For members of LOA Fitness for Women, the word support means more than having a reliable spotter at your bench. It's a keystone of the women-only gym, where ladies of all fitness levels can exercise and socialize in the presence of a community-oriented staff. Formerly Ladies Workout Express, founder Rebecca Tainter established LOA Fitness for Women to provide a workout space that was both physically and emotionally empowering, and to that end, her instructors lead motivational group classes in Zumba, yoga, and general fitness away from men and bodybuilding kangaroos.
Personal trainers also meet with clients for one-on-one sessions, drawing from several disciplines—including Pilates and medicine-ball workouts—to craft highly customized routines. They even plan specialized pre- and post-natal regimens, as well as workouts for women who have recently undergone cosmetic surgery. For visitors with kids, an onsite childcare service entertains youngsters—a far safer alternative to letting them build barbell forts on the gym floor.
Veterans of the physical training profession, the five trainers at Spa Lady South Orange are dedicated to helping women achieve their weight and fitness goals through motivated lifestyle changes. In their bright, airy weight room and wood-floored class area, the trainers lead these clients through exercises tailored to sculpt each unique body or test the limits of each unique human-impersonating robot. Group classes emphasize exercise's communal appeal, with Zumba, Pilates, and kickboxing helping students burn calories in fun, high-energy settings. In addition to classes and training sessions, the gym also houses a few weight-loss shortcuts; heat body wraps help trim down stubbornly plump parts of the body with fat-melting warmth.
Seth Weisberg and Alison McCue, cofounders of Garden State Yoga, strive to foster growth and community for both students and teachers of yoga. Along with their fellow instructors, they teach yoga classes inside two distinct studios. Their heated studio offers hot power Vinyasa classes, inspired by the Baron Baptiste style, that detoxify bodies, build strength, reduce stress, and encourage self-awareness. The other studio hosts Vinyasa, Zumba, restorative yoga, and yin yoga classes at normal temperatures. When they aren't striking peaceful poses on their home turf, instructors offer corporate yoga at retail businesses such as Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods. Seth and Alison also pass along their knowledge during regular teacher-training courses for yogis who want to earn their certification through Yoga Alliance.
Knife Skills 101 is taught by Cuisine Inspirations owner, Scott Savokinas, a seasoned chef who relishes every aspect of the culinary craft. He'll teach you the safest and deftest ways to dice, slice, mince, and chop, putting meats and veggies in the savoriest shapes while shaving time and awkwardness off kitchen routines. While you learn to cut an onion without making it cry and grate garlic without triggering its earsplitting burglar alarm, the chef's friendly banter and helpful hints foster a comfortable, entertaining atmosphere. At the end of the class, students and chef partake in whichever dish was prepared during the demonstration.
Bar Academy 101’s co-owners Robert and Nicki have more than 15 years of experience in the bartending business between them. They emphasize hands-on learning during courses at a 24/7 model bar, where students can spend unlimited hours practicing the two main skills of bartending: mixing drinks and pouring them into patrons’ outstretched hands. Robert and Nicki share the skills they’ve learned in the field at the school’s glossy wooden bar stations, which feature tools and bottles much like those found in typical watering holes. This hands-on learning ensures that pupils are prepared for job placement at the end of courses. The dedicated team meets one-on-one with graduates, matching them with openings in local bars and restaurants.
For Jagadisha Peter Petrovic, yoga lessons came early and often. What began with a simple stretching exercise on a family vacation blossomed into a lifetime of yogic learning, including stints at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and certifications from global masters including Dr. Jeff Migdow and Bikram Choudhury. Now, he puts those experiences to use as the founder and head instructor at Be Evolution Hot Yoga, where his team of experienced yoga instructors flush away toxins and increase muscle flexibility for deeper stretches during targeted stretch sessions. The center operates two studios side-by-side: one heated to a steamy 106 degrees for traditional hot yoga, and one warmed to a balmy-yet-manageable 78 degrees for less strenuous sessions. After class ends, students can also pop into the center's brand new boutique, where racks of new gear and practice materials await.