As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
CrossFit Combat Fitness coaches, armed with degrees in kinesiology and exercise science, lead workouts designed to enhance their clients’ agility, endurance, and speed inside a 2,100-square-foot facility. Each session focuses on different exercises; sometimes participants toss 20-pound balls, sometimes they flip giant tractor tires, haul 80-pound kegs, or spring from a standstill to leap atop stacked plyo boxes. Coaches customize workouts so participants are asked to do only what they can physically handle. Classes are scheduled five days a week, and on off days athletes can hit the open gym or stay home and read the dictionary, whichever they prefer.
Under one roof, Sunnyside has all the tools its members need to get fit and enjoy themselves in the process. Group fitness classes give participants a way to try a variety of workout styles, and personal trainers are on hand to help members maximize their time, whether they're running on a treadmill or using it as a napping bench. The cardio theater supplies a variety of sweat-inducing options, and saunas provide a place to recuperate and let your muscles cry after a good workout.
Perfect Balance Yoga is an award-winning yoga studio that helps its members achieve and maintain a healthy body-and-spirit balance. Experienced yoga teachers instruct students in gentle and restorative yoga, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa yoga, with classes geared toward meditation, kids, and moms-to-be. Inside the Perfect Balance studio, students are soothed by the spare, spacious practice area and its welcoming warmth.
In a Pure Fitness boot camp, the enemy is predictability. An ever-changing regimen of exercises will challenge your muscles, fueling constant gains while keeping your brain engaged. Over the course of a session, you might lunge, jump, lift, crunch your abs like crackers over soup, slam out push-ups, chase chickens, and punch slabs of beef before cooling down with a live crocodile wrestle. In the heat of your workout, you'll sweat out weakness, fear, and monosodium glutamate while beginning to gain the functional, unsurpassed strength of a body in fluid, powerful motion. It won’t be long till you're feeling lither, leaner, and more flexible.
Fig Garden's experienced instructors—all of whom are registered with the national Yoga Alliance or trained by independent schools in their areas of specialization—have been inching Fresnites toward enlightenment since 1998. The cozy, intimate studio focuses on the Iyengar style of hatha yoga, often employing props such as blocks, straps, and water-squirting boutonnières to aid participants of all ages and experience levels in maintaining poses suitable for Cubist figure-drawing classes. After a few classes, inflexible flexors will see an improvement in balance, an increase in core strength, and a newfound taffy-like bendability. In addition to stretching and burnishing a stiff soul-sack, hatha yoga focuses the mind and eases emotional tension caused by the continued inability to beat a cousin at pogs. Fig Garden's ongoing repertoire of small, drop-in classes ($15 each) ensure that greenhorn yogis and experienced gurus have many opportunities for individual attention.