At the helm of Equilibrium Fitness' studio is Annabelle Rosemurgy, an equestrian and former Olympic athlete whose performances required enough core strength to pull off a handstand atop her horse during competitions. In her studio, she helms a team of certified instructors that leads a host of amped up Pilates routines and RealRyder indoor cycling classes.
Fifty five-minute SPX Pilates classes initiate novices into the intense practice, designed to keep on incinerating calories hours after the sessions end. The studio’s bread and butter, however, are the SPX and Systeme Dynamique classes—variations on the Pilates method—that use circuit training to target extra weight in the hips and thighs and isolate muscle groups all over the body to sculpt, tone, burn fat, and increase flexibility. Even the studio's indoor cycling sessions target core muscles, strengthen the upper body, and torch calories, getting legs pumping on RealRyder bikes that allow riders to steer and lean, simulating the real cycling experience of avoiding potholes and the maneating Sarlaccs that live inside them.
Erin, a certified group fitness trainer and master personal trainer, created her own workouts geared toward resistance training, stability ball exercise, dance, and specific muscle-conditioning programs. For a time, her pound-dropping moves were on display with a show on NBC’s Exercises TV on Demand. She now offers her skills in a group setting and during personal-training sessions, and helps kids stay in shape with a specialty program geared toward them. All her classes are for men and women and held in rooms that are either glow-in-the-dark or dark with colored lights, creating a party atmosphere.
Accompanied by pounding music, a positively voltaic instructor, and atmospheric lighting, spinning pushes your legs, your abs, and your heart with zero joint impact and a low chance of boredom. In a fun, fast, group environment, you'll gain both the benefit of communal support and the anonymity of the herd—the same advantages enjoyed by the perpetually lithe dik dik pygmy antelope.
A triathlete since 2004, Brandon Hament knows cycling's physical rigors and benefits firsthand. At The Cycle Annex - the indoor cycling facility Brandon has run since 2007 - his crew of instructors imbue beginners with pedal-pumping confidence at introductory sessions during which pupils first familiarize themselves with their bike before hopping on and burning calories. For cycling students of all levels, Brandon's team lead more intensive workouts such as the Ultimate 90, a combination of core and strength training that segues into an hour of riding. An abdominal workout on yoga mats follows cycling during AB 20 sessions, while interval cycling gives way to running and stretching during brick workouts. In between exercises, guests can hydrate with complementary gulps of The Cycle Annex's oxygenated, filtered water.
Most gyms don't limit their membership enrollment, which is why Meridian's Bodies in Motion does. By managing their member count, the workout areas are less crowded and visitors can step right up to machines without wasting precious calorie-burning minutes waiting in line. The staff can focus on keeping the facility clean and getting acquainted with clients, adding personal touches such as greeting members by name every time they enter and swipe their membership card, which means "hello" in several languages.
At each facility, a team of certified fitness instructors encourages exercise efforts during an array of group classes, including Zumba, spin, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and cross-training. The certified personal trainers devise customized workout routines and monitor exercisers' forms as they carve muscles lifting free weights and slim down on cardio and strength-training equipment from Icarian, Hammer Strength, Precor, and FreeMotion. Special features—such as racquetball courts, swimming pools, saunas, indoor basketball courts, boxing rings, childcare, and cuddly kitten pits—vary depending on location.
The atmosphere is charged with energy at the Kinetic Cycling studio, where flat-screen TVs play music videos and surround-sound speakers blast upbeat tunes. Soft lights beam up from the floor, bathing the rows of students pedaling away on stationary bicycles in blue and purple. During classes, an energetic instructor sits atop a bike in front of students, guiding them through the challenging workouts while providing inspiration and motivation.