At Feel Better Fitness, key fobs grant clients 24-hour access to the gym’s facilities. Feel Better purchased all of its gear from the now-defunct Snap Fitness, creating a glorious bodybuilding phoenix out of the old gym’s ashes. Free weights, modern strength-training machines, and cardio equipment from brands such as Cybex and Eagle populate the gym floor, while flat-screen TVs hang from the walls. The staff offers boot camps as early as 5 a.m. and as late as 6 p.m. as well as personal training and nutrition instruction to help guide clients toward their fitness and lifestyle goals.
In a story by Patch reporter Elizabeth Janney, owner David Sturman described Elkridge Athletic Club as "a friendly gym," stating that “no matter what your fitness level is or what your shape is, you feel comfortable here." The welcoming environment—together with high-energy classes and cutting-edge equipment—may be why voters named the health club as the best local gym in an Elkridge Patch poll.
Each initiation-fee-free, month-to-month membership includes access to the sauna and hot tub along with unlimited group classes. Guests dance to straightforward moves set to Latin beats in Zumba workouts, and combine cardio and mind-body techniques in Hour of Power classes. Members also receive a complimentary personal-training session to design a customized fitness plan or learn to make a black leather purse that looks just like a kettlebell.
Much like the climate and the cost of a pickle, Sport Fit facility features vary by location, but all three locations harbor vast vaults of workout equipment and group classes. During your 30 consecutive days of training montage, mold and shape muscles into the clenched face of your favorite World’s Strongest Man with dozens of machines and free weights. Otherwise, stride onto the tennis, racquetball, or basketball court and win back legal ownership of your pancreas from that fast-talking vice president. Those who benefit from cardiovascular camaraderie can buoy spirits and sink flab with group fitness classes such as salsa, karate, functional fitness boot camp, and cycling.
AAU kickboxing champion. SEAL Adventure Challenge competitor. SWAT team member. Fitness instructor for the Army National Guard. Michael Parrish’s resume is a testament to his hard-as-nails approach to staying fit. At Drop Zone Extreme Fitness, he calls upon all of his muscle-sculpting experience to help exercisers achieve dramatic physical results. He does this along with Donavan “I’m a Fair Man” Cox, who draws on his 22 years of experience as a Military Fitness Specialist and Law Enforcement Physical Training Coordinator. These two hardcore instructors help students achieve goals and maintain their fitness progress. Students arrive for boot camp armed with only jump ropes, hand weights, and a water bottle. They can also receive one-on-one guidance during in-home personal training sessions, and additional classes are also available, which include Zumba classes and a Zumba/bootcamp combination class.
The coaches at CrossFit Towson are living proof that each WOD—workout of the day—can benefit anyone, regardless of his or her fitness goals. The staff includes a rower, a marathoner, lacrosse players, a football player, and a world-ranked kettlebell lifter, all of whom would perform the same movements if they participated in a class. So, too, would a housewife or a high school student. That's because CrossFit's exercises scale by intensity, not by form. Its weightlifts and cardio drills can be performed by students of all experience levels, and the shared workout—not to mention the instructors non-intimidating approach—can lead to a strong sense of camaraderie. CrossFit Towson schedules standard CrossFit classes in addition to open gym time, when guests can plan their own routines and target weak points such as the one pack on their six-pack that creaks.
After navigating through the plethora of weightlifting and cardio equipment, guests at 40,000-square-foot Meadow Mill Athletic Club stand before a glass wall protecting them from the ricocheting squash balls speeding back and forth on 16 courts. Meadow Mill’s team of squash instructors leads personal sessions and group clinics on the indoor racket sport for youths and adults, and more seasoned players compete in tournaments often held at the facility.
Just beyond the workout floor and racket courts lie separate fitness studios, in which guests tone their bodies in yoga, Pilates, and 17 spin classes per week, led by certified trainers, who also tailor fitness programs to meet clients' needs in one-on-one sessions. Youth and toddler programs introduce kids as young as 18 months old to fitness with playful movements in Mini Movers, basic skills in Ballet, and fitness-focused games in Toddlercise, such as Pin the Javelin on the Donkey. Furthering demonstrating a dedication to health and wellness, an onsite therapist treats overworked muscles with acupuncture, stretch, and massage treatments.