There are six essential ingredients that compose each of Complete Body's fitness programs: strength, cardio, flexibility, meditation, nutrition, and rest. Founder Alex Reznik is the mind behind this philosophy. In 1995, he founded the company believing that, if given the opportunity, most people would seek to better their health. Soon thereafter, he was proven right by both rising membership numbers and favorable media attention, including articles in Time Out New York and the New York Times.
Complete Body has now expanded to three locations. At each club, experts adhere to Mr. Reznik's principles, blending Eastern and Western techniques during classes such as yoga, boot camps, and kickboxing. Complete Body also hosts cross-training classes, which are designed to burn fat, build strength, and improve flexibility by focusing on six elements: strength, cardio, flexibility, meditation, nutrition, and rest. Among the state-of-the-art equipment and fitness technologies that help members reach their fitness goals, independent trainers utilize the facility with their clients. At onsite spas, massage therapists work tense muscles and aestheticians refresh skin with facials. Physical therapists can help to rehabilitate clients following injuries, calling upon various training methods in their arsenal.
With its military-style obstacles and exercises, Warrior Fitness Boot Camp is not for the faint of heart. As Vanity Fair writer Tarik Fayad said, "My legs burned ... my arms hung like lead at my sides. ... I was drenched in sweat." But instead of feeling exhausted and discourage, Fayad was "the happiest I had been in years"—and immediately signed up for three months of unlimited classes.
The boot camp, which was founded by two former marines, won't mollycoddle participants, but because it doesn't, it gets results and has garnered extensive amounts of press, including appearances on The Dr. Oz Show and CBS's The Early Show.
During its one-hour indoor classes, campers do everything from hoist free weights to run through an obstacle course complete with jungle-gym bars, balance beams, real dirt, and a pool full of sharks carrying switchblades. Kids can also get in on the action—special classes for them help build motor skills and teamwork.
The nonprofit Asphalt Green keeps children, teens, and adults in shape with an array of fitness, swim, and sports activities and programs. Members enjoy full access to a 15,000-square-foot duplex fitness center lined with Precor and Technogym equipment, including treadmills and ellipticals with built-in TV screens. In the gym's weightlifting area, patrons can take a breather between reps as they gaze at picturesque views from the gym’s adjoining roof deck. Swimmers of all abilities glide through the 50-meter Olympic-sized pool, once home to Olympic bronze medalist Lia Neal and currently the home of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
Those opting for fitness classes can choose from 80 different sessions weekly—from Zumba and Pilates to martial arts to swimming. The gym also offers training programs and seminars for triathletes, a variety of community outreach programs including adaptive swim for veterans, and kid-focused summer and sport camps to keep young ones from making bad decisions, such as using chewing gum to plug up holes in dams. Patrons can also take advantage of the center’s babysitting services, which are open to children ages 6 months to 6 years.
Robert Brace—a celebrity personal trainer who's danced as a soloist for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet—may be from London, but he wanted to create a workout perfect for time-crunched New Yorkers who want to see results. And that’s how NYlean25 was born. Today, he and his team challenge clients with 25-minute workouts that incorporate interval training and constantly changing drills to keep bodies engaged. The instructors also help students maintain good form throughout the workout to ensure each exercise's effectiveness. Additional support, such as meal planning, speeds clients toward goals such as losing weight, becoming more toned, and passing the arm-wrestling portion of job interviews.
The trainers encourage their clients to push themselves and make the most of every minute—but they're not afraid to have a little fun, either. In fact, Robert helped comedian Mark Malkoff achieve six-pack abs in 28 days, and he taught the crew at PIX11 how to get fit even while they wore their nice work clothes, instead of the leather pants and corsets most often seen at the gym.
Wendy Traskos's career as a pole-dancing icon began with one fateful spin. Impressed by the strength of self-expression she glimpsed in accomplished pole-dancers, she tried the art for herself and was hooked immediately, so much so she has been honing her spinning skills for 16 years. Now a self-taught professional, she channels her background as a certified personal trainer and gymnast to enhance her routines. Wendy’s fitness knowledge landed her celebrity clients, including Montel Williams and Mary J. Blige, and her proficiency on the pole led Germany's version of America's Next Top Model to feature her as a dancing expert.
At NY Pole studios, Wendy passes on her spiraling prowess through her original Climb and Spin method. She believes that students should build a foundation of muscle and a repertoire of techniques as they progress to more advanced pole tricks, which require them to shed all rock-climbing gear. Her classes accommodate varying skill levels with choreographed routines, motivating participants to practice recently learned grips, climbs, and transitions. The studios also offer fitness classes, private parties, and workshops led by guest instructors such as Cleo “The Hurricane,” also known as Miss Pole Dance Australia.
Climbers of all ages and skill levels scamper across roughly 22,000 square feet of climbable space inside Brooklyn Boulders's rock-climbing gym. A dedicated route-setting staff organizes color-coded problems on craggy, angled top-rope walls as well as bouldering walls that reach up to 15 feet. To help visitors master these walls, seasoned instructors train them in three basic types of climbing: bouldering, top-rope climbing, or lead climbing. They teach these skills through classes such as the peak-performance program, which combines seven classes in lead climbing, bouldering, and cross-training to accelerate students' learning. To ease stressed muscles and promote calm reflection, staffers also lead all-ages yoga lessons and monthly yoga workshops.
Brooklyn Boulders also injects creativity into its special events, which encourage visitors to climb in costume around Halloween and take part in competitions during which they pretend the floor has turned to lava. Staffers also invite local graffiti artists to display their murals inside, work to preserve regional climbing areas by partnering with Access Fund, and coordinate programs through its BKB Foundation—a nonprofit that provides greater access to rock climbing for kids and adults.