Looking at Marty Velasco now, it's hard to believe that he once struggled with his weight. Though Marty may be muscular and slim today, his history gives him a unique understanding of the hardships faced by those trying to lose weight. This understanding fuels his determination to help others at his private fitness studio.
At Fitness Edge, Marty and his staff help clients on the road to health and weight loss with group fitness classes and personal training. Within the colorful studio, or at outdoor locations in Rocky River Park, the staff leads students of all fitness levels in full-body circuit-training workouts. Sessions might call upon strength-building kettlebell exercises, natural bodyweight resistance, and cardiovascular conditioning exercises, and trainers help their students continue the work at home with nutritional counseling and meal plans. The staff is committed to creating a friendly environment for their students; they welcome all newcomers with an orientation, where they demonstrate what to expect from the program, tour the facility, and ritualistically hand crochet students' names into their sweatbands.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
Functions of Life is passionate about promoting a high-energy atmosphere to motivate and inspire students of all fitness levels. Its expansive facilities boast professional-grade field turf atop which the expert trainers challenge clients with a variety of classes. Because of the founder's own experience with injury, most classes focus on proper form and injury prevention.
History pulses through Lemko Hall, a turreted brick building in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood. Over the past century, it has served as a saloon, a ballroom, and a movie set where stars Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken filmed a scene for The Deer Hunter in 1978. Nowadays, one of the space's tenants, Studio 11, channels an even older legacy: the yoga tradition of ancient India.
The studio's seasoned teachers impart moving meditations that have been passed down from generation to generation via careful instruction and epic games of telephone. Classical Hatha poses help yogis of all levels cultivate strength and flexibility as they learn to center their minds and control their breath. Students steep their minds in yoga's meditative qualities during flowing, breath-focused Vinyasa routines or explore the practice’s athletic side during Ashtanga sessions teeming with dynamic poses and vigorous thumb-wrestling bouts. Those seeking a more private yoga experience can engage in a Thai massage, in which a trained practitioner guides the body through assisted poses and stretches.
Yoga-inspired Pilates sessions revolve around centuries-old isometrics that promote balance and help chisel the core. Students seeking a full immersion in yogic history can enroll in studio-sponsored trips to India, which pair yoga classes with sunset meditations and spiritual discourses.
More than 10 years ago, a young couple dreamed up Titans Gym—a 24-hour facility that would house exercise equipment, tanning services, and a cafe teeming with nutritious snacks. Since then, Geoff and Niki DelGrosso have laid the bricks of that ambition, packing their two gyms with row upon row of advanced Strive, Precor, and Magnum equipment and three levels of professional tanning beds. The duo hired a team of fitness instructors to lead an abundance of group exercise classes, personal-training sessions, and surprise games of Red Rover in their private studios. To refuel exercisers, the onsite Titan Up café serves up a dietician-designed menu of wholesome smoothies, pizzas, and desserts. In the end, the couple's efforts have earned accolades from numerous fitness media publications, and their studios have won the title of Best Urban Gym from Cleveland Scene magazine.