At KGB Fitness, founder Kendra Gail Beelen fuses different fitness philosophies to help build happier, healthier clients. Drawing from her extensive certifications and 25 years of dance experience, Kendra crafts workouts that balance traditional strength training with graceful exercises that challenge agility, stabilization, and flexibility. Kendra plays the role of ringleader at daily boot-camp classes, and she also offers one-on-one personal training, nutritional guidance, and pregnancy and postpartum exercise plans.
At Duncan Martial Arts, instructor Gregory Duncan carries on his father’s legacy by teaching the Way of the Winds system. The first martial artists to bring ninjutsu to the United States, Gregory’s father, Professor Ronald Duncan, created a system that emphasizes rapid-fire striking patterns, evasive movements, and joint locking. Implementing elements of traditional taijutsu and jujitsu, the Way of the Winds system also includes education in traditional weaponry, such as sais, tonfa, han-bo, nunchakus, and more. Classes help build self-confidence and mental focus as students learn control over their bodies and responses to high-stress situations, such as a stranger approaching them in a dark alley and asking them to name all the vice presidents in alphabetical order. To expand upon the influences of Eastern fitness traditions, the center also offers yoga classes designed to center the mind and strengthen the body.
ImPower Pilates combines traditional Pilates, the endurance- and repetition-based core-building exercise pioneered by Joseph Pilates, with tailored training equipment capable of increasing strength, flexibility, and balance. During tower classes, which are limited to four students with one Pilates-certified instructor, students boldly strap in and stretch out over their powerful resistance-riddled frenemies with the “Wall Unit.” With each spring-loaded strain-seducing repetition, instructors and their followers alike work rarely used muscles, pushing the limits of their perseverance, and upping the chances of nabbing sidewalk change without breaking stride. Those who take the tower class should have Pilates-mat or Pilates-equipment training experience.
Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
Whether you want to stand taller, bend over backwards, or open a pickle jar taped to your back, Devotion Yoga offers a suitable yoga style. Launch a quest to find peace of mind, openness of heart, and baby Jason’s golden pacifier during a bhakti open flow session, or celebrate the night’s final departure during an "Om in the a.m." class, a yogic excursion that starts a brand-new day with challenging postures and breathing techniques. Devotion’s Uptown location sits in a cozy storefront space right across from Manhattan’s skyscratchers, and the original downtown location has two relaxing studios: the Sun Studio, a bright yoga lounge with yellowed walls, high ceilings, and bulletproof windows, and the Moon Room, decked out in bamboo floors and meditative plants.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.