New England Athletic Club whips guests into shape with a full arsenal of personal-fitness equipment and group exercise classes. Multi-weekly body pump sessions whisk lethargic muscles into a frenzy with 60 minutes of squats, lifts, and obscure trivia questions designed to challenge all major muscle groups. Students can seek inner clarity during 75-minute yoga cycles or channel an inner boogie-woogier in Zumba classes, which feature calorie-torching moves choreographed to Latin and international dance music. An on-site pool hosts aquatic fitness classes, as well as open swim sessions, where kids and adults can swim laps, practice strokes, or bond with an inflatable dolphin.
For more than 40 years, the culinary experts at Chef's Equipment Emporium have supplied supermarkets and restaurants with gourmet-quality ingredients, cookware, and equipment. They've even designed supermarkets and commercial kitchens. Eventually, members of the public took notice and, spatulas raised threateningly above their heads, demanded access to the 10,000-square-foot show rooms.
Today, both professionals and avid home chefs browse the emporium, daydreams of pasta and baked goods dancing in their heads as they meander through rows of cutlery, bakeware, and small kitchen appliances.
The enrollment limit at Average Joe’s 24/7 Get Fit Center is 300 people. That’s because 300 is the highest number of people to which the team of trainers can effectively attend to on a personal basis. This membership limit defines the trainers’ approach to fitness. Unsatisfied with the way many gyms simply “point to a machine and say ‘go,’” the exercise specialists customize training regimens and diets based on body-composition testing and diet analysis. Then, workers-out engage limbs, cores, and cardios with new machines, kettlebells, floor routines, and weighted bars. Between sets, members can sip filtered water or take in a game of Wii Fit on the facility’s large flat-screen TV.
Helmed by studio owner Carolyn Phillips, Fit Behavior's certified instructors help clients to reach health goals through group classes, weight-loss programs, and personal-training services. They lead guests of all fitness levels through dynamic and challenging exercises, drawing on experience in gymnastics, bodybuilding, and Afro-Cuban dance to jazz up boot-camp sessions, Pilates classes, or elementary-school talent shows. The wellness emporium's specialty class, 30Fit, stitches together a fabric of plyometrics, kettlebells, rope work, TRX-suspension training, and cardio kick to show lethargy and monotony the door over the course of 30 intense minutes.
Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.
Planet Fitness embodies a judgment-free zone where guests of all ages and fitness levels can sculpt their physiques with myriad aerobic and strength-training options within a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere. Patrons may tone and strengthen muscles by pushing and pulling the extensive selection of brand-name equipment and free weights. With the help of an instructor, guests can design a custom workout program based on exercise history to help them achieve their varying fitness goals. Thirty-minute small-group classes concentrate on strengthening and toning specific body parts, and full-body circuit workouts.
Women needn’t feel intimidated by anything—especially exercise, according to Kelly Kohler, the 17-year fitness instruction veteran who helms Totally Kickin’ Fitness. At this female-focused studio, ladies work out in small groups as a seasoned instructor demonstrates moves and doles out tips and encouragement. Students of all fitness levels are welcome, from brand-new exercisers to those who can outrun a cheetah while carrying a bag of rocks.
Classes range from kickboxing routines filled with punches and kicks to total-body workouts teeming with resistance bands and bodyweight exercises. To help women build confidence as they burn calories, Kelly leads sensual dance classes that pair sexy struts and pole-based maneuvers with elements of yoga, Pilates, and low-impact aerobics. These moves can also be taught in private or during fitness-themed parties complete with decorations, invitations, and a gift for the guest of honor.
The studio’s one-on-one programs revolve around custom workouts with a fitness trainer. Those trying to shed pounds in a healthy way can enroll in a custom weight-loss program filled with nutritional supplements, education, and more support than a corset made of get-well cards.