Yoga Passion's Peter Sklivas taps his experiences practicing yoga in Rishikesh, India and under the tutelage of Bikram Choudhury and Baron Baptiste to lead students through the studio's signature HotCore yoga courses. The studio boasts a seven-day schedule in a heated studio to loosen muscles and deepen stretches without risking injury. Instructors walk pupils through a series of 33 postures designed to simultaneously target one set of muscles at a time. Yogis of all skill levels can enlist in HotCore sessions, where each student determines the intensity with which they perform moves. The studio’s boosted temperature can help organs flush out toxins on the backs of departing sweat beads while poses stretch and massage organs, inflate lung capacity, and fortify bones more safely than a swallowed suit of armor. Yoga Passion stocks a supply of mats to rent or purchase, and shower facilities are available for use.
At Studio 13, Pilates isn’t confined to the mat. Its stretching, core-strengthening moves enliven Reformer apparatuses, infuse yoga classes, and add an unexpected dimension to the ballet barre. In fact Pilates has seeped its way into the majority of the studio's more than 100 weekly classes. But that doesn't mean this fitness haven is single minded. Pilates-free fitness styles such as Zumba—where upbeat music fuels energetic dance—or spinning—where imagined lions fuel heated bicycle pedaling—also carve bodies into shape. P90X classes incorporate intense, varied workouts designed to work every area of the body, which is why they're a favorite among elite athletes and gymnasts. Seven styles of barre fitness classes incorporate the toning, sculpting techniques of ballet, sometimes with a blend of Pilates or TRX for good measure. Whatever the workout, students can rest assured that the class they attend will be taught by an instructor certified in that particular fitness style. Studio 13's spacious personal-training area, meanwhile, allows for more personalized workouts, as does the gym’s arsenal of cardio and strength equipment.
At FC CrossFit, pain has a name. Each of their daily workouts boasts a different name as well as a unique and invigorating blend of power lifts, body weight exercises, and gymnastic moves. For instance, Mary forces trainees to execute five handstand pushups, 10 one-legged squats, and 15 pull-ups. During early-morning or post-work sessions, trainers help students perfect their form as they lift kettlebells and perform handstands designed to strengthen their muscles and empty their pockets of spare change.
North Shore founder Marc Meltzer grew up training in many martial-arts practices, but by the early 1990s, he became singularly devoted to muay thai. He fought in one of the first public muay thai matches in the Massachusetts area, and went on to study with champion fighters and teachers of various muay thai techniques.
Today, at his own academy, Marc specializes in two different martial arts: muay thai and thai sword fighting. His competitive muay thai sequence helps students rise through the ranks, beginning with a mandatory introductory class, and progressing with conditioning, midlevel striking with pads, and advanced sparring classes. The thai sword fighting courses are rooted in self-defense practices, as with kali, close-quarters combat techniques that teach students how to use their environment to fend off attackers. Krabi-kabong primarily uses swords and staffs, and muay boran is an ancient practice that focuses on empty-hand striking, kicks, holds, and throws.
The trainers at BeFit Health and Wellness have a taste for the unconventional. In their one-on-one and small-group training sessions, it’s not uncommon to see clients flipping tires, waving battle ropes, swinging kettlebells, or honing their bodies with plyometrics. The trainers like to keep things varied, so the workout changes every day, and it may include exercises such as body-weight training, weightlifting, sprinting, and moving sandbags. They work with clients of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels and also offer customized nutrition programs to help clients achieve optimal results.
B&S Fitness Program is composed of four different fitness-related branches, all of which are overseen by cofounders Brandi and Steven Dion. At North Shore Boot Camp Company, Brandi and Steven, along with their staff, lead indoor and outdoor boot-camp classes at locations across Massachusetts. On the track, they coordinate marathons and triathlons throughout the year for B&S Event Management, and hit the races themselves as part of a running team called SpiderOne Racing. Since every team needs a home base, the duo also operates B&S Sport Science, a 10,700-square-foot facility devoted to research- and technology-based services such as ACL rehab and personal training.