When Jeff Olin and Nicole Nastanski want to exercise outside, they simply hop on their bikes and get pedaling. So, when they encountered 30-minute waits at local gyms’ spinning classes, they felt a bit frustrated. To make matters worse, the aging equipment made indoor rides exciting in all the wrong ways. Before long, they decided to launch The Cycling Studio, a workout facility dedicated exclusively to indoor biking. Inside their airy, 1,800-square-foot space, riders board 25 Schwinn A.C. Sport bikes that ride as smoothly as a freshly buttered horse. Micropins and magnets allow riders to adjust each bike’s height and resistance to their liking, and combination pedals accommodate sneakers and cleated cycling footwear. Upbeat instructors pepper each ride with physical challenges, such as sprints and hill climbs, which two high-definition TVs can accompany with footage of the French Alps or Maui’s Hana Highway. Cycling classes come in 30- and 60-minute varieties, which can be paired with the studio’s TRX suspension-training sessions to create a total-body conditioning regimen.
Gone are the tire-flipping and endless pushups; gone are the shouts and intimidating stares. These tactics are customary at co-ed boot camps, but at Girlie Boot Camp, the certified team of all-women trainers takes a more upbeat and fun approach. They characterize themselves as tough cheerleaders—they're ultra supportive and can't be ignored—who motivate gals of all fitness levels through each 50-minute session without the threat of latrine duties.
Designed by a woman with the female form in mind, the exercises at Girlie Boot Camp target areas of the body that most-often concern ladies, such as the thighs, hips, and buttocks. Instead of focusing on adding upper-body bulk with pushups and heavy weight-lifting, the workouts emphasize toning the lower body through upright bike sessions, light jogging, and stretching. Sessions often call upon Pilates and aerobics, and also incorporate light weight-lifting to sculpt statuesque arms.
Though Sue Harragan and Tawnya Christian discovered barre workouts on opposite coasts, a mutual love of fitness and their desire to help others achieve their "best self" brought them together in Las Vegas. The business partners now helm Barre Las Vegas, a studio that strengthens hearts, cores, and limbs with ballet-inspired barre workouts. Upbeat music fuels each session, during which students line up at the barre and perform a routine of precise dance-training moves that blend yoga poses, Pilates exercises, and orthopedic stretching. While patrons burn calories during bouts of fat-burning interval training, they also increase their flexibility and tone their muscles, making their bodies as lithe and lively as a break-dancing slinky. In addition to leading barre classes, the motivating instructors push students toward their fitness goals with workout-enhancing tools such as TRX suspension-training straps.
Julie Johnston founded Boot Camp Las Vegas in 2005, when?after unsuccessfully trying to lose 60 pounds through a battery of exercise techniques?she considered enlisting in the military solely for the physical challenge and camaraderie. Upon reconsideration, she decided to reclaim some turf from the lazy birds in nearby parks and stage her own workouts to build the physical and mental toughness she knew she was capable of developing. Today, a team of instructors?all certified personal trainers who have completed 64 days of boot-camp training?preaches Johnston's program to exercisers of all fitness levels. To help monitor and maximize workouts, they stage weigh-ins, take measurements, perform physical-fitness tests, and dish out a nutrition packet to shed light on healthy eating.
It's Wednesday and a group of newcomers shuffles into an empty fitness studio. Some anxiously fidget with their fingers as they see the professional floor where they'll be dancing, and others take deep breaths and stretch out their limbs like they've done countless times at the gym. This motley mix of strangers is what Gwenda Hansen envisioned when she founded Be Bad Hip Hop.
Hansen, who struggled with weight as a young adult and started choreographing when she was 13 years old, shares her Be Bad Hip Hop dance-fitness routines in a supportive, accepting, and empowering environment. As the infectious melodies of Top 40 music escape the sound system's quarantine and fill the communal space, newcomers relax into the easy-to-follow moves, and regulars of all ages lose themselves in the hourlong sequence of club-style, hip-hop shimmies and shakes led by Hansen or one of her skilled instructors.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns and timing, then progressing to more complicated patterns.