With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
At CrossFitRace, small groups gather throughout the week to shed calories during sessions of CrossFit. CrossFit workouts challenge participants of all ages and skill levels with constantly varied, functional movements executed with a high level of intensity. The facility's accomplished instructors emphasize good form and technique during classes, each of which focuses on a Workout of the Day—or WOD—as posted on CrossFit.com.
At GPP Fitness, instructors guide exercisers through tough yet simple workouts that transform bodies and burn away extra weight. Kettlebells, crunches, and runs may leave muscles sore, but they combine for an efficient training program that helps exercisers quickly achieve their fitness goals.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let the Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Navy Special Operators are recognized as some of the world's most feared warriors. Run using the same aquatic training program that tests the mettle of real-life divers and explosives techs, Hellbender's Amphibious Bootcamp sends exercisers plunging in and out of the water as they blast through a blend of calisthenics and aquatic exercises. A diverse collection of former sailors, soldiers, and firefighters lead the classes, shouting encouragement as as students switch from pushups and pull-ups to freestyle, breaststroke, and sprint swims. Movable obstacles including sandbags, weights, and decommissioned bathyspheres also wait beneath the depths, challenging endurance as they bulk up screaming muscles. Classes welcome all fitness levels, but exercisers should be able to tread water, swim at least 25 yards without stopping, and arrive with their own goggles and swimsuit.
The certified instructors at 12th Street Fitness motivate their clients with an ever-changing workout of the day, which keeps exercises from getting monotonous and weeds out any cardboard cutouts masquerading as real humans. Within their 5,500-square-foot, open-floor-plan gym space, they fit this workout into boot-camp sessions and group fitness classes. Each boot-camp class follows an exercise circuit through the gym's equipment, which includes weight-training gear, treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes. For a more personalized fitness experience, instructors also provide one-on-one personal training and nutrition counseling.