With one foot planted in traditional martial-arts pedagogy and the other roundhouse-kicking modern sports science, Tiger Rock Academy schools limbs with fast-paced, total-body fitness classes. The health-and-fitness program consists of Kisado kickboxing, which blends martial arts and nutritional counseling to build up the whole body and tone each strand of hair on the head. Martial arts classes for adults and kids cover counter aggressive forms such as taekwondo and hanmudo, a style based on grappling and takedowns.
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. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine-maneuvering and your muscle-making. 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.
Kosama's eight-week Complete Body Transformation program embraces the power of variety, perplexing muscles with six distinct workouts throughout each week. The combined conditioning effects of kettlebell swings, kickboxing jabs, and yoga poses, among other exercises, banish calories as they streamline the body "from the core out" during group sessions. Instructors take an all-inclusive approach to health, building physical strength, mental focus, and wholesome eating habits such as adding a parsley garnish to Cadbury-creme omelets. They welcome participants of every age and build to their many Kosama locations.
Lotus House offers group classes that are based on the Ashtanga and Flow yoga practices. Regular practice of these techniques can improve muscle tone and flexibility, reduce stress, and stimulate weight loss. Each class is taught by one of the impassioned and nimble instructors, trained to reverberate the positive vibes of soothing music while motivating students to slither into blissful poses on the studio's bamboo floor.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
Nationally recognized credentials are only the baseline of each trainer's resumé at Optimum Fitness. To top off their NSCA certifications, they all hold degrees in exercise science or a similar field, excluding easy disciplines such as medicine ball anatomy. In practice, they prioritize one-on-one interactions and customized workouts that eschew monotony in favor of motivation. Their high-intensity boot-camp classes keep guests engaged with ever-varying routines that combine calisthenics and weight training. One day, students might heave sand bags over hurdles, flip tires end over end, and complete reps of sit-ups, and the next they might swing sledgehammers, do squats across a parking lot, and push themselves on rowing machines.
In addition to group classes, they trainers lead private sessions at home or in the studio with a joint focus on exercise and dietary health. Working alongside nutritionists, wellness experts, and physical therapists—as well as the Titleist-certified golf fitness professionals who help students up their game—they inspire clients of all ages to achieve their fitness goals with positive motivation and at-home accountability via online advice.