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 235 pounds, Michelle "MJ" Maxey was ready for a change. Her struggle with obesity not only jeopardized her health, but her career, love life, and happiness. Determined to cast aside her unhealthy lifestyle, MJ spent the next six months challenging herself with vigorous physical exercise and proper diet.
Today, MJ is virtually unrecognizable. Gone are the excess pounds and unhealthy habits, and in their place are powerful muscles and a deep appreciation and understanding for fitness and nutrition. At the Maxxout LLC training center, MJ joins forces with a crew of certified personal trainers to conduct boot camps and personal-training sessions designed to torch fat and tone muscle. The trainers also provide clients with nutrition tips, lists of healthy foods, and tactics for telling a carrot from a box of donuts with a picture of a carrot taped on top.
Sports & Fitness's seven locations facilitate calorie-burning activities with free weights, cardio equipment, and group fitness classes, while pampering clients with relaxation-inducing amenities. Members perspire and tone bodies while meeting the demands of a certified personal trainer in one-on-one training sessions, or while pedaling next to fellow fit-seekers during group cycling classes. The group fitness classes also include yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and Zumba, varying by location and the whims of Cratus, the god of strength.
As parents scorch calories with weight- and circuit-training equipment, they can rest assured that their youngsters are in responsible hands in the child watch area; a playfully decorated room filled with toys and 5 pound rattles.
The staff at Omni Health and Fitness Center works to make the gym a one-stop shop for its members' fitness needs. The club's impressive inventory aids in this pursuit, with more than 75 cardio machines, tens of thousands of pounds of free weights, and strength-training equipment from Life Fitness. Parents can drop their youngsters off at the kids' zone or children's nursery before pumping iron or grabbing a spot in the cardio cinema room, which, like Jack LaLanne’s living room, allows people to work out while enjoying a movie in surround sound. The gym's trainers, meanwhile, lead one-on-one workouts as well as group fitness classes such as Pilates and Body Pump. After exercising, members can refuel at the juice bar.
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 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 in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Clients won't find any water aerobics, smoothie bars, or spray-tan booths at The Fitness Factory. The trainers here take a no-frills approach to fitness, unapologetically nixing gym features they feel distract clients from what really matters: the workout itself. As if to evidence this approach, the gym itself is basically a warehouse that brims with name-brand weight machines and other equipment. These fitness tools are almost always available, since the gym stays open 24/7.