The gym looks like equal parts Olympic training facility and old warehouse—here, exercisers hoist themselves up rows of pull-up bars, grunt around a collection of kettlebells, and hop through jump-rope routines. On a power-lifting platform, a lifter explodes from a squat, hoisting a plate-loaded bar up to his shoulders and then dropping under it to catch the weight over his head. Elsewhere, athletes do dips on gymnast rings and build a sweat on rowing machines.
This low-tech setting is typical of all true CrossFit gyms. Though the equipment may be basic, the results are not: CrossFit workouts develop all measures of physical fitness—from power to cardiovascular endurance—through workouts that are broad, general, and inclusive. This approach is often described as specializing in not specializing: it develops physical fitness in ways equally beneficial to everyone, from professional mixed martial artists and police officers to weekend softball players.
CrossFit gyms typically start clients in a foundational program where trainers teach the basic movements, such as the squat, dead lift, and pull-up. Every exercise is scalable to a version that clients can complete—a pull-up, for example, can be scaled back to a negative pull-up, a static hang, or body-weight row with gymnast rings. It can also be scaled to a more challenging version, such as the kipped pull-up. After students learn CrossFit's basic movements, they move on to open group classes, which follow the ever-changing WOD, or Workout of the Day. These workouts are short and intense, and they foster camaraderie through frequent team circuits. In addition to supervising WOD class, trainers coach members on nutrition, advocating a caveman-style diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as raptor meat.
At Max Muscle, teams of knowledgeable health experts maximize bodies’ potential with fat-burning enzymes, muscle-boosting proteins, and vital vitamins and nutrients. Certified nutrition coaches help customers craft personalized nutrition plans based on meticulous research, thorough analysis of body composition, and interviews with 19th-century circus strongmen. The shop's tidy shelves brim with specially formulated pills, whey powders, and bars designed for amateurs seeking to reinforce a healthy lifestyle or professionals looking to sharpen their frames before high-stakes muscle flex-offs.
Inspirit Yoga and Fitness Studio was designed to uplift both the body and spirit. Classes commence between honey-colored hardwood floors and soaring ceilings as certified instructors teach Zumba, yoga, and boot camp classes. Studio owner Ravenflower Dugandzic wanted to create a welcoming space for the community to come and learn about living a balanced lifestyle and even holds regular events and workshops at the studio. To help students along on their healthy quests, her classes include a detoxifying Hot Flow yoga class during which the heated room helps students stretch. On the other side of the spectrum, Zumba classes offer a full-body dance workout set to intense Latin rhythms. Clients can also indulge in an aromatherapy massage performed by a registered massage therapist.
iDanze's spacious studio abounds with a variety of high-energy and fun dance-fitness classes throughout the week. During adult and senior Zumba classes, Latin dance music booms as feet salsa, samba, and merengue across the hardwood floors, torching calories and toning muscles. The certified instructors lead yoga, belly-dancing, and kickboxing classes and teach youngsters the foundations of dancing during ballet and kids' Zumba classes. The studio also rents out its spacious floors for parties, special events, supplying disco lights, DJs, and dance instructors, but patrons must bring their own sense of rhythm.
When the instructors at JB Studios Dance and Fitness turn up the music, their welcoming space transforms into a full-on party. Black lights wash students in a cosmic glow as they twist, turn, and sweat to contemporary and Latin beats, taking their cues from the clearly visible instructor on the elevated platform.
This energetic scene is inspired by the studio’s head instructor, Jhon Benavides. Drawing on more than 20 years of Latin dance experience, he stirs Latin-flavored moves from salsa, samba, and merengue into rigorous Zumba fitness classes. Each hour-long Zumba session can burn up to 1,000 calories—twice as much as one hour spent saying “Zumba” over and over again. Jhon’s team of certified dance and fitness teachers also share their expertise during boot camps, kickboxing sessions, belly dance lessons, and power yoga classes.
Vanessa Valentin knew her own health and happiness increased through practicing dance and fitness, and she wanted to help other people feel the same way. She opened RhythmX to make it happen, a fitness and dance studio focused on Latin and hip-hop grooves.
Here, Vanessa and 10 other instructors conduct three types of Zumba classes, including Zumba, Zumba Toning, and Zumba Sentao, along with Latin hip-hop sessions. Unlike most hip-hop classes, which teach students a set routine, their sessions work to arm students with a core set of moves, helping them feel more comfortable on the dance floor.
Certified personal trainer Robert Schwartz wasn't always blessed with such a rippling physique. Before he started getting serious about training, he had a hard time running down the street without his fingers and toes swelling up. That's all a distant memory now, thanks to his dedication to an intense fitness regimen that helped him lose 100 pounds and get in the best shape of his life.
At RS Fitness for Life, Robert shares his proven workout strategies with others through boot camps and one-on-one personal-training sessions. His boot camps may involve everything from weightlifting to kickboxing, but the overarching focus is always on a high-intensity workout. Robert knows that fitness isn't limited to the gym, so he also offers nutritional and lifestyle counseling to interested clients.