Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment, which features built-in TVs and other media diversions. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling. For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess and address their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
More than 100 pieces of workout equipment fill Butler Health & Fitness, but that doesn't mean you have to exercise alone. Group instructors lead yoga, Zumba, and senior-oriented SilverSneakers classes, and personal trainers lead one-on-one personal-training sessions. Other membership perks include access to saunas, tanning beds, complimentary childcare, and racquetball courts, which are just basketball courts for tennis players.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests of every fitness level come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. Workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. 30 seconds are spent alternating between hydraulic machines and recovery stations to maintain an elevated heart rate. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity. Workouts are designed to boost metabolism and build lean muscle, and there's always a coach to push and motivate students and help them maintain proper form. Nutrition guidance is also available.
With an arsenal of workout regimens and classes, Willie Blanks—brother of Tae-Bo creator Billy Blanks—carries on the family tradition as he and his team of trainers lead healthy hopefuls to their goals. Students of the Wil-li-netics program are instructed in positive thinking and self-motivation as well as physical strength, giving them the mental wherewithal to pursue their fitness ambitions and telekinetically deflect cannon-propelled hot dogs. Individual attention comes in the form of a series of personalized routines, which may feature step aerobics, kickboxing, dance, or hand-weight workouts. An approximately one-hour massage (a $50 value) softens tight tendons, and a series of 15-minute life-coaching sessions (a $12.50 value per session) tones thought patterns into sleeker, more positive outlooks. Each gym membership entitles trainees to as many classes as their de-jellified limbs desire (up to a $60 value).
Pennbriar Athletic Club's exercise paradise spans 110,000 square feet of recreational resources. Armed with a month of unlimited access, esteemed members can artfully flail their limbs at a 25-yard indoor pool, three-lane indoor track, cardio studio, conditioning center, and basketball court before laying muscles to rest at the relaxing whirlpool, sauna, and coffee counter.