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.
ActivEdge Fitness Club's large, two-story fitness temple burns calories with its high-tech cardio deck featuring mounted flat-screen TVs, drowns them in a 25-meter lap pool, and scares them off with the help of peers in more than 20 fitness classes. On the first level, members pump free-weights on a carpeted floor that cushions joint strain, or on a variety of machines designed to sculpt lats, glutes, and thighs. As parents make a splash in aqua aerobics, their kids can burn off excess energy and talk about their favorite characters from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in the supervised childcare center. Members can also make use of the club's basketball court and follow it up with a trip to the tanning room. For a high-intensity full-body-blasting boot camp, the gym’s own GTX program answers with an intense cross-training regimen. Instructors lead groups through a series of interval stations where clients build muscle definition and whip cardiovascular systems into shape with the help of punching bags and medicine balls laid out on turf and rubber floors. During those training sessions, guests lift and push giant tractor tires, swing heavy ropes, and hop high onto plyometric boxes—all exercises that incorporate functional movements to help people perform everyday tasks, such as hurling giant tractor tires into the air and lassoing them with heavy ropes.
New Life Fitness World motivates calories crusaders with personal trainers and more than 140 hours of group classes. Launch fitness plans in a one-on-one training session before bounding into any of the four locations' exercise courses, such as cycling, Zumba, and Piyo, a combination of yoga, Pilates, and trick yo-yoing. After land-based laps around the indoor tracks, or the aquatic equivalent in the indoor heated pools, fit fiddles can indulge in a sauna steam, a hot-tub soak, or a tanning session. Towel service and locker rooms facilitate transitions out of the gym, while childcare frees parents from the stress of pushing strollers while jogging on the treadmill.
The women-only Inches-A-Weigh health club helps clients meet their fitness and weight-loss goals via a three-part figure-correction program. Each customized treatment plan involves private weekly weigh-ins, nutritional counseling, body sculpting, and cardiovascular exercises. A medley of spa-like services accompanies each program for quicker results. Treatments include body wraps, 30-minute sessions in an infrared sauna design to blast up to 800 calories at one go, and a French-algae skin-tightening wrap that will leave skin as taut and shiny as a shrink-wrapped skyscraper.
When licensed cosmetologist Chuck Fiegen founded Capri College in 1966, he knew that the best way to prepare students for the work force was to start at the top—with the educators. By sending his instructors all around the world to learn the latest trends and techniques, he was giving his students access to information they couldn't find in any textbook. More than 45 years have passed, but Fiegen—who continues to run the beauty school with the help of his six children—remains a stickler for teaching excellence. He can occasionally be found observing teaching methods and offering his two-cents on the clinic floor.
Inside the ACCSC-accredited college, instructors with at least three years of experience bolster students’ employability with training in cosmetology, massage therapy, aesthetics, and nail technology. Students put their training into action in the student-staffed salon and spa, where they paint and snip dull strands, and soften extremities with paraffin treatments. In the spa, students dole out five types of massage modalities, from relaxing Swedish strokes to Thai massage, which addresses tension with yoga-like stretches and the pressing of eject buttons. Their panoply of facials help counteract skin woes, such as fine lines or acne, whereas microdermabrasion buffs away dead skin, sunspots, and other facial imperfections with an onslaught of sodium-bicarbonate crystals.
When Wayne and Jackie Meier opened the first Midwest Athletic Club in 1984, it was a tiny, 3,000-square-foot facility with a modest staff of one trainer. A lot has changed for the Meiers since the ‘80s; they’ve since ditched the splatter-painted stirrup pants made famous by Ronald Reagan and expanded into six spacious locations throughout the area, helming a diverse staff of personal trainers, expert fitness instructors, and swim teachers. Instructors lead cardio and strength-training classes, as well as sessions of yoga, Pilates, and tai chi. In the pristine waters of the Xtreme branch’s 75-foot pool, coaches demonstrate strokes and techniques and guide fitness-seekers through aquatic aerobics. All locations abound with professional cardio equipment—many of which boast individual TVs—and strength-training equipment from top brands such as Icarian, Universal, and Nautilus.
After workouts, guests can unwind in the wood saunas at the Xtreme and South locations. At the Xtreme location’s café, servers blend a variety of beneficial smoothies and shakes chock-full of fruits and protein.