Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Nicole White-Fiandaca struggled with her weight. She told NJ Iron Magazine that she was "extremely obese" after giving birth to her two children. This coupled with additional health problems led a physician to recommend gastric bypass surgery. Unwilling to accept her fate, she changed her diet and started a simple exercise routine. Eventually, she progressed to P90X and later discovered Zumba. The latter quickly became her favorite, and after three years of regular exercise, she has shed more than 100 pounds.
Nicole, now a certified Zumba instructor, teaches classes to children and adults. More like a dance party than a workout, Zumba pairs Latin dance moves with upbeat, international rhythms and resistance training. After overcoming her own battle against weight gain, Nicole welcomes anyone regardless of their ability. She encourages her students to follow her lead during class. But if that proves to be too great a challenge, then it's fine to just keep moving by imitating your favorite congressman being chased by a bee.
While many gyms offer weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and rowing machines to help its members achieve leaner physiques, all JC Barre Fitness Studio needs is a ballet barre. That's because the apparatus helps students sculpt lean muscles, lose weight, and increase agility thanks to a flurry of exercises performed during various classes. The studio's signature class B3 blends Pilates, ballet, and Yoga into a one-hour, 600 calorie-burning workout, and co-ed boot camp by B3 ups the exercise ante with increased cardio and isometric moves that deliver a satisfying burn without actually setting fire to one's muscles. In addition to barre classes, the studio offers up Pilates and Zumba sessions and invites its clients to suggest additional classes via email.
Marie Medina began dancing as a 6-year-old, and she has never lost her enthusiasm for it. Inside her industrial chic studio, Marie and her team of instructors strive to empower and inspire women through fitness, movement, and dance. They lead students of all fitness levels through a variety of dance-inspired fitness classes such as Barre, Zumba, Pilates, Ballroom Fit, and more, all designed to stimulate the mind, body, and soul.
For A.M. Fitness Groove owner and head instructor Ajia Maximillian, working out should be a party that you look forward to, not something you dread at the end of the day. To that end, she opened her dance-fitness studio to spice up workouts, while catering to the busy schedule of New Yorkers. Sessions start at 6:30 a.m., allowing students to burn calories during a Zumba or boot-camp class before heading into work as the mayor’s bagel tester. Ajia also offers “express” midday classes that easily squeeze into a lunch break, with the hope that clients can get their workout in during the day, leaving time for friends, family, and relaxation in the evenings. And to boost energy levels and overall fun, she infuses her up-tempo dance classes with elements from her background in West African drumming, hip-hop, and Congolese dancing.
The hiss and clank of weight machines from manufacturers such as Cybex and Precor blend with the whir of recumbent cycles and treadmills to form the perpetual soundtrack at each of Dolphin Fitness Clubs’ 24-hour locations. To augment individual exercise regimens, nationally certified staffers teach aerobic classes throughout the week, with offerings ranging from classic step classes to low-impact yoga and pillow-fighting lessons.