Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Brothers Kody and Kyle Knapp have been athletes their entire lives, but it wasn't until they discovered CrossFit that they were motivated to help others whip into shape, too. At CrossFit DNR, they lead patrons of all ages and fitness abilities in CrossFit's high-intensity workouts of the day. They focus their ever-changing routines on functional fitness?meaning that students will build strength, stamina, and agility to help them better complete everyday tasks, such as climbing stairs or running to lifting heavy grocery bags.
No one walks through the doors of CrossFit Longmont and begins a solo workout on a treadmill or elliptical machine. Instead, coaches lead small-group workouts that incorporate Olympic weightlifting equipment, wooden plyometric boxes, and rows of kettlebells. The coaches guide classes through each CrossFit exercise designed to mimic functional movements in daily life, from lifting heavy objects to jumping onto the kitchen table to eat meals. Workouts can be tailored to ensure participants of all abilities are challenged during adult- and kid-focused CrossFit classes. And during warmer months, classes spill outside and members flip oversized tires and run laps.
In their spacious, bare-bones gym known as “The Box,” Crossfit Battle Ready’s trainers prep students for all of life’s physical activities—work, play, and sport, as well as ordinary daily activities. They do that through a combination of functional movement exercises and cross-training techniques that borrows from Olympic lifting, track and field, and cardio conditioning. While it’s a fast-paced, intense system, its structure allows them to scale it to all fitness levels, opening CrossFit to all ages and experience.
At CrossFit Domo, certified CrossFit coaches guide athletes on their fitness journeys according to CrossFit’s principles of varied, functional fitness. Coaches design a new Workout of the Day (WOD) each day, which might blend fitness disciplines such as cardiovascular training, weightlifting, plyometrics, and gymnastics into an intense and calorie-burning workout. WODs are continually evolving, but it’s not uncommon to see CrossFit Domo students practicing some combination of lifting weights, running, rowing, performing bodyweight exercises, or working out with unconventional equipment such as tires and sledgehammers.
The main rule at CrossFit MHz is “no excuses.” Coaches expect each athlete to push themselves hard during Workouts of the Day—custom workouts that change daily. Though the workouts are never the same, they might include exercises such as running, rowing, weightlifting, cardio, plyometrics, and gymnastics. CrossFit MHz also features unconventional exercises or challenges that include tasking a group of four ladies with performing 1,612 kettlebell snatches in a two-week period.