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.
To the certified fitness instructors at 4MMG Fitness, hard work and fun are not mutually exclusive. Though they realize the challenge before them, this is a mindset they aim to instill in each client who walks through the door. To accomplish this, they fill the fitness studio's schedule with group classes such as core, kettlebell, functional training, giving participants varied ways in which to improve their balance, build strength, and gain confidence. In addition to group classes, the trainers can also work with clients one-on-one, helping them work toward specific goals, whether they want to tone up or fit into one of this year's popular slim-cut sleeping bags.
Super Impact Fitness Studio eschews clunky and cumbersome gym equipment for a "classes only" workout mantra, rallying physiques between exposed-brick walls and floor-to-ceiling windows for routines led by certified instructors. Guests can sync their breathing to match meditative Vinyasa yoga poses or follow intuitive Zumba dance steps for a full-body burn. Boot-camp drills merge strength and cardio training to target oft-overlooked muscles in ears and phantom limbs. Spin, dance, and mixed-martial-arts sessions—helmed by cage fighter Michael "Sharp" Sanders—also fuel fat-busting drills. The staff promotes a well-rounded approach to health with holistic lifestyle counseling and plans to lodge local artwork, theater rehearsals, and zoological exhibits smaller than a breadbox during SIF Studio Presents showcases.
Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
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.
Artist Katie Niewodowski says she suffered from nearly debilitating, chronic migraines. That is, until she moved to Montclair, where she discovered holistic healing. This gradually led her into yoga, and as she began to look and feel healthier, she started practicing every day. Perhaps it was this decision that pushed her toward becoming a yoga instructor, leading to her education at the Bikram yoga school and Baron Baptiste's teacher training. She hasn't stopped learning since.
Today, as the owner of SunMoon Yoga, she leads a team of instructors who draw from backgrounds as diverse as acrobatics, poetry, and bending backwards to open doors. All lend their own touch to the studio's all-levels classes, in which they may help students align their chakras or teach them the meanings behind pieces of Sanskrit literature. Whatever their individual approaches, they all lead students sweating through traditional hot yoga, shifting through the fluid poses of vinyasa yoga, or chanting mantras and breathing rhythmically in Jivamukti yoga. Their breath and voices echo across the small studio's wood floors, where during the day, natural light filtering through light blue curtains contributes to the calming atmosphere.