At Victory Fitness Center, members pump iron in the weight room and pedals on the stationary bikes before giving weary muscles respite in the whirlpool or sauna. Besides providing fitness coaching to keep everyone on the right track, the gym also provides an environment free of intimidation with men- and women-only workout areas. To supplement those workouts, the staff designs easy-to-follow weight-loss programs, and certified trainers lead group classes such as Zumba, boxing, and boot camp.
The encouraging shouts of Nathan Jordan and his band of fellow certified trainers echo off the bright-green walls of the Jackhammer Strength Training studio, overpowering the clatter of weights and the huff of exercisers. Pulling from their own unique styles and approaches to exercise, each of the five seasoned instructors lead boot camp and personal-training sessions, guiding students of all fitness levels as they grapple with free weights, kettlebells, and suspension straps. The trainers encourage healthy lifestyle beyond the studio by teaching students tricks for improving their diets, such as which low-calorie snacks are most filling, and which greens can make you punch through walls.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
After years toiling anonymously away in "big box" gyms, Greg Woods and professional bodybuilder Rich Lauro wanted to create a gym that felt a little less impersonal. Members get a keycard that lets them in at any time of the day or night, so they can work out on their own schedule. Personal trainers—three of who are competitive bodybuilders—work one-on-one with clients to headlock their goals, whether they'd like to lose weight or kick-start a career as a strongman and future governor. For a more communal fitscapade, instructors lead a host of fitness classes, including Zumba and Strongman and Strongwoman Saturdays—a boot camp that outfits bodies with rip-roaring muscles with squats, bench-presses, and sled work.
For guests who want to work out at their own pace, the gym stocks a staggering array of equipment. Guests buff up with the help of free weights, including Ader kettlebells and Intek dumbbells, or befriend Life Fitness and Hammer Strength strength-training machines to hedge their bets against the coming robot apocalypse. For a break from traditional workouts, members can get acquainted with functional fitness equipment, such as medicine balls and tires that weigh anywhere from 150–610 pounds.
Within the temperature-controlled interior of what used to be a warehouse, students flow from sun salutations to standing lunges before rising into rigorous poses. At the head of the class stands the studio's founder, Julie Verhoff Pipes, relaying the athletic blend of yoga and aerobics that she personally developed from a combination of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Bikram yoga techniques.
Though softened by woven curtains and hanging lanterns, the studio's raw, industrial feel remains. The Spartan decor increases focus since the studio possesses no distracting pictures or traditional yoga clowns.
During 20 years of industry experience, Nick and Sharon Osborne have witnessed countless gym members lose interest in monotonous workouts and detached trainers. To combat exercise lethargy, they founded Go: Fitness, a center that focuses on functional training and attentive service. Either Nick or Sharon is always onsite to oversee their coaching staff during group classes and free monthly one-on-one sessions for members.
The gym's equipment—kettlebells, battling ropes, sledgehammers, and machines such as the Power Plate—complements routines that mimic real-life movements and strengthen muscles through natural actions. To round out their wellness goals, members receive access to nutrition and fitness software that helps them plan healthful meals without going to the trouble of hacking into the Food Network's mainframe.
During their 20 years in the fitness industry, Nick and Sharon Osborne have watched countless gym members lose interest in monotonous workouts and detached trainers. The couple realized that a lack of external motivation caused this burnout, and they founded Go: Sports Performance Center on a foundation of personal training and motivational group fitness. A staff of hand-selected coaches cheerlead every student during they gym's group classes and provide free monthly one-on-one training sessions for members. Group classes put a handful of students through demanding athletic routines that mimic real-life activities, which strengthen muscles with natural actions less likely to produce injury. Trainers and members furnish their one-on-one workouts with the gym's ample equipment, which includes kettlebells, battling ropes, sledgehammers, and machines such as the Power Plate. To help achieve goals such as weight loss, improved athletic performance, and increased strength, each member gets access to nutrition and fitness software that helps them plan healthful meals without going to the trouble of hacking into the Food Network's mainframe.