At Betsy's Hot Yoga, owner Betsy Jones-Cooper and her experienced team ply stiff bodies with tropic-like temperatures to sculpt strong, lean muscle. Dotted with 12 class types ranging from 60 to 90 minutes each, the studio's schedule provides flows to match any fitness level. Beginning benders head to sultry Bikram sessions to flex through 26 poses designed to safely stretch tight tissues and detoxify the body through intense perspiration, precise alignment, and lectures from household sponges. Instructors turn down the thermostat for comfortably warm Vinyasa classes, helping students harmonize breath and movement through an intense, continuous sequence of balances and bends that connect seamlessly through each inhale and exhale. Meditative Yin yoga keeps seats tethered to the floor and minds from wandering with passive backbends and hip-opening postures, and heart-pounding hot-fusion classes pace energetic Bikram and Vinyasa moves to pop tunes and the occasional Benny Hill sketch.
With locales dappled throughout the Southeast and Midwest, the brains behind Workout Anytime funnel more than three decades of fitness-industry expertise into filling their gyms with positive vibes and state-of-the-art equipment. The fitness gurus spread Magnum-brand strength-training machines and cutting-edge treadmills—whose frames can support up to 500 pounds—throughout their hygienic antimicrobial floors. They also provide certified personal trainers, nutritional guidance, and weight-loss plans.
Workout Anytime's doors are open to members 24 hours a day every day of the year, permitting access to public exercise zones and areas that offer tanning and massage sessions. Each gym also strives to cultivate a familial atmosphere with staffers who memorize each guest's name and carve each one's Thanksgiving turkey.
Core Pilates' staff of former ballet dancers, registered nurses, and physical therapists discovered Pilates in various ways, but having experienced its health benefits firsthand, they've joined forces to share their knowledge of the rehabilitative, low-impact exercise. Mat, reformer, and barre group classes tone cores seven days a week, and seasonal instruction in hoop fitness, yoga, and VertiMax add new flavors to exercise routines. Serious practitioners can seek teacher certifications, which are spiced with a liberal helping of anatomy and medical science, essential for helping students recover from injuries from disastrously ambitious toe-touches.
Derby City Mixed Martial Arts, featured on ESPN as a cross-training haven for Kentucky Derby jockeys, coaches both beginners and competitive fighters. Expert instructors showcase such MMA schools as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which teaches leveraging holds to best bigger opponents, and muay thai kickboxing, deemed The Science of Eight Limbs after its signature move of throwing a tarantula at an opponent's face. Classes on agility, cardio conditioning, boxing, and wrestling round off the roster, and open sparring times let practitioners hone their fist- and footwork.
Better Body's Fitness Center is never exclusive when it comes to exercise—the trainers believe that anyone from any background can pursue a healthier lifestyle at any age. The gym's studio pulses with team energy during group classes such as Core Strength, Zumba, and yoga that accommodate all experience levels, as well as Silver Sneakers training for seniors. On the workout floor, cardio machines and strength equipment—from brands such as Cybex, Hammer Strength, and Life Fitness—vie with free weights for muscles' attention by disguising themselves as unopenable jelly jars.
Topping Snap Fitness's bill of certified muscle-manufacturers is personal trainer Megan Huffine who helps clients assess and address a wide range of fitness goals. During the 30-minute sessions, soft bodied patrons and unshapely amoebas are invited to reap the benefit of personal attention, while tackling weight loss. After a consultation that reviews medical and exercise history, a fitness professional will recommend a customized workout plan using Snap's top-of-the-line cardio and strength equipment. Personal training programs include Express Fitness, which is designed to help clients achieve precise fitness goals by targeting specific areas of the body, and Boot Camp 101, which provides intense, full body workouts in a small group setting. Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere will provide a refreshing change of pace from any meat-market gym or tough elementary schoolyard you've experienced.