Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
The Five Seasons Family Sports Club houses tennis courts, a dining area, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and a full-service spa under one roof. Within air-conditioned indoor courts or on outdoor hard or clay courts, racquet slingers compete in friendly bouts to sharpen swings, refine backhands, and showcase grunting abilities. Members can also break a sweat in exercise areas speckled with modern cardio equipment and weights or cool off in an Olympic-sized pool with diving wells and wading areas. Before meeting others for a postgame beverage at the lively caf?, clients can wander to the spa for a relaxing massage or partake in a sports workshop to gain a firm grasp on game mechanics.
Mary Rider took her first Zumba class three years ago. A year later, she decided to become a licensed instructor so she could guide students through the Latin-inspired dance moves that helped her lose 75 pounds. She went on to found Move Your Body Fitness inside a 1,200-square-foot studio. Now, Mary and her instructors teach classes that range from Zumba to Yoga and Pilates.
At PRO Martial Arts, students of all ages learn the Korean arts of tae kwon do, hapkido, and tang soo do. The instructors guide students from white belt to black belt, helping them with age-appropriate goals such as cultivating scholastic excellence, burning off extra weight, or gaining the leg strength to beat schoolyard rivals at double dutch.
But PRO Martial Arts isn’t only focused on martial arts. It also torches calories in Zumba fitness classes, which use fast-paced dance moves set to Latin beats to tone cores and shed pounds. And cardio kickboxing classes focus on the fitness aspect of martial arts to slim down bodies.
In addition to offering its clientele increased athletic prowess with combat and fitness classes, PRO Martial Arts offers its youngest students invaluable knowledge about issues such as bullies or predators. It has classes that cover topics ranging from how to ask for help from adults and deal with cyberbullying to tips on recognizing strangers and their bad behavior.
Bella Forza Fitness's experienced instructors strengthen women from within. In classes such as Body Combat, students combine martial arts with cardio moves for fierce fat burning. Bella Forza Fitness also hosts parties for bachelorette and birthday parties and sells apparel online store.
Though Master Sun Park's friendly demeanor doesn't suggest it, a powerful warrior lies behind his warm smile and crisp, white uniform. At age 11, Park earned a third-degree black belt in tae kwon do before continuing on to win numerous championship titles in Ohio state and national competitions. Now, with more than 43 years of martial-arts experience beneath his fifth-degree black belt, Park extends his expertise to students 4 and older at his private training studio.
Plush blue mats stretch across the studio's floor, where Park and his staff of WTF- and USAT-certified instructors lead tae kwon do and kickboxing classes for children and adults alike, in addition to personal-training sessions. They strive to promote physical fitness along with the values of discipline, responsibility, and confidence. Throughout the studio, students wallop punching bags, halve wooden boards, and carve the likeness of Jean-Claude Van Damme into stone with just their fists of fury.