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.
Pushing their students to achieve the long, lean, and toned muscles of a ballerina without having to be tossed through the air by the Mouse King, the instructors at Barre Centric borrow a series of movements from the realms of ballet, yoga, and Pilates. The small isometric movements practiced in barre classes work to completely fatigue muscles and make them stronger through recovery. The instructors first lead students through a warmup, then tackle exercises directed at thighs, seats, and abdominal muscles. Though the high-intensity exercises are performed at a classic ballet barre, no prior dance experience is necessary to master the barre moves. With regular attendance, students may notice they have increased strength, flexibility, and balance, along with a deeper appreciation for the performances of the tiny dancers in jewelry boxes.
Maria McKendry, Burn at the Barre’s certified instructor, conducts the studio's barre-fitness classes. During these sessions, she fuses the muscle toning and core strengthening of Pilates with the grace and strength inherent in ballet. Stealing from her experience as a personal trainer and her education in physical therapy, Maria infuses her classes with long, flexible moves and more rigorous cardio. The classes incorporate sequences of controlled, isometric exercises, which require unwavering mental focus as well as precise physical technique while they methodically work muscle groups throughout the arms, hips, and abdominals. Students animate their body by way of thumping tunes while using the ballet barre to balance. Maria's experience as a triathlete informs her ability to incorporate different disciplines into one entertaining, high-energy class.
In 1998, Larissa Mychaskiw arrived at work to discover a locked door and that her boss had gone AWOL. Passionate about Pilates and the fitness center's clients, she decided to step in and take over the business herself. Today, she holds on to that passion and sense of commitment when organizing a schedule of mat- and equipment-based Pilates classes for individuals or groups of up to 20. She and her team of certified trainers focus on posture, core strength, and balance using Reformers and other Pilates equipment. Pairing motivational instruction with individualized attention and the Pilates method, they work together to lengthen muscles and tone full physiques. They also aim to improve heart health by lowering cholesterol, strengthening the heart, and protecting it from roaming baby angels with arrows.
When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first Buffalo Athletic Club 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 that range from 20,000 to 48,000 square feet. 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 Eastern Hills, Union Road, Downtown, and Boulevard 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. And, at the five-floor downtown facility, guests swim laps in the pool. After workouts, guests can slip into saunas and private showers; most locations also have steam rooms.
With multiple degrees in fitness and nutrition, Victor Dean Training’s eponymous owner has curated his gym and climbing center to focus on clients’ overall health. Victor hand-selects all the gym’s brand-name equipment for its efficacy and usefulness in a well-rounded fitness regime, ensuring clients aren’t toiling away on weight equipment and cardio machines that fail to offer results. The staff pairs standard gym memberships with options such as personalized sessions and nutritional counseling that build up health like cyborg organ implantation.