Powerhouse Gyms ferry fitness seekers to their goals with a host of exercise equipment while experienced trainers tune up fat-burning engines in a plethora of free fitness classes. Beginning bench pressers and workout wizards alike can rev their muscle motors with free weights, weight-training machinery, and cardio equipment outfitted with personal flat-screen TVs to help make workouts fly by quicker than a hummingbird in a tornado. Gym membership also grants unlimited access to group fitness classes; Saline's schedule is packed with courses such as Pilates, Boot Camp, Cardio Kickboxing, and Yoga Fusion, which helps practitioners relax, stretch tendons, and rectify posture. Powerhouse Ypsilanti keeps hearts healthy with classes such as Latin-dance-inspired Zumba, spinning sessions, and kickboxing group workouts.
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 Gym 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.
Seeking the formula for an ideal gym, Bob Bonham spent 15 years exploring other fitness facilities, talking to trainers, and studying equipment—all the while taking note of what worked and what didn't. He put all of his research to good use, opening Strong and Shapely Gym in 1984, packing its 25,000 square feet with professional strength-training equipment and cardio machines. He organized the workout areas by body part, an innovative design concept that won praise from Bodybuilding.com.
Today, you can spot fitness seekers of all stripes at the 24-hour facility, from regular moms and dads to famous bodybuilders. A staff of certified trainers inhabit the gym, conducting personal-training sessions and leading group fitness classes, such as yoga and Pilates. The expert staff eagerly supply members with fitness tips and advice, from tactics to prevent workout boredom to instructions for donating old gym socks for use as therapy puppets. The gym boasts a variety of convenient amenities, including onsite tanning, childcare, and a supplements store.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
A licensed chiropractor and experienced martial artist, Dr. John Surie started practicing hot yoga when he met his future wife, Natalie. Charmed by her Australian accent and passion for the practice, he soon became an avid Bikram student himself, and in 2002, the husband-and-wife duo opened their first studio with Natalie helming her own curriculum of Bikram-inspired classes. Today, their hot-yoga empire has expanded to five studios sprinkled across the United States and Australia, each teeming with certified instructors who lead students through 13 different class styles. Designed to make hot yoga accessible to everyone, classes range from the studio’s signature Ignite series, which introduces newcomers to the foundations of hot yoga, to intense Shape classes that see stretchers melding hot-yoga and Pilates moves while solving Pythagorean equations.
Each studio comes equipped with special flooring tailored to the humid environment of hot yoga, as well as air-circulation and advanced heating systems to keep fresh, hot air blowing.
During Shiva Shanti Yoga School's Vinyasa-style yoga classes, founder Felise Berman guides students toward inner peace with outward expressions of love, joy, and gratitude. Known as Shivadasi to her pupils, Berman draws upon studies at India's Bihar Yoga Bharati Institute for Advanced Studies to fill multilevel routines with ancient poses and meditation exercises. Most sessions begin with Shivadasi's signature sun salutation, which unites 24 asanas that warm the muscles and focus the brain. As the class progresses, deep breaths weave movements into a flow that’s more graceful than a swan's royal curtsy. In addition to hosting Vinyasa classes, Shivadasi and her teaching team lead yoga nidra sessions, which relax the body as the mind explores lucid dreams. The studio also helps pupils deepen their yogic practice with one-on-one tutorials and a collection of instructional DVDs available in its online boutique.