At Curves, exercisers of all fitness levels move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine-maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks, filling medicine balls with medicine, and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines account for different body weights and fitness levels to create resistance that matches one's abilities, which thereby decreases the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
At Trim Up, a gym run for and by women, trainees exercise independently on meticulously cleaned machinery or bask in the communal vibes of workout classes in disciplines such as yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. The gym’s whole-body vibration plates stimulate rarely used fast-twitch muscle fibers, working 98%–100% of muscles up to 3,000 times per minute, a feat usually only achievable when measured in dog minutes. The center’s detox diet retrains stomachs to crave healthy foods by sifting out late-onset allergens. Members can also enjoy discounted onsite sunless spray tans, which bronze skin to a choice of three shades with Mystic Tan’s MyMyst System.
During your two personal training sessions, one of ZX Fitness’ experienced personal trainers will work with you to assemble exercises that help you best accomplish your fitness goals, be they tightening your core, shedding extra pounds, improving muscular strength, or picking winning bingo cards. Then you’ll be let loose to use your newfound knowledge and six-week pass during all ZX Fitness group fitness classes and in its fully-loaded facility, which has cardio decks, basketball courts, free weights, large locker rooms, circuit training equipment, juice bars, a supervised children’s area, and more. Group fitness classes, of which there are more than 20, include cycling, dance, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates, and strength training. Unwind after a day of sweating and stretching by watching a sports game on one of the many HDTVs, or warm your socks while dehydrating fresh prunes in the sauna. Class schedules differ at each location.
Carolina Pilates' dedicated fitness squad cultivates limb litheness with three exercise methods. Classes have a five-person maximum, so certified instructors can give personalized attention, foster a supportive atmosphere, and better guess shampoo scents in a wide variety of class settings. The All Levels Pilates Equipment class melds Pilates mat training and equipment to fortify core muscles and increase flexibility. Feel free to enact a balanced bod from head to fifth metatarsal in the one-hour Full-Body Weight Training class, or turn your arms into dependable levers with the Kettlebell Strength and Flexibility Training class. Check out the full schedule or book classes online here.
Rhythm Fitness pumps up the workout energy with enthusiastic instructors and an internationally inspired variety of cardio dance styles designed to shake shoes and sculpt physiques. One-hour Zumba classes tone bodies to the dynamic rhythms of Latin-inspired dance beats, inspiring students to spiritedly swing their hips and shout Shakespearean poetry in rapid cadence. Funky Fusion modifies traditional belly-dance techniques with a sassy soulfulness, fusing an ab-twisting assortment of maneuvers into fast-paced sessions that melt away the hours and pounds.
Flex + Fit cultivates an environment focused on well-being, from sweat-inducing fitness classes to habit-changing cooking classes. This effort was lauded by Charlotte Magazine in its 2012 Best of the Best feature. The group fitness curriculum includes sweat-inducing hot yoga, in which limbs bend and stretch in a studio stoked to the ideal temperature, and air classes that suspend students from the ceiling to execute mid-air yoga, ballet, or fitness moves, or—as recently featured on CNN—to nap.
Complementing the fitness classes are lessons in culinary exploration, hosted by head chefs and tour guides that teach small gatherings to craft meals and sip complimentary libations in an on-site kitchen. The fitness studio’s natural-wood floors give way to a wall-mounted Buddha figurine at the head of classes, and his-and-hers locker rooms lavish hard-working muscles with a soothing downpour from overhead showers bred from two prize-winning Amazonian rain clouds.