While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Powerhouse Gym escorts its members toward healthier lifestyles with comprehensive memberships and a cavalcade of meticulously maintained equipment. More than newly installed 50 cardio machines volunteer to put legs through their paces as users utilize theater remotes to control one of seven different televisions. A neatly aligned contingent of benches, dumbbells, and racks populate the spacious free-weight area, and competitive guests can work up a sweat or settle disputes the way Congress does with intense games of racquetball. To shed calories among fitness confidants, slide into an expert-led group class such as yoga, Zumba, or cardio kickboxing. Additionally, two 30-minute sessions with a certified personal trainer help facilitate positive results with an in-depth review of individual goals. After determining each guest's needs and level of fitness, trainers can begin to coax fit forms from their subcutaneous hideaways with motivating workouts and softly hummed Rocky themes.
Bindu guides yogis of all levels through daily classes that strengthen and restore bodies and calm bustling brains. Bindu specializes in Vinyasa yoga, a practice that streams muscle and breath movement into one continuous flow. During Divine Play Vinyasa sessions, disciplined contractions, extensions, and alignments awaken life-force energy and the ability to channel soft-serve through ordinary drinking fountains. Vinyasa concludes in the relaxation pose shavasana, known less poetically as corpse pose, wherein yogis simulate the proud posture of dead presidents. Bindu's eight yoga masters also lead therapeutic Viniyoga and athletic Ashtanga classes that align and restore wayward muscles to their rightful places. Sessions range from 60–90 minutes.
Being a successful natural bodybuilder was only the beginning of a fitness journey that led Cast Iron CrossFit owner Matt Franco toward a deeper, biological understanding of how exercise and dieting affect our bodies. Franco obtained a degree in biology from Binghamton University and went on to study Nuclear Medical Technology at the Rochester Institute of Technology, working in the healthcare industry for many years before discovering CrossFit. With its simple, ever-changing movements, CrossFit tied in perfectly to what he'd learned about having to constantly challenge and surprise the body in order to achieve results and his passion for helping others find the most effective way to get fit and healthy.
His newfound love for CrossFit inspired Matt to open his own studio which today operates out of an expansive 3,000-square-foot facility. At Cast Iron CrossFit, workouts strip away everything but the essentials. With the Cast Iron CrossFit Unloaded classes, students can get the benefits of CrossFit, but without the heavy lifting or tire throwing. Matt teaches movements designed using the principles of body mechanics. Just like the classes Matt took once upon a time, the workouts can be customized to challenge both beginners and seasoned athletes, and the exercises increase in difficulty and intensity over time. In a supportive class environment, students master Olympic lifts, body-weight exercises, and plyometrics as they build toned, lean, lithe bodies.
Following along with the USA Gymnastics program's skill progression, camps at Gym Like This are available for little benders as young as 18 months. The more advanced developmental gymnastics courses split kids up into three levels, based on their experience level, to learn skills such as training on vaults and beams, floor exercises, and handstands, which can be used in routines or to walk on white carpeting without taking off your shoes. The center's also available for birthday parties and hosts parents' night out each month, where kids can eat dinner and frolic under supervision.
Dangling ropes, punching bags, and myriad weight and cardiovascular machines fill Ultima Fitness Downtown?s 19,000-square-foot space. A number of private studios host more than 40 group classes each week, including Zumba, Pilates, yoga, indoor cycling, and Silver Sneakers. Certified personal trainers work with clients one-on-one or in small groups from a couple of friends to a person and their Just-Like-Me doll. The gym is also outfitted with a childcare room that keeps tykes supervised while parents exercise and locker rooms with showers and a sauna.