Master instructor & head trainer Frederick Neal is a certified professional trainer and sixth degree black belt with over 30 years of experience. He specializes in core body training and full body dynamic movement techniques. He offers traditional and alternative methods of training designed to familiarize beginners with the science, spirit, and secret handshakes of the exercise world.
One is the loneliest number, which is why the well-appointed club for men and women Image Planet joins forces with neighboring health club for women Image 2000 to offer a plethora of fitness classes and workout equipment seven days a week. Inside the spacious cardio area, Life Fitness machines line the wall—each sporting built-in TV screens with more than 250 channels and a rotating selection of tiny people. Knowledgeable instructors guide all levels through more than 40 group fitness classes, from trendy Zumba and Pilates sessions to Image Planet's signature Silver Sneakers —a class designed exclusively for seniors. Guests can also reach their fitness and wellness goals through the club's menu of alternative-health options, which range from nutritional counseling and health seminars to onsite chiropractic services.
Image Planet's space-age design is courtesy of architect Rudy Fabiano, who paired exposed metal beams with high-vaulted ceilings and a to-scale replica of the moon. Guests refuel their bodies at the center's juice bar and health grill, and little ones stay entertained inside the learning center, which features a Nintendo Play Station and large movie-theater screen.
For more than 40 years, the family that owns and operates Paragon Athletic Club has been helping clients meet their health and fitness goals. Their spacious facility offers the latest workout equipment: a dedicated cycling room hosts spinning classes, and cardio machines with personal televisions allow guests to keep up with local news or their favorite sitcoms. In addition to upbeat fitness classes, staff provides services including personal training, fitness testing, and nutrition counseling. Clients can also head to the City Blends Juice Bar for a fresh and healthy post-workout shake or refreshing orange juice shower.
Doug Petschow founded Strength and Fitness Club as a complete haven of healthy living. The 19,000-quare-foot club does the basics right—each piece of equipment on the cardio platform features USB ports for charging an iPod or cell phone, cooling fans, and a flat-screen high-definition TV on which exercisers can catch their favorite shows or watch their kids playing in the Mini Muscles Daycare through a special channel. Lock-and-load selectorized equipment eliminates the need for pins, and a nine-piece circuit training area guides members through a full-body workout in half an hour. The staff stocks the free-weight area with dumbbells, plates, Hammer Strength equipment, and power racks, and there's also a separate, padded ab area set up with BOSU balls, mats, and other equipment. Four fitness studios host boot camps, yoga, spin, and other classes on the bustling group-class schedule, including mixed martial arts in a dedicated space. Meanwhile, personal trainers help members home in on specific goals, such as toning their muscles or lifting their entire teddy-bear collection into bed at once.
But Doug didn't stop there. He set up a juice bar where members could wash down turkey burgers with protein shakes after a hard workout. To help members look and feel even more fabulous, he set up a massage studio and tanning beds onsite. The staff keeps the locker rooms and neatly tiled showers sparkling, cleaning them twice a day.
The free-weight section of the local gym has commonly been a place to hear the thunderous sounds of Hercules-like lifters grunting their way through reps and clinking dumbbells falling to the floor. This scene could easily scare away beginners and guests with non-heroic physiques. Known for constantly straying from the norm, trainer Ashleigh Kast forged a routine that works equally well at initiating beginners and helping experienced lifters push themselves over a strength plateau, combining drills from the Functional Movement System with the Russian Kettlebell Challenge. The purpose of each kettlebell-bolstered movement is to stimulate as many muscle groups as possible, forcing them to work together towards the common goal of tone and calorie burn. Kast introduces a new kettlebell skill into the program each week to prevent muscles from becoming bored and defacing the bones with obscene doodles. When the weather cooperates, classes move outdoors, and one Sunday morning a month, she invites students to attend a specialized workshop.
No Body Denied—that’s what the NBD in NBD Training Zone for Women stands for. An offshoot of NBD Fitness in Springfield, the facility was started as a place where ladies could come to transform their lifestyles, improve their physique, or boost their confidence amongst a community of like-minded people. The instructors lead 60 group fitness classes each week, a diverse array of exercise methods that includes everything from TRX and spinning to yoga and Pilates. The Pilates reformer sessions are designated for small groups; if you need some personal attention or are afraid you’ll yell your ATM pin number during exercise, the studio offers private personal training sessions.