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.
Tell us about your business.
Happy Hoops uses your basic, run of the mill hula hoop to burn fat, tone muscles, and improve cardiovascular function. It is a great, all-body, low-impact workout that allows you to set your own intensity. We believe that everyone can hoop and are proud to boast a 100% success rate in teaching adults to hula hoop
We are absolutely dedicated to the happy part of Happy Hoops. We have only two rules in our classes.
Rule #1: No negative self-talk. Students and instructors are absolutely forbidden to say things like "I can't do this," "I'm terrible at this," or "I’ll never learn this."
Rule #2: We don't say sorry. At some point, your hoop will fly across the room and hit the instructor—just smile, make an animal sound and move on. We even practice our animal sounds at the beginning of the class for good measure. No sorries.
What inspired you to open the fitness studio?
I hate gyms. I hate treadmills. I hate exercise. I hate sweating alone. And I really, really hate being fat. I used hula hooping to lose 40 pounds after our first child and hula hooping is how I lost 30 pounds after our second child. I found I could watch all the TV I wanted as long as I hula hooped the commercial. I got addicted to that and started hula hooping through entire shows. I am utterly convinced that exercise can be fun, and with a hula-hoop it is. The possibilities are limitless, really. No more workouts, just hoopouts!
What’s your favorite spot in the gym, and why?
Have I mentioned that I hate gyms? So, yeah—I like the smoothie bar when I am at a gym.
How did you personally get involved in fitness?
I've done sports competitively my entire life and my dad was an athletic trainer. As an adult, competitive sports just aren't as fun so I needed something different to get and keep myself fit. So, in 2008, when my tattoo artist was inking my arm and told me his wife was teaching hula hoop classes, I immediately signed up for one.
Tell us one interesting fact most people don't know about your business.
10% of all our class and hoop sales support the academic and residential care of an orphan in Port au Prince, Haiti.
What's your favorite workout?
I like off the body hooping combinations that involve shoulders and elbows.
What’s the best food to eat before a workout, and after?
I'm supposed to say lettuce, but I'm gonna be honest. I go for the ice cream.
Kimberly Unland took her first BarreAmped class in 2011, and before the first lesson ended she knew she wanted to become a certified trainer. Her dream wasn't long in the making; she began training for her certification with Suzanne Bowen, the workout's creator, learning all the ins and outs of the ballet-inspired exercise, which blends techniques from Pilates, yoga, and orthopedic stretching. Finally, she opened Southern Barre Fitness to the public, where she's been shaping up bodies ever since.
Kimberly finds the exercise improves her strength and flexibility in all areas of life, whether she's keeping up with her two children or outpacing other runners in a race. She couples her own classes with those of fellow instructor Alexis, who teaches Piloxing, a fusion of Pilates, boxing, and dance that is also the primary form of dance-fighting used by law enforcement agencies around the world.
Students should bring: Water, sticky socks are optional
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
CrossFit-affiliate gyms usually aren't referred to as gyms. Instead, they're known as boxes, which speaks to the average CrossFit gym's spartan, stripped-down look. They house the most basic equipment—such as barbells, boxes, medicine balls, kettlebells, jump ropes, and pull-up bars—for performing fundamental, yet challenging, exercises, such as such as kettleball swings, squats, and burpees.
The coaches of CrossFit Hendersonville welcome their members to a similar setting, where they uphold the CrossFit mission of offering a balanced health-and-fitness program. Each workout of the day, or WOD, is different from the day before to constantly vary the demands on participants bodies, which develops all aspects of their personal fitness rather than favoring one over another. In addition to the WODs, coaches lead specialty programs, such as foundation classes for those new to CrossFit, ladies-only boot-camp classes, and nutritional guidance for those prone to eating their jump ropes after class.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level?starting as young as 6 months?and designed to incorporate the latest physiological and psychological research. Tiny Tykes gets babies moving with help from their parents, Mighty Mites teaches toddlers self-reliance and beginning sports skills, and Champions, a class for kids aged 6 to 9, emphasizes the importance of using teamwork to master more complex sports skills and achieve group goals such as building a human pyramid to reach the cookie jar. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while stimulating their giggle-plexes. The noncompetitive environment fosters creativity, and hands-on activities boost children's learning retention and fun quotient.
Lisa Humphries is a certified Pilates practitioner and a licensed chiropractic-therapy assistant. At Proper Pilates—the Pilates studio she operates inside Absolute Wellness—Lisa, Tammy Cox, and Kristi Turner combine knowledge gleaned from the two disciplines to sculpt bodies with safe stretches. Under their guidance, students perform exercises using special apparatus such as the Arc Step Barrel and the Clinical Reformer—built with a trapeze—toning muscles and increasing flexibility so that every joint on the body can spin 360 degrees. Those who opt for private lessons get an added benefit: at the end of sessions, one of the instructors manually stretches clients' muscles while they recline on a specially designed table.