Anytime Fitness, which boasts 2,398 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.
Lined with sky-blue walls and lush green plants, the studio emanates a deep respect for the earth, which staffers honor with a focus on local, organic foods and exercises that require minimal electricity, instead working the body through natural movements. "We were born to be runners; we were born to be strong, to use our muscle, so we learn how to do that the correct way here," says certified personal trainer Nick Lynch, Superb Health's owner. Lynch and his team of trainers and nutrition experts look to early humans to help clients unlock their physical potential, emphasizing getting fit through functional movements that improve strength and endurance in day-to-day activities.
Group classes revolve around functional training, bolstering the entire body with tools such as kettlebells, weighted ropes, and medicine balls. The studio's Adventure Workout thrusts groups into the great outdoors, where they gallop down riverside trails and practice pull-ups on tree branches and the tusks of wooly mammoths. Whether performed in a group or a one-on-one personal-training session, each workout is paired with healthy-eating tips crafted by Lynch and his wife Natalie, a registered nurse, who also leads meal-planning sessions and grocery-store tours to help patrons make healthy choices.
Seven days a week, the instructors at Milwaukee Power Yoga draw from their own extensive yoga trainings to conduct classes for all experience levels, from a beginner's class for newbie yogis to an advanced class for yoga pros. On the wooden floors of a 95-degree studio, they shepherd perspiring students through vinyasa flow poses, connecting postures to breath in a continuous flow that flushes toxins from the body. Through stretching, balancing, and strengthening exercises, instructors help their pupils build muscles, bolster stamina, align spines, and increase flexibility. The heat assists connective tissue with elasticity, which decreases the risk of injury.
The teachers also encourage students to replenish electrolytes after class, whether by drinking sports beverages or licking the salt off snowplow bumpers. Everyone should feel free to work at their own pace, a mindset further promoted by the instructors' willingness to offer variations for each pose, making classes accessible to everyone.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Snap Fitness, bustling with cardio and strength-training gear, throws open the doors to its facilities 24/7. Before exercisers put sneakers to treadmills or lift their first weights, staff meet with them to talk about their fitness goals before suggesting personalized fitness plans based on clients' strength, cardio condition, and bionic-limb manufacturers. The gym keeps members motivated with regular check-in calls and demystifies healthful eating with custom online meal plans designed by nutritionists. Staff also forestall exercise-routine boredom by working individually with clients on a routine basis.
Riverwest Yogashala focuses on Iyengar yoga, a composite of ancient yoga practices and contemporary innovation, in its weekly classes for all experience levels. Master molders lead body-bending sessions that incorporate a series of standing poses to improve flexibility, increase strength and balance, and align spines for easier overcoat maneuverability. Props such as blocks and straps buoy pose performance throughout each muscle-strengthening class level. Expectant mothers and newly minted moms can attend pre- and post-natal classes to embrace bodily forms and boost personal health. A nonprofit yoga center, Riverwest Yogashala schedules multiple classes daily, and offers free sessions every month to encourage first-time yogis to reap the benefits of regular back bends, downward-facing dogs, or salami salaams.