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.
Navy SEAL veteran and MMA coach Brian Sargent had a vision of a cutting-edge mixed-martial-arts facility. He knew what equipment was needed, but it was not until 2007?when he teamed with Joe Mannino, a 30-year owner and operator of a health club?that the nitty-gritty details fell into place. With Mannino?s newly envisioned facility and Sargent?s training know-how, the two built Victory MMA and Fitness, bringing on a staff of top-notch trainers to teach a burgeoning clientele of professional MMA fighters.
The sounds of pumping hearts and fists swooshing through the air that Brian and Joe love to hear can be sensed between the glass walls and doors that divide the 22,000-square-foot facility into eight training areas, and there?s room left over for a retail shop and ringside caf?. A 20-foot mixed-martial-arts cage and 7,000 square feet of mats host aspiring pugilists as they train their wrists and fists among a forest of hanging punching bags, while students in Jiu Jitsu and MMA classes learn the practical art of self defense. The nearby cardio and weightlifting areas are the metaphorical psychologist?s couch upon which personal trainers condition their clients, and a cordoned-off yoga studio breaks the black-and-red patterning of the gym with bright white walls and a pale hardwood floor.
JoAnne, or ?JoJo,? discovered her love of dance at the age of 5 through ballet, jazz, and gymnastics training. She founded Allure Dance Studio?which she considers to be a women-only club rather than a fitness center?to empower women with confidence while helping them make strides toward healthier lifestyles and toned physiques.
She and her team of instructors, which is made up of gymnasts, professional dancers, and aerial-silks performers, teach women to unleash their inner vixens while carving long and lean muscles with a diverse roster of pole-dance, sultry dance, and inventive fitness classes. Taught amid stage-like lighting and ambiance, gals boost their self-confidence and upper-body strength through seductive spins, choreography, and climbs. To prepare for class, ladies should wear a tank top, shorts, and high heels with an ankle strap in lieu of steel-toe boots. Instructors can help clients further hone their skills and overall fitness through customized workouts in one-on-one personal-training sessions and private lessons. Allure Dance Studio captures ladies at their most glamorous with boudoir photography and flirty party packages that teach women to strut their stuff with burlesque moves, classic striptease, belly dancing, and parakeet mating calls.
Inside the no-fluff, no-frills gym, patrons sweat their way through comprehensive group workouts. Adapted from sports including weightlifting, gymnastics, and track, CrossFit's mélange keeps the body constantly working toward change, against which muscles rebel by bulking up or turning into washboards. During each 35-minute class, both men and women build more than just muscle, as multifaceted sessions also focus on endurance, speed, balance, agility, and flexibility.
For a quick leg up on getting fit, the gym's boot-camp classes immerse students in intense, varied workouts designed to burn fat and whittle away inches quickly. Six days a week, instructors might challenge students to rope climbs, sit-ups, sprints, or kettlebell exercises, always incorporating both cardio and strength training to achieve results as quickly as possible. For those new to the gym's programs, boot camps are an ideal way to gain the strength and endurance necessary to succeed in the more intense CrossFit classes.
Island Glow looks more like an upscale day spa than a typical tanning salon. Ornate cabinetry, plush leather sofas, and boutique jewelry fill the spacious front waiting area. Upon arrival, a member of Island Glow's staff leads guests to one of the facility's private treatment rooms where clients choose from four different levels of tanning beds or opt for a customized, organic spray tan. They also offer a new, super express spray tanning solution that allows clients to shower in as little as one hour instead of the traditional 12-15 hours. Each member of the team is Smart Tan-certified, a distinction that means they've undergone a rigorous training program and can recite the alphabet backwards. They also help people look and feel their best by offering other treatments including teeth-whitening services, massages, and facials.
Diva Doll Fitness and Pole's professionally trained dancers aim to boost students' self-confidence during relaxed, all-women classes that combine sensual boogying with body-shaping fitness. Introductory classes such as Pole Babes introduce students to basic handgrips, transitions, and pole tricks, and advanced classes further cultivate pole-dancing skills with lessons in advanced choreography and inversions. Chair-dance classes spice up the art of sitting still in a cubicle with struts, teases, and furniture-based maneuvers. Within the confines of Diva Doll Fitness and Pole's pink-walled, mirrored studio, blossoming burlesque performers may also don stockings and garter belts to perfect the moves of the sensual genre.