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.
Equipment: Poles, hoops, weights, yoga mats, yoga blocks, and more
Students should bring: shorts, tank tops, water
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5?10
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: No
Parking: Parking lot
Tobin Edmunds does pole fitness to stay in shape, to help other women change their lives, and, occasionally, to give back to charity. And she loves what she does. In fact, her fun-loving attitude netted her the most audience donations at the charity event Poles for Paws. At Love Pole Fitness, she strives to help other women find joy in life through pole fitness and other sassy classes.
Tobin and her fellow instructors teach students how to twirl around a pole, perform sultry chair dances, and create undulating belly-dance movements. They also help sculpt bodies in pole classes designed to build strength and endurance.
Tobin knows her fitness classes?really, any exercise in general?can be tough. She says, "Making changes can be challenging," but adds that it's important to remember the mantra "if at first you don't succeed, try again." She credits her studio's "supportive family atmosphere" for helping women overcome their fitness hurdles and successfully trade slow-cooker recipes.