Conceived by fitness guru Kristen Horler, these fitness classes help expecting and new moms get fit in a supportive environment, combining strength-training exercises, cardiovascular drills, Pilates, yoga, and ab work. Moms-to-be can attend the prenatal program (with a physician's note and recommendation) to prepare for the rare delivery that exceeds the sit-com standard of seven minutes, as well as the rigors of newborn wrangling. Post-birth students are encouraged to bring along their new joy-bundles, thereby facilitating familial bonding and eliminating the need for a babysitter to come by and time their wind-sprints for them. All instructors are highly trained, and the boot camp's structure abides by the guidelines of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Council on Exercise.
At Puh-la-teez, certified instructor Bridget Kolshak helps students fortify their cores with an arrangement of specialized Pilates equipment. Begin the pursuit of fitness with a one-hour private Reformer, Tower, or Mat session (up to a $50 value), then move on to group classes for additional power-ups and the chance to stare down fellow exercisers. Physique sculptors can carve themselves a sexier shell and solidify gooey cores with the purposeful movements of a Pilates Mat class, a 55-minute fusion of mat exercises and modern Pilates props (a $10 value). Finish off the body-trimming adventure with a 55-minute Pilates equipment class (a $20 value)—the Reformer class refines balance, core strength, and flexibility on the Stott Pilates Reformer, and the Tower class relies on the Balanced Body Pilates Springboard to challenge muscle groups with resistance training.
Due to her contagious love of yoga, Inga Balciuniene's class space has grown from a room that could only hold four guests into a studio with its own fountain, massage area, and teaching staff. Even so, the certified instructor hasn't stopped reaching out to her community. Her Hatha- and Vinyasa-style lessons cater to any age, body type, and ability, with posture adjustments for students who stretch at different paces. She also entertains children aged 3 and older with lighthearted kids' yoga sessions, which channel creativity to keep youngsters moving instead of convincing them that their mats are lava. Inga also teaches yoga principles to special needs kids and adults, including some with autism. Apart from classes, events such as Yoga and Wine Night—where libations and recipes for healthy eats are passed around—encourage visitors to socialize in the candlelit space.
Inga is far from possessive of the environment she has built, and she readily rents out the studio to other teachers. She currently shares the space with a belly-dance expert and two massage therapists.
Retro Fitness, named one of Entrepreneur's Top New Franchises in 2011, unfurls with 13,000 square feet of vintage-styled workout space that leads visitors to physical peaks in a sunny setting marked by red and yellow fitness equipment and an encouraging team of goal-oriented personal trainers. The capacious gym's sound system blasts energetic jams from the '80s and beyond as exercisers hoist weights or watch TV shows on the 17-inch screens affixed to every cardio machine. Classic flicks such as Grease and Ferris Bueller's Day Off claim screen space in the cardio theater, where guests manufacture sweat by pedaling, jogging, and rewinding hundreds of VHS tapes. Checkerboard pathways venture toward the Retro Blends juice bar with baristas who blend made-to-order fruit smoothies using whey protein and yogurt.
AFAA-certified fitness instructor Kari Fundingsland did three decades' worth of research before opening Kari Kardio. Beginning with her first Jazzercise center in 1983, she amassed group- and personal-training knowledge at gyms stationed from the United States to Australia. She took note of club fads and their effects, and experimented with different exercise styles to create the Kardio Flex System—a malleable workout template that allows instructors to pair her proven exercises with their own music playing over speakers or inside their heads. Today, more than 30 group classes per week at Kari Kardio attest to the breadth of her industry savvy.
With backgrounds in competitive athletics, personal training, and other high-level fitness activities, Kari Kardio’s teachers pair time-tested training methods with the latest workout trends. Their classes—which run the gamut from spin to kickboxing to strength training—accommodate all experience levels with safe exercise modifications. Treadmills and stationary bikes line the 9,000-square-foot studio, helping students chase their fitness goals and complete stationary paper routes when not attending classes.
Owner Jeremy Barnett and his trainers don’t sit back idly and simply recommend getting in shape with CrossFit exercise but also sweat alongside their patrons, furthering their own journeys to fitness. Phil Roberts—now one of Jeremy’s CrossFit¬-certified trainers—shed more than 100 pounds working his body with CrossFit and now inspires students to meet their own weight-loss goals. CrossFit Thoroughbreds’ staff believes that dull routines inhibit progress, changing the nature of the exercises they direct daily and always posting the current date’s workout online. Small groups battle calories and fat within the facility's stripped-down warehouse-like facility, which houses climbing ropes, free weights, and gymnastics equipment, building camaraderie as participants motivate one another while blasting through reps or levitating to the ceiling with only the strength of their minds.