CKO Kickboxing founder Joseph Andreula's knowledge of exercise goes beyond creating effective workouts. It also helps guide the Fitness Standards Council, a nonprofit advisory panel of doctors and certified personal trainers, and provides the basis for the articles he’s published in Exercise for Men, Men's Health, and _Men's Fitness Magazine. But his true passion lies in the innovative fitness classes he created at CKO Kickboxing gyms. Since 1997, these gyms have housed Andreula’s exercise classes, which use basic kickboxing techniques to lead students toward powerful strength and greater endurance. In contrast to other kickboxing routines that have participants kick the air or invisible schoolyard bullies, students in CKO Kickboxing sessions strike hanging heavy bags to help them tone more muscle and burn up to 1,200 calories in a single class.
Koko FitClub’s digital personal-training system rockets both men and women toward fitness goals with 30-minute custom workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training. An initial consultation determines fitness levels and baseline measurements, which Koko’s computerized equipment uses to design a tailored workout plan that precisely measures the weight, pace, and rest time appropriate for each exerciser.
The Koko machines guide exercisers through each workout and adapt as the user’s fitness needs change in order to constantly challenge the body. Designed by professional trainers, workouts maximize the body’s lean-muscle mass, which can boost metabolism and help fight off disease by challenging viruses to kickboxing matches. Exercisers can track their shrinking waistlines and swelling muscles online by analyzing workout scores and comparing individual fitness levels to the Koko FitClub community.
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Tao Yoga & Tai-Chi founder Ilchi Lee. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere." To make this challenging, yet hopeful, philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of chi energy with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program that unlocks inner peace and sweeps up brain clutter caused by the daily stress of always having to find Waldo. Warm-up yoga maneuvers awaken muscles before 30–40 minutes of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation—including a signature brain-wave vibration technique that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cool-down exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
The trainers at Odyssey Athletic Center know that a single approach to physical fitness is as boring as it is limiting. They bear certifications and degrees from a variety of disciplines, earning the recognition of workout guilds ranging from the Aerobic & Fitness Association of America and the World Instructor Training School to the American Council of Exercise. This knowledge of different exercise systems enables them to host 60 classes per week inside their 27,000-square-foot facility. Their scheduled Pilates sessions help students nurture lean muscle without bulk, and Zumba meetings melt away calories with fun dance steps set to a Latin beat. To ensure they stay informed on emerging fitness techniques, staff members attend continuing-education classes and hold weekly question-and-answer sessions with their dumbbells.
Wyckoff Personal Training features gleaming white weight machines, TVs hovering over cardio equipment, and a host of useful, fun gear—there's even a four-lane, 25-yard indoor track. And, unlike a typical gym, guests won't find themselves waiting in line to take advantage of any equipment. That's because, rather than improvising their own exercise routine, every client works with a trainer. The gym's exclusively personal-training style of operation means that the atmosphere stays private and free of crowds. The high level of engagement through one-on-one training continues when exercisers go home as the staff happily answers questions via text and e-mail.
Crunch Fitness gyms collect expert staff members and advanced equipment to populate their four facilities, where members can approach fitness from multiple angles. They might drop in on a kickboxing class to toast calories with fast-paced jabs, or slow down with focused yoga stretches. Free weights complement cardio and strength machines for those who fear that treadmills might become sentient and stick to pratfall settings. Nutritional and childcare services balance out the exercise amenities at certain locations, and personal trainers readily craft custom workout programs during one-on-one sessions.