Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
Step-N-Out Dance Studio brings together a talented and diverse group of independent instructors—each expert in their own mix of dance styles. The team of enthusiastic dance professionals, lead private lessons, group classes, and workshops on three separate, mirror-lined dance floors. Together, they can teach everything from the classic ballroom and Latin dances to the fitness-focused belly dancing, Zumba, and trophy-lifting classes. Classes are foundational with a focus on movement, direction, and basic concepts of partner dancing. From getting one's start in Latin dance with salsa and bachata to basic ballroom, classes have a specific focus on teaching novice dancers steps, timing, and connection to build confidence on the dance floor and, in some cases, prepare students for more advanced training.
While running a Stroller Strides exercise program for new moms, personal trainer Candice Peters found her calling. As she said during an interview with Cincy Chic, she wanted to recapture "the energy of women…[in] a non-intimidating and non-judgmental environment." To that end, she opened Hyde Park Body Boutique, where she ushers ladies of all ages and body types toward their fitness goals. She emphasizes no-frills functional fitness with TRX suspension gear and a distinct lack of fancy machines—the studio only stocks treadmills and elliptical machines that drop their "g"s and prefer bagels to crumpets.
Because of this stripped-down aesthetic, the studio leaves room for the sun to dapple the hardwood floors as Candice pilots weight-loss regimens, postnatal workouts, and sports-centric routines alike. During group classes, which include boot camp, TRX, and kettlebells, she continues to embody the accepting attitude that led to her studio's creation, encouraging students to set their own pace.
Willis Music’s staff of dedicated musicians taps into the shop's century in business to guide fellow melody makers of all levels among more than 3,000 instruments and a jungle of accessories. Though in-store stock may vary, patrons can peruse racks for catalog items such as a Planet Waves chromatic headstock tuner, which dials in string tension using vibration ($39.99), or they can pacify rampaging folk singers with strums on a ukulele ($37.50+). A Peavey bass amp ($99.99) gives modern and vintage voice to bass guitars, and metal-encased DigiTech effects pedals ($49.99) awaken drowsy ears with four roaring styles of distortion. Customers can beat out rhythms on the skin of a Toca street djembe ($49.90) or browse various other African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Irish hand drums captured, tamed, and refurbished by independent craftspeople.
Victory Lady Fitness Centers’ three locations offer supportive environments for women to get fit. Clients can individually pursue their weight-loss goals by working with free weights or swimming laps in the pool, or they can attend calorie-stomping group classes such as Zumba, belly dancing, kickboxing, kettlebell, and yoga. Personal trainers provide added boosts of motivation and accountability, helping each woman achieve her specific goal, be it dropping a dress size, preparing for a marathon, or becoming the first person to in the world to balance on one foot. Other gym perks include an outdoor boot camp, a running club, and meal-planning services.
Relatively speaking, Fahrenheit Fitness is less grueling than owner Tammy Thomas's last job. But that's only because her last job title was a firefighter. Now, instead of running into burning buildings or climbing redwoods to save kittens, she gets exercisers to sweat and burn calories by scheduling fitness classes such as Zumba and Pilates. For variety, students can sign up for one of her Mixed Fuel classes, which combine elements of kickboxing, yoga, and boot camp.