When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first of their gyms in 1980, they chartered their gym around three values: service, cleanliness, and having owners operate their own facilities. True to the founders' original vision, each location's employees strive to keep their cardio and resistance equipment spic and span as they care for facilities. In addition to personal training, instructors lead a schedule of more than 400 group fitness classes?including cycling, Kardio Kick, and Zumba?offered each week across their eight locations. At the clubs, trainers also help guests master CrossFit functional equipment and use TRX suspension training systems to help them connect with their vine-savvy pet orangutans.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches 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.
On tables resplendent with colorful paper and an assemblage of unique tools, BippityBoppityGlue hosts an array of scrapbooking classes for groups of nimble-fingered color coordinators. Choose from a variety of classes, such as Paper Bag Scrapbook Albums, Fun with Ink, Flower Making, or the all-inclusive Scrapbooking 101, which teaches paper novices how to create colorful memory encasements or pop-up books that detail vacations spent discovering a third dimension. Up to 15 crafters snag 3 feet of prime table real estate, where they receive instruction from wizened scrapbookers while manipulating paper into flowers, decorative frames, or replicas of yesterday’s New York Times. Over the course of the three-hour class, scrappers can munch on complimentary snacks and soda while basking in the warm chitter-chatter of paper assemblers as they craft pages of memories. BippityBoppityGlue recommends that students provide their own photos, scissors, paper trimmer, adhesive, and any other materials they would like to use in addition to the more specialized tools provided by the studio.
Getting behind the wheel of a Ferrari may seem like a fantasy to some?but it's a perfectly attainable adrenaline fix at The Motorsport Lab. The Lab's vehicular experts allow clients to take a Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, or other rare and exotic automobile out for a once-in-a-lifetime spin.
After explaining the vehicle features and the proper safety protocols, staff members turn over the keys. Drivers can develop a feel for the automobile's speed and cat-like agility while guiding it around a controlled autocross course for several laps. For a truly immersive experience, The Motorsport Lab occasionally rents out its sports cars for weekend-long escapes that let clients travel in style and become the object of envy at any drive-through dry cleaner.
Fitness 19's founders launched their first family-oriented gyms in 2003, hoping to splash the exercising experience with local flavor and familiarity. Life Fitness cardio machines—including treadmills and ellipticals—unite with strength-training machines and free weights to help members to build leaner physiques as certified personal trainers patrol the deep-red-carpeted workout area. The expert staff can also guide clients through yoga, martial arts, and weight loss–centric personal-training sessions. Every location also hosts a kids' room, where youngsters can craft macaroni kettlebells under the supervision of a full-time staff member.