You might see "Motown" or "80s" on the schedule, but InSync Cycle Studio is not a dance venue. These events still involve plenty of legwork, though—students pedal aboard stationary bikes as invigorating music blares all the while. During these sessions, they'll surmount imaginary hills with real resistance, or zoom through long straightaways at high speeds. Some might be marathoners, and others might be first-timers. It doesn't matter to the instructor at the head of the class, who makes sure that everyone's workout is suited to their experience.
Typically, these instructors are the ones in charge of the music. Most classes aren't themed, but follow a mix of tunes that mesh with the teacher's taste. Some will even time the rhythm of their inclines and sprints to match the song, which is why "Flight of the Bumblebee" has been banned forever. Regardless of the soundtrack, each low-impact lesson helps to tone muscle and build endurance in a communal, encouraging space.
The inspiring trainers at each MetaBody location lead troops of workouteers in results-oriented workouts several times weekly. Sweat sessions utilize a variety of exercises and disciplines to produce full-body results in a supportive environment, ideal for beginners and hard-core core-hardeners alike. During any class, motivational instructors will use the instinctual distrust of routine to their advantage. Begin a day of litigating with a refreshing early-morning boot-camp session, or wind down by burning evidence and pounds with a late-evening yoga class. Muscles are kept guessing with new and challenging moves during each session, so participants never fall into a boring, ineffective routine, such as regular teeth brushing. In addition to the fitness classes, students receive a success guide to help prepare for imminent pound loss, a nutrition guide, and a $100 gift certificate for individual coaching. Because the pass sets a 5 or 10-class cap at any given location, roving fitness mavens can further shake up their workout regimens by vetting a series of classes or instructors that work best for them.
Give them five days, and the team at Federal Hill Fitness will do their best to revamp your entire approach to exercise. That's the sweat-inducing premise behind 5 to Fit, one of the gym's signature group fitness camps. For the equivalent of a work week, trainers combine daily workouts with diet suggestions and once-a-day weigh-ins. But that's just one way Federal Hill Fitness helps exercisers meet their goal of finally moving that obelisk out of the living room. Group classes (such as spin and yoga), one-on-one training, and independent exercisers also spread across the gym's two levels. The space houses all the necessary fitness tools, from treadmills to TRX resistance equipment.
Equipment: Schwinn AC Performance Plus stationary bikes with MPower computers
Students should bring: Bike shoes with SPD clips or tennis shoes, water bottle
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 11?25 people
Class location: Indoors only
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking Garage up to 2 hours free
Pro Tip: Create an online account before you come to the studio for your first class, and arrive 15 minutes early.
Exercise is challenging, and people frequently give up on their fitness routines. How do you keep clients motivated?
We have amazing instructors who were recognized in the 2014 Best of Baltimore Readers Poll as best group fitness instructors. We also have a variety of classes including fusion classes that provide a full body workout of the upper body with weights as well as core exercises. Our facility features state-of-the-art computers and a sound system that will blow you away.
Do you believe in the maxim, "No pain, no gain?? Why or why not?
Yes and No. While we believe in pushing our clients to get outside of their comfort zones, we want to do it in a safe and motivating way. We believe in building that foundation through some of our less intense classes and then working up to your fitness potential. We want to keep our clients injury-free while giving them a very challenging workout that will keep them coming back for more.
What is the biggest mistake you see people make when trying to get fit on their own?
Not understanding the proper ways to exercise and then incurring an injury. In addition, setting unrealistic fitness goals?or not setting any goals at all?could make people lose their motivation and eventually quit working out. Goal setting is so important in a proper fitness routine.
If instead of attending galas, Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre joined a yoga class, the venue would probably look a lot like MV Fitness. Inside a Mount Vernon mansion, stationary cycles face floor-to-ceiling windows beneath a vintage chandelier that is warmly reflected in an ornately framed mirror hung above the fireplace. Enormous wooden french doors open onto rooms full of weight machines and cardio equipment, potted plants filling lungs with fresh oxygen as members get into shape. In between punching bags and wall-mounted weightlifting machines, pop art and stained-glass windows add to the antique space's genuine allure. As Baltimore magazine wrote in its Top Gyms of 2012 column, besides the personal trainers and drop-in group fitness classes, “you’d be hard-pressed to find a prettier gym out there.”
Though Synergy Pilates & Yoga has the spacious rooms, owner Charmaine Gordon keeps class-sizes small. This gives each participant focused attention from her team of trained instructors. Charmaine is a classically-trained Pilates instructor herself and has spent 20 years helping others stay fit, both at her Pilates and yoga studio, as well as at Synergy Women's Fitness, which she has owned and operated for 22 years with her husband, Rod.