My Gym children's fitness center, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 25 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. With a dedication to imparting the benefits and fun of fitness, the affable, energetic crew of teachers and supervisors at the Jacksonville branch employs their expertise in music, dance, and gymnastics to build youngsters' strength and self-esteem while simultaneously stimulating their giggleplexes. Classes are organized according to age level—starting as young as 6 weeks—and are designed to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. My Gym’s curriculum includes structured classes for all developmental degrees, from Tiny Tykes, a class for parents and babies that focuses on movement, to Whiz Kids and Champions, classes designed for elementary-aged kids to master motor, sports, and gymnastics skills. One-hour free-play sessions enable children to engage in unstructured, parent-supervised frolics on the activity-filled premises.
Bailey's Powerhouse Gym Basic Plus members can sweat solo on modern, well-maintained exercise equipment accessible 24 hours a day, or join others for a one-on-one training and group fitness classes. A one-hour personal-training session with one of Bailey's trained fitness gurus can bolster motivation, help design a workout routine, or refresh your memory about hard-to-remember state capitals. Then, pump muscle with exercise accessories available 24 hours a day at every Bailey's gym, including a smorgasbord of cardiovascular equipment, a plethora of strength-training machines and free weights, and a boatload of synonyms for the word many. Other amenities vary from gym to gym, but may include boxing rooms, saunas, or cardio theater rooms stuffed with big-screen TVs and surround-sound speakers designed to distract exercisers from their toil or the fact that their hair is on fire.
Each 60 minute Jazzercize class incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training (with handheld weights) to a total-body workout complete with cardio, strength training, and stretching techniques. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, simply review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Carrie Rezabek Dorr dedicated the first years of her life to professionally dancing and choreographing at events across the country. To keep her long, lean dancer's muscles in peak condition, she devoted her spare time to learning more about fitness in general and Pilates in particular. Carrie had the inspired notion to integrate these practices into her deeply ingrained training regimen, and she founded her first studio in 2001.
Her signature barre workouts allow students to steady themselves on a ballet barre while performing invigorating sequences of isometric exercises, which tone muscles throughout the legs, core, and arms. These sequences alternate between strength-building exercises and deep, restorative stretches, taking care to avoid unnecessary joint stress by eschewing any bouncing, jumping, or belly flopping. Although instructors may play uplifting music throughout each class, the workouts typically require a yoga-like focus as students constantly monitor and adjust their form and technique.
Pilates on 3rd's owner Neely Hufnagel set out to make her studio differ from other Pilates centers. Though she credits Pilates' body-sculpting techniques for transforming her body into figure-competition shape, she also fills her studio with high-energy cross-training classes and healing yoga sessions to provide her customers with some variety. Along with Neely, the certified staff leads patrons of all ages and abilities in myriad muscle-building and limb-stretching classes, including Pilates on the reformer, Pilates on the Chair, Pilates on the Tower, Pilates and TRX Fusion Classes and Yoga. The TRX and Reformer machines utilize a system of ropes and pulleys to help patrons sculpt lean limbs with the help of their own bodyweight. Upon entering the upscale boutique studio, guests are greeted with a spa-like atmosphere decked in gleaming wood floors, tropical plants, and delicate orchids, who graciously curtsey to the best-performing athletes on their way out.
Owner Rob Manosca started practicing yoga in hopes that it would be an effective conditioning program for his men's volleyball team, but what he discovered instead was a lifelong passion in its own right. Transformed by the Bikram yoga experience, he trekked to Hawaii to undergo teacher training. Today, Rob and his staff help budding yogis harmonize body and mind through hot yoga classes that incorporate a series of 26 poses. In 105 degree heat, participants stretch muscles, stimulate blood flow, and strive for a meditative mental state.