At FITnaholics Unanimous, the instructor’s preference for high-intensity interval training may leave exercisers panting and sweating, but it also leaves them packing fewer calories than they had when they first arrived. These fat-burning sessions take the shape of group classes that range from quick-moving kettlebell and boot camp courses to the rhythm-infused workouts of Zumba and Piloxing, which combines Pilates, boxing, and dance. In addition to their signature sweatfests, staffers also help youngsters exceed playground expectations with kids’ fitness classes and give clients undivided attention during one-on-one personal training sessions.
Yoga, ballet barre, Pilates, and Zumba aren't one-dimensional workouts. That's why they and other similar classes are offered at Spectrum Wellness Center. There, the team of instructors pushes students toward overall wellness, not just exterior goals like six-pack abs and chiseled thumb muscles. Classes are kept small so students can receive personalized attention, which is ideal for all skill levels. Spectrum Wellness Center's holistic approach also shows during one-on-one injury-prevention sessions, which lets athletes get back in the game without risking performance.
Force Fitness Club’s staff of trainers uses a combination of weight and cardio training merged with group fitness classes to blast clients toward their body goals. Rows of exercisers slough off calories in the spinning studio or work out alongside peers in a specialty studio equipped for an assortment of group training classes, such as yoga, Zumba, or kickboxing, an activity generally celebrated in Britain on kickboxing day, the day after KickChristmas.
During personal-training sessions, students work with a fitness aficionado in a weight and cardio area chock-full of treadmills, free weights, and weighted chains. Under the expert eye of the trainer, they hoist, push, pull, and sweat their way to tighter physiques whether their goals are to bulk up, build toned muscles, or construct robotic exoskeletons out of weight machines.
A lot of people like to have a one-on-one with a trainer before embarking on a new fitness regimen. But at First Class Fitness, visitors have the option of meeting with a veteran exercise physiologist, who will issue a fitness evaluation and a comprehensive health screening in order to draft a unique, custom-tailored training program. What follows in the cozy, earth-toned gym might vary from person to person: instructors hold boot camp and circuit classes, and personal trainers provide focused attention to help clients reach specific goals. Other guests might opt to work out independently by lifting weights in the carpeted equipment room or by taping toy cars to their feet and gliding on the hardwood floor of the stretching studio. The one thing that is consistent, however, is the inviting atmosphere, which welcomes guests of all ages and from all walks of life.
Though now spread over the United States with 40 locations, Crunch gym started in a basement-level aerobics studio in New York City. Despite the humble location, the gym's founders aspired to foster a workout environment that would keep members exercising through entertainment and not shouting from drill-sergeant-like trainers. Their idea was to host fitness classes with offbeat touches, including hip-hop aerobics featuring a live rapper and coed action wrestling.
Twenty years later, Crunch gyms' fitness classes still stray from the beaten path. Body Web with TRX sessions suspend members from a pillar, where they complete gravity-defying maneuvers with help from strong resistance ropes. In Bosu Bootcamp, every exercise is completed on an apparatus that is part balance ball, part core board, and fully endorsed by circus seals nationwide.
Personal trainer Stephanie Rickert knows first-hand the difficulty of staying in shape amid a hectic lifestyle. At one time a gymnast, dancer, and competitive bodybuilder, Stephanie became a mother at age 27, gaining more than 50 lbs during her pregnancy—weight that she simply couldn't shed after giving birth. She instituted a new battle plan: a combination of rigid exercise—including spin, kickboxing, and weight training—and a personalized nutrition program. Finally, her efforts paid off, and she competed in an amateur bodybuilding contest once again.
Today, Stephanie—along with her own mother, a bodybuilder in her own right—helps others achieve their fitness goals at Destination Fitness, a fully equipped gym set within an open loft in a remodeled 100-year-old barn. Bootcamp sessions combine a variety of exercises to keep workouts fresh, and personal-training sessions customize exercise regimes to suit clients' unique goals. As in Stephanie's original transformation, trainers also provide nutritional guidance to help clients strengthen their weight-loss efforts without being tempted by delicious dumbbells.