Though they aren't event planners or the leaders of an overzealous fraternity house, Debbie Thomas and her staff schedule parties for every day of the week. These parties aren?t typical affairs, though. They?re actually workout classes with festive twists. The high-energy sessions allow guests to get their groove on and mingle while simultaneously burning calories. During Zumba classes, instructors demonstrate moves reminiscent of Latin-dance styles, including salsa, cumbia, and merengue. Turbo Kick courses, on the other hand, combine kickboxing techniques with other martial-arts actions and invigorating music. To make sessions even more fun and accessible, the instructors modify each routine to suit a range of fitness levels, which enables students of all abilities to attend.
Upbeat tunes are a theme of the curriculum?they guide the barbell routines of Les Mills BodyPump as well as the flexibility-enhancing stretches of PiYo Strength. Other classes, such as TRX and high-intensity interval training, might not mirror a dance performance, but they preserve the sense of camaraderie and encouragement that pervades the entire group exercise studio.
At School of American Kenpo, third-degree black belt Ron Hickey calls on 15 years of martial-arts training to instill each student with not only strength and technique, but also character, confidence, and inner peace in every class he leads. Though the roots of traditional American Kenpo run deep in the studio, Hickey encourages his students to blaze their own trails in their development in the martial art. From four-year-old fighters just starting out to older athletes with hopes of achieving a black belt, School of American Kenpo seeks to help every student achieve their personal, fitness, and self-defense goals.
No men, no makeup, no mirrors. It's a philosophy that’s helped members of the Curves community since 1992. Part fitness center, part community center, Curves is a women’s only club that takes a streamlined approach to health, fitness, and weight loss. Curves has teamed up with health and fitness coach Jillian Michaels to develop full-body, 30-minute workouts that kick-start weight loss, combining strength training, cardio, and stretching into sessions that torch fat, build strength, boost intensity, and prevent plateaus. These workouts are enhanced further by the Curves Complete Program, available for an extra fee, which is rooted in Curves' method for effective weight loss in that it supplements efforts at the gym with personalized meal plans and weekly one-on-one meetings with a certified Curves coach.
Though they lead classes for toddlers, children, and teenagers only, the staff at Eagle Ridge Gymnastics holds their facilities to Olympic standards. Inside the 15,000 square-foot studio, 22 experienced instructors guide boys and girls ages 6–15 toward mastery of an in-ground trampoline, two vault runways, six high and low beams, and a full-size spring tumble track. In a preschool area, they help toddlers explore child-sized bars, rings, and beams while pausing for interviews with toddler sports reporters.
From behind a lobby's floor-to-ceiling glass windows or on a mezzanine level, parents can watch as their offspring join in competitive and recreational classes, holiday camps, and summer camps. They can also join in during parent-tot gymnastics classes.
For 35 years, Valerie Compton has dipped her toes into every aspect of fitness. She followed up her experience in track and field and tennis by building her career as a personal trainer, and she later branched out into Power Pilates, Spinning, and nutrition. When she designed BarreFusion in 2006, she struck upon the latest trend in fitness. Today, Valerie has opened a new location and surrounds herself with instructors who channel their experience as classical dancers, gymnastics, and triathletes to lead rigorous barre classes.
Valerie starts her instruction with a BarreLite class that introduces newcomers to the proper forms and techniques to master fundamentals. From there, she encourages students to test out a number of other classes. The popular BarreFusion class combines Pilates, yoga, ballet, and light weights to sculpt legs and cores. She also offers highly popular Spinning classes that challenge students with a high-energy, aerobic workout that mimics cycling in front of stampeding wildebeests. To compliment the team, new instructor Kelly Carpenter leads Pilates caliente classes that combine barre and light weights to work towards power, strength, and core strength. The studio also offers TRX classes which provide a total body workout through suspension training and the use of your own body weight.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were accidentally installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circle of hydraulic resistance machines 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 and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use body weight and fitness levels to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing 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.