While many fitness gurus limit their gear to traditional hand weights and medicine balls, the inspired trainers at Accelerated Athlete also incorporate sledgehammers, tractor tires, battle ropes, and ladders into their exercise classes. Far from limited to life in the toolshed, these unusual components are the building blocks of heart-pumping exercise routines that confuse muscles into becoming stronger and bodies into becoming leaner. Trainers' encouraging words play an equal role, inspiring students to sweat through boot camps, power yoga, kickboxing, and high-intensity interval training tailored to each individual’s skill level.
Named for the main river running through Venezuela, Orinoco Fitness is a studio that aims to be as relaxing as a day out in nature. Owner Ana Santos Gitzinger, a native Venezuelan, styled the studio in a way that evokes the beauty of her homeland. The walls of Orinoco Fitness are splashed with images of South American waterfalls, mountains, and rainforests in order to help clients “shake off the Midwestern wintertime blues.” Above all, Gitzinger wants her clients to achieve fitness in an environment that’s fun and relaxing. In keeping with the stress-free atmosphere, students are encouraged to relax with a cup of tea in the lounge area after each yoga, Zumba, or Pilates class.
"No boys allowed," proclaims The Underground's website. If that makes it sound more like a playhouse than a gym, that's not an accident. Inside, you won't find any rows of treadmills or the latest elliptical machines. Instead, lights fit for a dance club shine as catchy music plays through an advanced sound system. In this festive space, women of all fitness levels support each other as they throw themselves into a wide range of classes, from the Latin dance–inspired cardio workouts of Zumba to the intense cross-training regimen of P90X. In other parts of the studio, they sculpt muscles via Booty Barre classes, learn to swing from aerial equipment, and work their way up dance poles in hopes of finding the hunky fire fighters at the top.
ARC Performance doesn't cut corners when it comes to sports training. Its vast facility is the sports-equivalent of Wonka's chocolate factory, with 20 yards of indoor turf, a mondo track, and NFL-ready run rockets to build explosive power and speed. Olympic-quality weights and weight-training machines round out the gym's muscle-building arsenal, and the staff of expert trainers uses each piece of equipment to help their clientele reach their peak potential during group or individual training sessions. The workouts, designed around functional power, increase sports-related conditioning and help prevent injury. The gym's other services include therapeutic massage and highly custom training for specific sports, including staring contests with goldfish.
Ann Waring, the director of Yoga Seva Studio, takes yoga teaching seriously. Her passion drove her to earn multiple certifications from proven yoga masters and attend quarterly trainings. Supported by a team of talented teachers, Ann and her instructors guide students through a blend of demonstration, explanation, and hands-on pose adjustments to help them attain optimal states of fitness and well being. Each of her 70-minute classes blend yoga poses, or asanas, with meditation and breathing techniques that encourage deeper levels of understanding self and this ancient process in a beautiful custom built studio. Over time, Hatha yoga regimens can catalyze weight loss, help relieve chronic pain, and boost flexibility.