Looking at Marty Velasco now, it's hard to believe that he once struggled with his weight. Though Marty may be muscular and slim today, his history gives him a unique understanding of the hardships faced by those trying to lose weight. This understanding fuels his determination to help others at his private fitness studio.
At Fitness Edge, Marty and his staff help clients on the road to health and weight loss with group fitness classes and personal training. Within the colorful studio, or at outdoor locations in Rocky River Park, the staff leads students of all fitness levels in full-body circuit-training workouts. Sessions might call upon strength-building kettlebell exercises, natural bodyweight resistance, and cardiovascular conditioning exercises, and trainers help their students continue the work at home with nutritional counseling and meal plans. The staff is committed to creating a friendly environment for their students; they welcome all newcomers with an orientation, where they demonstrate what to expect from the program, tour the facility, and ritualistically hand crochet students' names into their sweatbands.
Alyssa Lee Wilmot once envisioned a place where people could come and express themselves through movement; she brought that place to life when she opened The Movement Factory. Alyssa strives to find classes that combine fitness with movement arts, which explains her fitness-class schedule that's replete with dance-inspired Zumba, yoga, hip-hop, Pilates, and barre sessions. All sessions at The Movement Factory welcome students aged 18 and older of all experience levels.
Fitworks is home to a dedicated cadre of certified muscle architects who guide eager physiques through intense, small group workouts. Peruse the schedule before sampling a tension-undoing yoga class or a weekend-morning muscle-pump session, ideal for prepping for an underwater bench-press that will determine the office's next round of promotions. One-hour Zumba classes harness the rhythmic power of merengue, conga, belly dancing, and more to kill calories while resuscitating sleepy toes. After classes, students can freshen up or flex unused singing muscles in Fitworks' shower facilities.
Fairview Park Recreation Department at the Gemini Center hosts an impressive array of classes—20 each week. They take advantage of the brand new facility's amenities, holding spinning classes in dedicated cycling rooms or teaching aquatic skills in the aerobic studio. They also hold outdoor classes during summer months, taking advantage of the sunshine and green lawns. "It's great to see members push themselves and have fun while doing it," reports the Center's group-exercise coordinator.
Beyond fitness instruction, they also use the facility to host summer camps, athletic leagues, and families looking for a day at the pool. They even built a second pool, exclusively for leisure, with waterslides, a lazy river, and submerged beauty parlors.
More than 10 years ago, a young couple dreamed up Titans Gym—a 24-hour facility that would house exercise equipment, tanning services, and a cafe teeming with nutritious snacks. Since then, Geoff and Niki DelGrosso have laid the bricks of that ambition, packing their two gyms with row upon row of advanced Strive, Precor, and Magnum equipment and three levels of professional tanning beds. The duo hired a team of fitness instructors to lead an abundance of group exercise classes, personal-training sessions, and surprise games of Red Rover in their private studios. To refuel exercisers, the onsite Titan Up café serves up a dietician-designed menu of wholesome smoothies, pizzas, and desserts. In the end, the couple's efforts have earned accolades from numerous fitness media publications, and their studios have won the title of Best Urban Gym from Cleveland Scene magazine.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.