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 to 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.
As a nurse, fitness trainer, and avid marathon runner, Pamela Kato understands that building a strong and healthy body isn’t about locking yourself in a gym. Everyday activities can inspire workouts like the ones she guides at Bodyworks of Northeast Florida. Feet pound sand or pavement in BeachFit and BuggyFit classes. In the former, participants perform cardio and calisthenics exercises in beach sand; exercisers in the latter sweat through boot-camp sessions while pushing their babies in strollers down the street. Individual sessions include lessons in aerial fitness on silk hammocks and ballet-barre work, and Bodyworks also offers consultations and nutrition plans that focus on long-term goals for health and wellness.
Club 14 Fitness' roster of trainers reads like the manifest of a submarine on its way to SEALAB III. It includes one University of Chicago educated biologist, one former Navy man, one chiropractor-turned-holistic healer, one nutritionist, and the first runner-up in the Mr. Wyoming bodybuilding competition. Together, they downright plaster the walls with all manners of certifications, issued by everyone from AFAA to CrossFit. They lean hard on their multifarious backgrounds to build personal-fitness regimens and a schedule of calorie-blasting classes, including a lineup of LesMills sessions, that firm up bodies more effectively than falling asleep in a cement mixer.
When not dancing or spinning through group fitness sessions, members can bolster heart rates in the cardio room, hoist free weights, or target hyper-specific muscle groups on the gym's cache of Star Trac equipment. Guests wind down in the wood-paneled sauna, slake thirst at the juice bar, or bronze up in the tanning bed. To make getting to the gym more accessible, Club 14 keeps kids entertained with childcare and pint-sized fitness programs, and keeps its doors open 24 hours. All of this earned the gym the Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award in 2010.
Sol Pedal Cycling Studio's stationary cyclists lead students on an invigorating imaginary ramble during 60-minute spinning classes. After consulting the schedule's array of morning and afternoon sessions, students hop on their waiting Schwinn steeds for an hour of pulse-raising routines calibrated to boost stamina, challenge multiple muscle groups, and prepare legs for backward reenactments of last year's Tour de France. Sol's high-energy instructors keep students confident and engaged with a funky, sweat-inducing soundtrack. Students should arrive a few minutes early for each session to prepare bikes to their liking by adjusting workout settings and attaching the gym's optional handlebar streamers.
Absolute Fitness’s east and west locations serve as temples of dedication, where focused staff members help women of all ages to achieve their fitness goals in specialized, dedicated facilities. Both exercise studios boast areas with a specific purpose, whether it’s the cardio and weight-training rooms or the aquatics center featuring a large pool. Students 2 or older plié and prance through ballet lessons and jazz and hip-hop classes in a dance studio, and mirrored suites with hardwood floors house Pilates equipment such as reformers to help with major core conditioning.
With such ample square footage, Absolute Fitness manages to combine fitness furnishings with a number of other services. Members relax and unwind in spas concealed in the locker rooms, and a child-care area is available. After an intense workout, visitors can replenish burnt calories with a snack in the bistro. Medically knowledgeable trainers also offer extensive physiotherapy services for a range of conditions, such as lingering injuries, headaches, dizziness, and neck and back pain. They utilize diverse techniques such as hydrotherapy (in-pool exercise) and electrical muscle and transcutaneous nerve stimulation, which is accomplished by building up an electrical charge while rubbing one’s head into shag carpeting.
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.