Retro Fitness, named one of Entrepreneur's Top New Franchises in 2011, unfurls with 13,000 square feet of vintage-styled workout space that leads visitors to physical peaks in a sunny setting marked by red and yellow fitness equipment and an encouraging team of goal-oriented personal trainers. The capacious gym's sound system blasts energetic jams from the '80s and beyond as exercisers hoist weights or watch TV shows on the 17-inch screens affixed to every cardio machine. Classic flicks such as Grease and Ferris Bueller's Day Off claim screen space in the cardio theater, where guests manufacture sweat by pedaling, jogging, and rewinding hundreds of VHS tapes. Checkerboard pathways venture toward the Retro Blends juice bar with baristas who blend made-to-order fruit smoothies using whey protein and yogurt.
Members of Synergy Fitness Clubs thrive on choice. Choice of location? There are nine. Choice of activity? Instructors lead classes in almost any form of exercise imaginable, such as power sculpt, full-body circuits, and intense cycling. To make sure that members are making the choices that will help reach their fitness goals the fastest, the clubs are staffed with more than 100 lifestyle coaches. These pros are continually educated in their fields of specialty—which might mean nutrition counseling, yoga, or boxing.
A wide slate of equipment and amenities makes it as easy as possible to fit in workouts. Most locations are open 24 hours, and while parents lift free weights or dance a beautiful tango with a Precor elliptical, their kids can hang out in a free childcare room.
L.E.A.R.N. was founded to help children, adolescents, and adults lead healthier lives. To accomplish this goal, the certified staff works with all ages during group fitness classes and personal-training sessions. Fitness courses include adult options such as boot-camp and kid options such as Wacky Weights, which combines endurance drills and resistance exercises.
Some people work out in the morning, some people work out in the evening, and some people work out in the middle of the night. To accommodate the fitness schedules of all types, Bell Plaza Sports Club offers 24-hour access 7 days a week to its four-story facility that boasts a private sun deck. With all the time in the world at their disposal, exercisers can boost their endurance in the cardio training center, build muscle in the strength and toning areas, and partake in a variety of fitness classes—there are more than 35 available each week. They can also work one-on-one with a certified professional during customized personal training sessions—an ideal setting for progressing toward fitness goals such as bench-pressing their personal trainer.
There's a ritual to the boot-camp sessions that nationally certified personal trainer Mike Salvietti leads online six days a week. After spending about 10 minutes running through warm-ups to increase joint mobility, participants plow through up to 30 minutes of metabolic resistance training. Each 45- to 55-minute session wraps up with thorough stretching to minimize soreness and recovery time. The exercises work quickly, reducing body fat, toning muscles, and speeding up metabolism in as little as six sessions spread over two weeks. They're easy to jump into, too; boot-campers only need to bring running shoes, water, and a towel they can twist around their head and spin like a helicopter.
Healthy habits are forged during childhood. That's the central philosophy behind Better Kids Bootcamp, whose trainers take a three-prong approach to helping kids lose weight and stay in shape for years to come. Head trainer ?a graduate of the physical education program at Queens College?and his fellow fitness experts lead one-hour workouts that incorporate fat-burning heart rates, an emphasis on coordination and motor skills, and a building of healthy habits, including making better eating choices. Just like in a science lab, there's also a not-so-secret fourth element: fun. The trainers want kids to enjoy their workout sessions, so that they look forward to each and every visit.