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 and 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.
At Final Results Fitness, patrons tone torsos in small-group classes led by skilled trainers utilizing close individualized attention and unconventional equipment. In one of four gym studios, a kettlebell trainer steels groups of 6–10 students, who hoist round weights in exercises that build strength and stamina and ready students for high-octane handbell recitals. In outdoor boot camp sessions, instructors drill bodies with pushups, jumping jacks, mountain climbs, and half-mile runs. Nimble feet jump on and over plyometric boxes while tenacious arms pull ropes and spar with sentient monster trucks. After air-horning metabolisms awaken in the 30-minute kettlebell or boot camp classes, nutrient-needy bodies can recover at the Juice Joint, where staff members concoct smoothies made with 100% crushed fruit and no added sugars or high-fructose corn syrup.
When women find a fun new fitness class, they talk. Which is lucky for Aerobic Rhythmics, since it was primarily word-of-mouth that caused the aerobic workout to spread throughout 20 schools in Montgomery and Bucks counties, community buildings, and church locations since the first class in 1980. Instructors lead them through engaging, high-energy routines with nothing but resistance bands, hand weights, and mats, which produces lasting results.