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 Gym 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.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
To help their members begin living healthier lifestyles, the coaches at Small Town CrossFit lead highly engaging fitness classes that provide full-body workouts by using varying sequences of functional movements. These classes are open to members of all skill and fitness levels—provided that they have demonstrated an ability to safely perform the exercises while using proper techniques—and the coaches encourage attendees to modify the load and intensity of each exercise so that they can continually challenge themselves. Instead of relying on weight machines and cardio equipment, CrossFit uses combinations of functional movements, such as lifting, jumping, and running, that more closely mimic the sorts of activities that people perform in everyday life. The coaches limit each class to 8–12 members, which ensures that they are able to provide individualized feedback throughout each session.
Calories, wooden boards, and pairs of left feet are sent into the great beyond by Marlboro Fitness and Martial Arts' lineup of classes. Whether they want to learn the grappling arts of Brazilian jujitsu or just get in better shape, students of all ages can find a style that suits them in the studio's schedule of dance, fitness, and martial-arts classes. Its signature program is capoeira—a Brazilian martial art that seamlessly blends kicks, sweeps, and takedowns with dazzling acrobatics. Capoeira classes for adults of any age or physical condition follow instruction from Contra Mestre Marquinho Coreba. Children's classes teach fundamental capoeira moves, which can improve kids' overall coordination and ability to get on the dance camera during professional sporting events.
Equipment: Sparq speed ladders and hurdles, weighted medicine balls and sleds, and Woodway Force specialized power treadmill
Athletes should bring: Bottle of water and gym/workout clothes, [including] sneakers
Average class length: 60–90 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
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Sky High Studios strips away any stigma related to pole fitness with a crew of instructors who inspire their classes to grow strong and confident on the apparatus and in their lives. At Sky High Studios, you can try your hand at one of several calorie-burning activities. Upper-body strength gets put to the test in aerial silks classes, where basic footholds and locks precede more complicated inversions, which double as a good way to change a light bulb with your toes. Pole dancing classes emphasize upper body strength, but with equal attention to spins that incorporate the lower body.