To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
Daily stresses in life, injury, and pregnancy strain the body's joints, and it's the job of exercise to strengthen muscles, easing the strain and supporting the skeletal system. That was the idea that led Joseph Pilates to create his signature method, performed at Pilates of New Jersey. Five certified instructors—one a physical therapist experienced in physical rehabilitation—teach students the ins and outs of Pilates' various machines and maneuvers. Along the way, they discuss the rationale behind each movement, handing out tips on how to move safely without wasting energy or how to safely tickle strangers' cats.
Glowing hardwood floors support rows of reformers, towers, and exercise balls, all used to enhance the intensity of Pilates motions. Crimson walls fortify the studio, the color echoed in every piece of Pilates equipment within the clean, newly outfitted space.
After working hard for 10 weeks, Take it to the Max clients might not recognize their own reflections. Former 10-week challenge participants have lost enough weight to look like entirely new people. That's because the program doesn't focus strictly on fitness—though team-building cardio and strength classes are a large part of it—it also incorporates nutrition and motivation.
To create healthier diets, participants learn which foods are truly nutritious and "clean," as well as how to measure serving sizes even when the measuring wall in the house is all filled up with the heights of the kids. To help clients maintain the drive to exercise and avoid unhealthy food, the program's coaches teach motivational techniques and encourage participants to support each other.
A new mom, Lisa Druxman was determined to continue exercising despite the demands of motherhood. Her solution: make pushing her son's stroller part of the workout. More new moms soon joined her, following Lisa's routine of stroller pushing, cardio, and strength exercises that required only a resistance band. Her idea continued blossoming, and today, more than 300 Stroller Strides franchisees lead classes in 43 states.
At Revolution Cycling Studio, founder, certified spin expert, and personal trainer Traci Sakellakis leads a team of instructors who know firsthand how life-changing—perhaps even addictive—spinning can be. Class leader Jennifer Giordano became hooked on cycling almost by accident: one Saturday afternoon 10 years ago, her brother invited her for a "leisurely" bike ride that ended up stretching a whopping 33 miles. She rose to the occasion, and now encourages others to meet their own fitness goals. Additionally, fellow staffer Christian Ramos was overweight and out of shape before he started cycling, but has since lost more than 80 pounds and helps students do the same.
Motivating shouts and energizing beats from the sound system keeps students’ heart rates high as they pedal within the small, intimate studio. Some classes even feature themed music, such as tunes by "one-hit wonders" or a celebration of the British Invasion. Throughout the workout, the computerized Star Trac spinner bike provides continuous feedback on the exercisers' heart rate and distance travelled. The crew incorporates weight training and ab work into some sessions and also offers teen classes that are ideal for adolescent people or full-grown Keebler elves seeking stress relief.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, was founded more than 20 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. Tots as young as 6 weeks can take a month or two of weekly classes, all designed to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. One-hour Waddlers sessions for babies and parents introduce tots aged 14–22 months to mobility, agility, and social skills as they build block towers and participate in puppet shows. Other classes include Tiny Tykes, a class for parents and babies that focuses on movement, as well as Mighty Mites and Whiz Kids, classes for more independently mobile children aimed at mastering motor skills to build strength, balance, and agility.
For older kids, independent gym classes such as Champions and Cardionastics build self-esteem, fitness skills, and muscles for future speed-texting showdowns. My Gym's energetic instructors are experts at using music, dance, and gymnastics to develop youngsters' strength while stimulating their giggle-plexes—carving out a place for creativity and face-to-face engagement in the face of technological temptations and giant robotic faces.