. has experienced a lot in his three-decades-long fitness career—working with celebrities and being awarded Mr. USA by the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association, to name a few—but his masterpiece is the Automatic Fitness program. Developed over the course of 20 years, the program revolves around three elements: nutrition, weight training, and cardio. By using something he has coined "micro circuit training"—which is essentially a constantly changing batch of exercises—Costa, Jr. can keep muscles engaged and eliminate workout plateaus. Also helping to eliminate workout slumps is the program's frequency: only three 30-minute weight-training and cardio workouts per week.
Members of Evolutions Fitness & Wellness receive access to more than 100 weekly fitness classes, rows of cardio and strength-training equipment, a lap pool, plush locker rooms, childcare services, and a slew of other gym perks. That's not what separates Evolution from other facilities, though. Its distinction as the fitness center for Tulare Regional Medical Center does. And the facility's medically minded take on fitness is evident, from the therapy pool and wellness seminars to fitness assessments and doctor vs. doctor bench-press contests.
In CrossFit West Visalia’s warehouse-like gym, certified coaches lead programs designed to enhance all physical skills, from strength and speed to agility and flexibility. They get participants shimmying up ropes, hopping atop plyometric boxes, and performing air squats, all in a daily workout, which changes every session. Each exercise features functional movements that strengthen all muscle groups, preparing participants for all physical, sports, and day-to-day activities.
Curves' 30-minute workout whittles women with a signature circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Ladies can hop into the circuit circle at any of 13 strength-training stations, each of which works to tone two major muscle groups. After 30 seconds of repetitions, they step onto a nearby recovery board, which welcomes women to walk, jog, or speed-skate in place for a half-minute. This cardio burst jolts the heart rate, torching more calories as exercisers move onto the next resistance-training machine. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and Play Doh–based muscle making.
Despite its formerly salacious reputation, pole dancing for fitness is steadily earning recognition as the gymnastic sport it’s always been, thanks to studios such as Pole Star Fitness. Inside the ladies-only studio, women can test their strength and flexibility while loosening up their inhibitions in a safe, spectator-free environment.
The decor at Pole Star Fitness reflects its femme-focused attitude with energizing, vibrant pink walls, long mirrors to check your form, and those muscle-challenging poles themselves, each one reaching up into the heights of the studio's open ceilings. Pole Star Fitness's instructors invite women of any age, shape, and ability to attend classes and learn to tap into their own sensuality while practicing routines that build physical strength and stamina.
With a multitude of useful-and-creative class offerings for beginners and intermediate students alike, yogis of all levels can find a niche to suit their muscles and ligaments. Kick off the day with morning flow, defeat midday doldrums with a midday yoga session, or challenge your body and mind with an intermediate–Vinyasa class, among many others. A staff of veteran instructors helps visitors bend and flex in a relaxing, non-competitive environment that’s far more welcoming and accommodating than reality television shows like Last Yogi Standing.