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.
The goals of Youth Sports Academy are many. The courses here aim to get locals active?youths and adults?while promoting a healthy and active lifestyle, and the importance of teamwork and respect. Programs range in focus from roller derby to Pilates, and take place throughout the week, catering to busy schedules and kids who own a pair of shoes for every sport. Adult athletes can also get fit during one-on-one workout sessions or group fitness classes.
Of Caribbean descent, the word tumbao means "sexy rhythm." It's an accurate—albeit brief—description of the scene at Tumbao Fitness, where instructors lead groups through sessions of Zumba that are just as much party as they are workout. A nightclub vibe—complete with disco lights—further provokes the studio's festive atmosphere, helping exercisers remain energized as they step and sway through Zumba's sultry movement.
As a teenager, Master Mauricio Zingano studied under members of Brazilian jujitsu's founding family, the Gracies, including Grand Master Helio Gracie himself. Nowadays, at Zingano Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he and his seasoned staff—which includes his wife, UFC fighter Cat Zingano—relay the Gracie family's teachings to students young and old. Although their main program is Brazilian jujitsu, they also fit mixed martial arts, muay thai kickboxing, and youth martial arts classes into the jam-packed schedule.
Gym-goers at Off the Wall Fitness may also be off the floor, as they swing on the adult-size monkey bars nicknamed the Green Goliath. The Green Goliath's 16 rungs are suspended from the ceiling by rope, forcing those who take it on to compensate for it shifting, building muscle and stamina as they swing. Group fitness classes and one-on-one personal-training sessions are also elevated beyond the typical workout through exercises based on last night's football game and the month-long Shred-a-Palooza challenge.
The trained instructors at Urban Acrobatics run, tumble, and dance their way across a 14,000-square-foot gym that welcomes guests of all skill levels. Inside the creative movement room, padded obstacles and landing mats help students learn the unconventional gymnastic art of parkour before taking their skills to FreeRunning City?a course that simulates an urban environment with building structures and construction pieces to spring from. The 5,000-square-foot fitness room features wood flooring and a wall of mirrors that reflects classes ranging from yoga to break dancing led by instructors who bolster a community feel in the gym by equally engaging newcomers and familiar faces.