Brooklyn Sports Club's mission isn't just about getting people fit—it's also about getting them to have a good time. The club emphasizes the communal aspect of working out with plenty of group activities and family-friendly programs for all ages. Children as young as six months can participate in swim classes in the competition-size lap pool, and there are several martial-arts programs for older kids.
Adult members can take advantage of any of BSC's facilities, including a boxing studio and a group fitness studio that hosts everything from Zumba to Hatha yoga. There's plenty of space for solo workouts on the fitness floor, including a 14,000-square-foot section with weights and a 5,000-square-foot area with computerized ellipticals and stair climbers. Here, certified personal trainers teach clients how to lift effectively and properly unwrap a protein bar. To help members further enjoy their time at the gym, there's a massage spa and a sun deck that occasionally hosts live music.
The family-run Astoria Sports Complex offers batting cages and indoor soccer, and has one of the largest fitness centers around. The facility got its start more than 30 years ago, when owner Steve Poliseno converted an abandoned ice house, purchased at auction, into the gigantic sports complex it is today. The most recent addition to the facility is a gigantic, Olympic-sized swimming pool, where kids can take lessons and prepare to be the Model U.N. delegate from Atlantis.
Since 1952, this nonsectarian Jewish community center has entertained, strengthened, and educated community members with enriching programs and recreational services. Around 780 people a day lift weights, splash in the pool, or attend book readings. Children and teens absorb knowledge about scholastics, cooking, crafts, and drama during after-school programs and summer camps, while adults talk literature in book clubs, stretch out during yoga sessions, or unwind by meditating in a room filled with stacks of already-completed taxes. Seniors, meanwhile, can play a round of billiards or backgammon in a social club, learn basic computer skills, or take free, arthritis-friendly aerobics classes. The dedicated staff make a point of welcoming all community members by speaking Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, Spanish, and Upper East Side.
There are six essential ingredients that compose each of Complete Body 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 studio, expert trainers adhere to Mr. Reznik's principles, blending Eastern and Western techniques during classes such as yoga, boot camps, and spinning. 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. They even venture outside to work with clients in their homes. But the staff knows that wellness is not all about sweat. 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.
Sandoony USA takes the concept of the American melting pot seriously; it’s blended the bathhouse traditions of Eastern Europe into a devoted relaxation center that pairs three types of saunas with just as many pools. After a stint sweating out toxins in one of two dry Russian saunas, guests jump into the cold plunge pool to refresh their bodies and shock their pores closed without showing them the phone bill from NASA’s calls to Neptune. The hot, thick air of the Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room warm up chilled bones before the lap pool gets muscles moving again. A final soak amid the massaging jets of the jacuzzi erases any lingering stress. After drying off amid the pool deck’s tables and hanging TVs, an opulent dining room or poolside café awaits with plates such as feta-cheese-and-tomato salads or beef tongue with horseradish.
Expert triathlon coaches Scott Berlinger and Andrew Kalley coach racers on how to develop an effective triathlon training program during a half-day workout that's safe and informative for beginners and experienced athletes alike. The four-hour, half-day camp divides 30 pavement pounders into three groups, rotating them between swimming, biking, and running sessions. Coaches provide attention to individuals in a group setting while professing and demonstrating race preparation, transition improvement, injury prevention, and how to intimidate competitors using nothing more than a clown nose and a children's picture book. Go online to register for a half-day camp that suits your schedule; additional classes may be added as needed.
At the family-owned New England Dive Center, certified instructors pursue a mission of expanding scuba-diving know-how to the whole world, training underwater explorers with a curriculum of beginning to advanced diving classes. Several open-water courses survey safety, equipment, and diving etiquette to put students on the path toward PADI, TDI, or SDI certification, and an underwater photography seminar illustrates how to capture lucid footage of marine life and document mermaids' dance recitals. Group vacations shepherd divers to the lush corals of the Florida Keys, Cozumel, and the Grand Bahamas, and local events explore the quarries and shipwrecks hidden within New England's own waters. The full-service repair shop also stocks rental and retail equipment, supplying divers with high-end fins, masks, and tanks from brands such as Atomic Aquatics and XS Scuba.