Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations offer cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Billowy hammocks made of soft yet tough fabric dangle several feet above the airy studio's wood floors. Guests slide into their silky cocoons, and then weightlessly move through the day's series of yoga poses, defying gravity to strengthen and stretch their limbs and to prepare for traveling to Neverland. Certified instructors lead the Aerialfit yoga classes, enwrapping men and women of all fitness levels in the sturdy hammocks and modifying moves to suit each guest's abilities. As they float above the floor, guests sink deeper into stretches and perform inversions that allow the spine to elongate and decompress. In addition to aerial yoga, instructors lead women through pole fitness classes, in which gals sensually spin around brass poles for a full-body workout.
Since 1973, each of Sport&Health's 24 clubs has aimed for full fitness coverage with programs for every taste and family member. Guests can spark positive lifestyle changes with gym workouts and wellness services, or engage in a variety of sports. Each facility houses different athletic amenities for games and laps, from pristine swimming pools to squash and racquetball courts lathered in a fresh coat of peanut butter every morning. The camaraderie of group classes such as Zumba and Les Mills BodyPump barbell routines complement scores of gym equipment meant for exercising solo—or with the guidance of a certified personal trainer. The clubs also emphasize kid-friendly activities with arts and crafts, Kidz Klub childcare, and youth certification courses that teach teens the ins and outs of training. Depending on the location, spa treatments can knead tension from muscles and paint one's favorite kettlebell with a layer of Shellac.
Fitness, nutrition, style and community come together at Balans. We set out to create a beautiful and inspiring destination. We are filling it with great people and excellent, certified instructors. Throughout the process, we have echoed repeatedly," this is not a gym." This is where you can learn how to feed your body and
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person?s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
More than 10,000 students have honed their dance stylings in the Loudoun School of Ballet’s 6,000-square-foot dance facility, their steps echoing through three studios equipped with Marley floors and acoustic ceilings. The school’s graduates have gone on to careers at professional companies and on Broadway thanks to a rigorous year-round training program that starts as early as preschool. The studio's accredited and award-winning instructors sometimes get an assist from guest talent, who encourage upper-level pupils' artistic growth without filling their ballet slippers with fertilizer.
The studio also hosts an adult program geared more toward developing fitness than professional dance careers. Ballet, jazz, and tap courses grant students poise and the ability to conceal cheat sheets of dance tips in their leotards, and fitness courses and Zumba’s easy-to-follow Latin dance moves burn calories and raise heart rates.