Awarded the Best Fitness Club in The Capital's Reader's Choice 2011, Big Vanilla's modern facilities aim to make a healthy impression on bodies and minds. Both locations jam-pack weekly schedules with more than 60 fitness classes such as cycling, Pilates, Zumba, Cardio Combat, and yoga. Pasadena's Step-N-Abs intertwines intermediate cardio choreography with abdominal exercises to build lean muscle to the core without having to endure elective washboard implants. Dance-inspiration class also permeates into group groove sessions, which pump hit tunes as exercisers wiggle to urban, club, and Latin-inspired moves. The Arnold gym tones an anatomy's worth of muscles in TMC, which challenges physiques with 60 minutes of resistance training toughened by dumbbells, stability balls, and lead-based chocolate cakes.
Though the smell of burnt rubber is noticeably absent at Phase II Slot Car Racing, the competition is still fierce. Hot rods in a variety of makes and models race around the slotted track, steered by nearby drivers holding controls. The winding course holds up to six cars per race, letting groups of friends or families get in on the fun during parties, tournaments, or walk-in hours.
With 24-hour access, aerobic and mixed-martial-arts group classes, and well-appointed facilities, Club One Fitness aims to be the ideal backdrop for any workout routine. The schedule of group exercise classes includes yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. Boxers spar with other members or against the gym's stash of weighted bags during boxing classes for adults and tykes, who learn the pugilistic art in an Olympic-sized ring that, according to the Washington Post, "bears no resemblance to the worn, dingy boxing gyms of Hollywood movies, even though some Gold and Silver Gloves fighters, and a few pros, have trained there."
The staff of personal trainers and athletes show new members the ropes with three complimentary orientation sessions sessions; during the first, staffers talk to new members about their workout history and goals, and show them how to use Life Fitness treadmills, LifeCycle exercise bikes, elliptical cross-trainers, and stair climbers. On the second visit, they explain how to use Hammer Strength and Life Fitness strength-training and toning equipment. On the third and final visit, staffers give members their own personalized workout program, calibrated to help them reach their goals. From there, members can forge their own fitness paths or buddy up with a personal trainer.
Staffed by trained personnel, the bright and roomy childcare center keeps young ones engaged with toys, a big-screen TV, and a PlayStation. After adults catch their own entertainment in the cardio theater, which projects movies as guests decimate calories, they can relax in the sauna, hop into the tanning beds, or shower off sweat and punching-bag tears.
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 stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
The SSI-certified dive-masters at Scuba Hut of Maryland drill amateur amphibians in proper subaquatic conduct with introductory and open-water scuba classes. Solo swimmers and pairs can report to the Try Scuba class for a run-down on flipper fundamentals, in which teachers outfit figures with diving equipment and all other necessary materials. Pupils then spread their maritime wings inside a pool, acclimating to their scuba gear as they navigate both the shallow and deep ends, making sure to avoid crashing into chlorine-water manatees.
Emily and Philip Vendemmia look after their students by wrangling a massive schedule of more than 72 classes per week spread over three locations. Bolstered by a strong team of certified Bikram yoga instructors, the duo guides students through Bikram’s 90-minute routine, consisting of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Instructors crank each studio’s practice space to a hot and humid 105 degrees to help pupils’ muscles safely sink into deep, healing stretches and purge harmful toxins from the body. Each of the standing and seated poses is designed to work every muscle, ligament, and joint while sending freshly oxygenated vampire food to the organs to help support health and fitness.