Fitness trainer Paul Dexter knows that actions speak louder than words. That’s why the former Bally’s Total Fitness director became nationally ranked as a natural bodybuilder, proving he had the goods to transform his body and the bodies of others. To give his clients a more personal experience, Paul left Bally’s and teamed up with his wife Laura to open Dexter Training Concepts.
Along with a team of certified trainers, Paul and Laura lead personal-training sessions that approach fitness using a three-pronged philosophy: strength training, cardio exercise, and nutrition. They put these fitness pillars into practice inside a 5,000-square-foot gym, which holds training sessions as well as yoga, Pilates, cardio-kickboxing, boot-camp, and aerobics classes. Free weights and machines occupy most of the gym floor, a juice bar fuels athletes in between sessions, and an onsite licensed massage therapist soothes aching muscles with practiced strokes and whispered sweet nothings.
At World Gym International’s Seekonk location, a full complement of cardio and weightlifting equipment awaits exercisers in an expansive, multilevel facility. Off of the main workout area, private studios are outfitted for yoga, Pilates, and circuit training. The facility also offers childcare services and group fitness classes daily.
Planet Fitness' massive, brightly colored edifice teems with aerobic, strength-training, tanning, and massage options, tailored to suit burgeoning buffs of all ages and abilities. A two-month Black Card membership (a $39.98 value) with enrollment fee included (a $99 value) offers exercisers a wide range of Planet's benefits, including access to an extensive fleet of cardio equipment, strength-training equipment, and free weights, which move unhindered by large machines or political censorship. Tan-seekers can bask in the unlimited artificial sunshine of the gym's tanning booths, and an army of shiatsu massage chairs stands at the ready, twiddling soothing robot thumbs and waiting to coax tension from tired tendons.
Sunlight streams through stained-glass totems inside the spacious studio at Eyes of the World Yoga. In terms of class offerings, students can exhale the exertions of the day away with slow stretching sequences and rhythmic breathing implemented during mellow yoga. Likewise, semi-limber limbs can flow through the basics of posture and alignment during a fundamentals class, which, like a cannon strapped to a rocking horse, is aimed at all levels.
Feeding off the positive energy of other boot campers and experienced instructors, fist-pumping participants power through each 45-minute session's suite of intense cardio, kettlebell, and resistance training. The workouts—held at Second Beach in Middleton and Brown Street Park in East Providence—can burn fat, increase flexibility and strength, and build confidence to flex during mug shots. During the course of the four-week session, participants can expect to run, walk, work out with partners, and complete targeted drills. Middleton classes take place Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., and Providence classes fortify fitness on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Ocean State Bikram Yoga’s spacious studio nestles cozily in a restored old mill, retrofitted with resilient carpeting, mirrored walls, and a host of private showers and dressing rooms. Inside a heated classroom, experienced instructors lead students of all skill levels through high-energy routines of Bikram-style yoga posturing. During each 90-minute tutorial, they shepherd practitioners through a swift rotation of 26 poses and two breathing exercises. Instructors calibrate each class to promote calorie-torching perspiration and release muscles from the shackles of overly tight ligaments, binding tendons, and rubber-band girdles. In addition to sparking caloric bonfires, consistently practiced Bikram yoga can chip away at chronic pain and help reverse the effects of injury by boosting circulation and mobility.