Curves houses a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with women's bodies to promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and cope with arthritis. Instead of guests fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches each exerciser's abilities. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, machines use push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can. Every thigh- or torso-transformer is equipped with the CurvesSmart personal-coaching system, which uses programmed information on weight, endurance level, and fitness goals to automatically calibrate the perfect challenge for individual bodies. The CurvesSmart system also delivers a postworkout rundown on the strength built and progress achieved during each session. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine-maneuvering and to squirt overheated guests with a Super Soaker.
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 personal trainers at ProMatx pluck clients from the chaos of unorganized weight-loss programs and introduce fitness routines that are scientifically calibrated to breed results. Within a welcoming, laid-back atmosphere, resident health buffs assess bodies and map out meals to augment 12-week regimens of intense exercise. In addition to familiar routines that include step aerobics or plyometrics, some fitness sessions may incorporate unconventional techniques such as flipping tires or unicycling on a treadmill. Buttressed by nutritional coaching and group fitness classes, the routines aim to get participants fit without getting a surgeon involved.