Yoga, spinning, Cardio Kick. These are just a few of the group fitness classes that promise physical change at MVP Fitness. Outside of group classes, there are always the 21,000 square feet of gym equipment to tone muscles and burn calories. There's also personal training if one-on-one attention better suits your exercise style.
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.
Diane Garetano's school—whose curriculum covers piano as well as other instruments—was an immediate success in the first year. She was renting space to accommodate her ever-expanding student body and the pianos that kept sprouting extra keys. Today, The Piano Studio for Kids imparts instrument skills at two locations. The school also has evolved in terms of technique, with instructors now incorporating even more methods built on fun, structure, and positive reinforcement. Once a year, students may elect to show off the fruits of these labors, with admission free of charge at a recital culminating in certificates, gift bags, and applause.
Woodway treadmills whirr and weight machines clank 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Though staffed while sun's up, the fitness center is accessible via members' key cards at night, giving gym-goers ample opportunity to incinerate calories and tone muscles on a full range of Cybex equipment or pass off their tears as sweat while watching Homeward Bound in the cardio theater. Workouts are supplemented with private sessions led by certified personal trainers, online nutritional resources, and onsite tanning booths that gold-plate freshly toned frames.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes opened The Little Gym based on his new take on physical education. His curriculum emphasized motivating children to achieve instead of pressuring them to win. As a result, The Little Gym became a noncompetitive, positive, nurturing environment where young ones could develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Since then, Little Gyms have sprouted up across the country.
Rows of glistening students gracefully bend and stretch within Smithtown Hot Yoga’s 4,000-square-foot studio. While the instructors’ series of yoga poses are enough to stretch out muscles and build strength on their own, the studio chips in some help with a thermostat that clocks in at at least 100 degrees during classes. This additional heat helps unlock tense muscles and detoxify bodies, as many of the studio’s regulars will readily attest. In a recent interview with Fios1 TV, a hot-yoga student who struggled with lower-back pain recounts her many attempts to find relief: trips to the chiropractor, injections, T-shirts dipped in menthol. "Nothing helped until I came to yoga," she said.
Though the studio’s instructors provide towels for each class, students are encouraged to wear light workout gear. After 90-minute classes, which run throughout the day, students can shower off or practice levitating in private stalls.