Although many of The Bar Method's exercises take place at the ballet bar, the program is only partially inspired by the long, lean musculature of ballet dancers. Created by Burr Leonard, the workouts also incorporate the brief, fat-burning bursts of activity known as interval training and the muscle-shaping techniques of isometrics. Combine all this with the science of physical therapy, and you get The Bar Method: an intense yet safely designed approach to exercise meant to cinch the silhouette, increase muscle definition, and boost energy all day long. Sessions introduce beginners to basics, such as maintaining good form and refraining from breaking out into Swan Lake choreography.
Unlimited Fitness offers its clients personalized training in lively small-group settings. The trainers welcome 8–10 clients to attend each of their 55-minute sessions, which take place multiple times a day and require reservations. Because they place a cap on the number of students in attendance, the trainers can easily customize exercise routines to suit everyone’s particular fitness goals, skills, and number of extra arms.
Besides trainers equipped with all the fitness knowledge needed to whip clients into shape, the gym comes fully stocked with everything from ellipticals and stationary bikes to resistance bands and medicine balls.
The staff members at Core Fitness lead circuit-training fitness classes as well as personal-training sessions. During the group classes, the trainers challenge their students with upper body, lower body, core, cardio, balance, and strength exercises on 12 to 16 different stations.
Center for Health and Fitness's facility spans 17,000 square feet and harbors everything members need to embrace wellness. The cardio space beckons exercisers with Matrix treadmills, stationary bikes, and stair climbers, as well as arm-cranks and seated NuStep elliptical trainers, which go easy on joints and aid in injury rehabilitation. A complete kettlebell set stands out among the abundant strength training equipment, which also includes Hammer Strength machines, free weights, and a squat cage. Functional training equipment is also available, including foam rollers, medicine balls, and Thera-Bands for building giant rubber-band balls.
Each of the center's personal trainers and medical exercise specialists boasts a health-related college degree, as well as certifications from the ACSM and other organizations. They teach group exercise to cultivate fitness camaraderie—classes such as belly dance, body sculpt, and cycling are included in basic memberships, and unlimited memberships open up a wide variety of Pilates and yoga sessions on the studio's wooden floors. Instructors also lead classes that focus on meditation, weight management, and nutrition.
To reward bodies after a workout or for not spontaneously combusting, massage therapists infuse Swedish kneading with techniques including shiatsu, deep tissue, and reiki. Staffers replenish stacks of freshly laundered towels so members can wick away sweat or towel off after using the locker rooms' showers, stocked with shampoo and conditioner.
Michelle St.Claire’s battle with scoliosis finally ended when she found Pilates. She gratefully dove headlong into the exercise form, becoming teacher at and owner of Pilates South Bay, which has now been in business more than four years. Her students – some of whom are up to 75 years young – describe her as “knowledgeable,” a “motivator,” and a teacher whose calming manner leaves them feeling relaxed “during and after each session.” However, this doesn't mean her classes are easy. She relentlessly stretches and strengthens her clients’ bodies on reformers, supplementing the enhanced Pilates exercises with 30-minute jumpboard classes. Her jumpboard workouts offer a full-body cardio blast, engaging all the muscles to quickly raise heart rates.