When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. Adele Fridman, founder of MetaBody, created a real-life version of that ticket with her MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
In most indoor cycling classes, the bikes stay put. Not so at Tochak, where exercisers hop on RealRyder bikes that pivot from side to side. These bikes not only engage the legs and butt, but also the core muscles, allowing for a more comprehensive workout set to high-energy tunes that burns up to 20% more calories than a standard indoor bike. Classes cater to all types of cyclist, from beginners to Tour de France runners-up. And during each session, guests can burn upward of 600 calories as they pedal to the encouraging words of their instructor.
Clare Gales has two loves—dance and fitness. The devoted dancer and expert trainer opened Studio 82 in 1986, where she combined her two passions by hosting both fitness and dance classes on the studio's expansive hardwood floors. Today, Clare and her staff of professional dancers and fitness professionals continue to lead students of all ages in more than 100 different classes that range from ballet to cardio kickboxing.
An abundance of internationally renowned dancers and top instructors have passed through the studio's doors over the course of its 26 years, guiding youngsters and adults alike through the footwork and form of styles such as ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. Certified fitness instructors conduct a variety of energetic classes, interspersing a schedule of high-intensity cardio classes with strength-training workouts and rejuvenating yoga and Pilates sessions. The studio's diverse range of classes attracts an equally diverse group of clients that includes aspiring dancers, fitness seekers, and future brides preparing for the wedding dance or bulking up for the ceremonial arm-wrestling match against the groom’s mother.
Many gyms are essentially adult playgrounds where grownups run, jump, and sweat with their friends. The trainers at Pure Athletex Sportsplex take that idea one step further, complimenting their 1/8-mile track with a custom, adult-ready jungle gym. They challenge members to complete exercise circuits blending climbing and swinging with more standard cardio and strength training. They take on whole groups of students in regularly scheduled exercise classes ranging from yoga to TRX suspension training and Zumba. They torch even more calories with nationally renowned Les Mills group aerobics, which ramp up heart rates through time-tested methods of high stepping or releasing vipers into the classroom.
When not helping members achieve their general health goals, the trainers turn their attention to more sport-specific training. They offer speed and strength conditioning geared toward multiple games, but their headline sport is tennis, for which they host an entire academy with indoor and outdoor courts. They invite members to relax as well as work with an onsite, health-focused restaurant and juice bar called Pure Hospitality.
A Greek-themed fitness center might conjure the images of ancient Olympic events, but at Mediterranean Fitness, chariot races and javelin poles are nowhere in sight. Instead, crisp white architecture and ocean-blue accents decorate the boutique gym where exercisers build strength and self-confidence among free weights, modern cardio machines, and daily fitness classes including hot yoga and cycling. Complimentary childcare keeps kids busy while parents work up a sweat training for arm-wrestling matches with Zeus.
Fairview Park Recreation Department at the Gemini Center hosts an impressive array of classes—20 each week. They take advantage of the brand new facility's amenities, holding spinning classes in dedicated cycling rooms or teaching aquatic skills in the aerobic studio. They also hold outdoor classes during summer months, taking advantage of the sunshine and green lawns. "It's great to see members push themselves and have fun while doing it," reports the Center's group-exercise coordinator.
Beyond fitness instruction, they also use the facility to host summer camps, athletic leagues, and families looking for a day at the pool. They even built a second pool, exclusively for leisure, with waterslides, a lazy river, and submerged beauty parlors.