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.
With 10 total locations—each packed with cardio and strength-training equipment as well as a wealth of classes—Metro Family Fitness makes it easy to get in shape. Several locations are women-only, granting members a comfortable environment to work out in as they boost muscle tone, burn calories. Classes such as boot camps, yoga, and zumba help increase their heart rate in far safer methods than watching horror movies for 48 hours straight.
With its clay-tile roof and stories of columned arcades overlooking a grassy field and bubbling waterfall, Vita Fitness Corazón resembles a Roman villa more than a traditional gym. Guests strengthen their heart on high-tech Cybex cardio machines, or tone muscles in yoga, Zumba, and spin classes led by qualified personal trainers. Members glide through a lap in the outdoor pool, or perfect their backswing on the campus's six tennis courts. Even the locker rooms surround guests with an air of luxury, with lavish hardwood wardrobes, full towel service, and a secluded spa attached to each facility.
At Shape 4 Life, experienced fitness instructors who achieved their own weight loss transformations now help clients shape up in similarly dramatic fashion. 50-minute Spin & Tone sessions use exercise bikes to incinerate fat, and BodyBlast boot camps provide customized training that can be geared toward exercisers of any age or fitness level.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Gretchen Dusseau and Keri Crost faced a challenging paradox: how could those with little time achieve the level of fitness their body needs?This is when they founded their own fitness philosophy, launching System of Strength.
At SOS, Gretchen and Keri's team take participants through a five-part training system that covers metabolic, eccentric, strength, and isometric training, with a healthy smattering of stretching and diet tossed into the bargain. This approach guides each of SOS’s classes, creating dynamic workouts that incorporate exercises such as plyometrics, yoga poses, and Pilates combinations that can be adjusted for every fitness level.
Gretchen and Keri empathize with their clients, understanding how easily mental obstacles and everyday distractions can get in the way of a fitness regimen, what with family obligations and smart phones that need to be fed every hour. To help clients soldier through these challenges, they pepper SOS’s site with motivational quotes and posts success stories as sources of inspiration.