In 1996, a group of climbers wanted to create a safe space where they could regularly experience the adrenaline rush of scaling walls while sharing that passion with the community. In turn, they erected more than 8,000 square feet of climbing surface area at Boulders Climbing Gym. It's marked by steep overhangs and dappled with clay holds that are made in-house, which give the walls a sense of authenticity with respect to common holds made out of plastic or recycled cereal marshmallows. Able to accommodate climbers of all ages and experience levels, the gym’s walls facilitate three types of climbing ranging from roped-in lead climbing to bouldering, a more freestyle brand of climbing. Before beginners head to climb, Boulders’ expertly trained staff dedicate about 15 minutes to teach basic climbing techniques such as safely handling the ropes and executing flawless Spiderman impressions. Along with free-climbing sessions, Boulders also offers a host of programs and classes that include everything from yoga to team building to kid’s summer camps. Guests can also by book a party room to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions.
Dave Gerry started the Princeton Club with three simple tenets in mind: great trainers, exceptional equipment, and easy access. To realize that dream, he assembled a team of American College of Sports Medicine–certified personal trainers to helm the cardio and strength-training centers 24 hours a day.
Whether working out solo, in a group class, or with a trainer to remind them that bench-pressing beehives is safer with a spotter, guests can drop their young ones off at the free childcare center. Splashes fill the natatorium as swimmers paddle across the six-lane lap pool, as the resistance-current pool's adjustable waves enable guests to walk in place. A dip in the whirlpool soothes stress, and the steam room's eucalyptus aromatherapy and sauna's rejuvenating heat send bodies back into the world refreshed. Above the club, tennis and soccer players soak in vistas of Madison as they duke it out on the rooftop garden's turf. The competition continues indoors on basketball, racquetball, and volleyball courts.
When 9Round founder and IKF Light Middleweight Kickboxing Champion Shannon "The Cannon" Hudson isn't dominating combat rings across North American and Europe, he is taking care of his two children. It was with his kids in mind that the seasoned black belt crafted his signature workout¬—a challenging professional fighter's training regime compacted into a hectic, schedule-friendly 30 minutes. Today, trainers in 9Round gyms across the nation lead members in Shannon's workout, guiding classes through its nine rounds of aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance-training exercises. Instructors vary the rounds each day, supplementing body-weight exercises with jump ropes, punching bags, and free-weights. Coaches also encourage diets of fruits and lean meats and counsel members against common dieting pitfalls, such as skipping breakfast or storing smoothie surplus in unmarked laundry-detergent bottles.
The techniques that Lauren Birkel imparts to her trainers are the same ones she used on herself while preparing for and completing the rigorous Ironman World Championships in 2005 and 2011, as well as the France-held International Triathlon Union Long Course World Championships in 2007. With this history of achieving difficult goals, Birkel knows how to inspire students without commissioning a band of rabid coyotes to chase them while they run.
She and her many cotrainers use these thoroughly tested methods of motivation to push students toward healthier lives in one-on-one, small-group, and large-group training sessions. She decks out her indoor studios with all the necessary equipment for personal-training sessions and isn't afraid to lead all-outdoor boot-camp academies in the heat or rain.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
David Turner founded Yoga Eight with three goals in mind: accessible classes, a comfortable environment, and a student-focused practice. The result is a welcoming studio where experienced instructors with more than 200 hours of training each take their time to help students develop a meaningful practice, regardless of skill level. Yoga Eight's jam-packed schedule mixes challenging Ashtanga and athletic Vinyasa styles for a diverse regimen to challenge seasoned yogis and give beginners the building blocks of a serious yoga practice.