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. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. 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.
My Gym, which currently has more than 270 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 months—and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Whiz, a class for kids aged 4 to 6, emphasizes motor skills such as running, jumping, throwing, and kicking. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity, and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
With locales dappled throughout the Southeast and Midwest, the brains behind Workout Anytime funnel more than three decades of fitness-industry expertise into filling their gyms with positive vibes and state-of-the-art equipment. The fitness gurus spread Magnum-brand strength-training machines and cutting-edge treadmills—whose frames can support up to 500 pounds—throughout their hygienic antimicrobial floors. They also provide certified personal trainers, nutritional guidance, and weight-loss plans.
Workout Anytime's doors are open to members 24 hours a day every day of the year, permitting access to public exercise zones and areas that offer tanning and massage sessions. Each gym also strives to cultivate a familial atmosphere with staffers who memorize each guest's name and carve each one's Thanksgiving turkey.
The instructors at Atlanta Hot Yoga believe that “a yogini is a professional of the interior landscape, an expert conservationist of the vital life force, prana.” Throughout their variety of yoga classes, they strive to teach patrons of all skill levels how to channel this life force through concentrated breathing paired with inner- and outer- strength-cultivating poses. During the studio’s signature Hot class, students move through a blend of 34 poses inside a room heated to 103–105 degrees, which allows the body to sink deeper into stretches and to detoxify through sweat. Other classes, including Vinyasa Flow, power yoga, and Deep Slow Flow, surround patrons in less jungle-like temperatures, igniting mind and body transformation without the risk of entering a matter-transference chamber.
The gym at Delgado Boxing sounds like a percussion section: the impact of gloves on heavy bags keep the pace, and the sounds of shifting feet and jump ropes slapping the floor blend to form a cadence of their own. Featured on CNN as a model small business, Delgado Boxing is the labor of love of pro boxer Paul Delgado, who oversees boxing lessons and boot-camp workouts for adults and kids, that use pugilistic techniques and exercises, keeping the intensity at the high level one would expect from a guy with 20 victories, four knockouts, and only six naps to his name. Though the gym offers premier-level training for those whose ultimate dream is to appear in Madison Square Garden in hooded bathrobes, it welcomes aspiring boxers and fitness seekers of all stripes.
Fitness Together is all about synergy. Specialized in one-on-one training, the center’s certified trainers design fitness programs that unite strength training, cardio routines, and nutrition plans that work together to catalyze weight loss. The plans’ strength-training component, dubbed Aspire 8, fuses resistance training and cross training to build solid core muscles without ever having to tear a phonebook in half. During Cardio Together regimens, the trainers get patrons’ heart rates pumping with a mix of aerobic workouts. Finally, the education-oriented Nutrition Together programs teach patrons how to make more healthy food choices, leading to a lifetime of nutritious eating habits.