Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be flexible to do yoga. Rather, the flexibility—both physical and mental—comes along with the practice. At Studio Om, students with any or no experience are welcome to try a variety of yoga classes. Class options include styles ranging from gentle or chair yoga to more vigorous Vinyasa yoga, depending on whether students seek a relaxing or invigorating session. The studio also holds Pilates and yoga fusion classes, as well as Holy Yoga sessions, which combine biblical Christian study with an all-levels yoga flow sequence.
Run by a dedicated husband-and-wife team, 731 Fitness prides itself on being an alternative to mega gyms. This intimate fitness center offers small-group classes—including hatha yoga, P90X Full Body Cardio classes, and Zumba—all led by experienced instructors. With upbeat, calorie-burning classes and no attitude, 731 Fitness provides a quiet, community-based place to shed fat and build muscle while having a good time.
The individual attention of personal training and the camaraderie of team workouts converge at The Edge, a 3,000-square-foot kettlebell gym inside Personally Fit’s workout studio. Here, certified personal trainers lead three types of functional fitness classes that use tools such as weighted sleds and suspension-training harnesses to increase strength, burn calories, and gear up for Santa’s annual reindeer tryouts. During the studio’s signature kettlebell classes, students sculpt limbs and cores using cast-iron weights shaped like small cannonballs. To help to prevent injuries and reap each motion’s benefits, a Russian Kettlebell–certified instructor stresses proper form throughout the workout. The earth’s gravitational pull powers TRX classes, which help up to 10 students to master body-weight exercises using suspension-training straps. Since each movement can be tailored to a variety of skill sets, these workouts suit the needs of new exercisers and seasoned athletes alike. Built around a circuit of cardio and strength stations, boot camps boost fitness levels with sandbags and battling ropes, not piggyback rides from Richard Simmons.
Since 1990, Power Shack Fitness Centers have fostered a casual, low-stress ambiance at its four locations, eschewing the large crowds and intimidating vibes of many mainstream gyms. A retinue of nationally certified personal trainers is on hand to craft custom workout plans for members, acquainting them with the gym’s array of free weights, cardio machines, and functional training equipment. Group fitness classes are also led by nationally certified instructors. Offerings include barbell conditioning, yoga, spinning, dance, and power grunting. Depending on the location, you can also take advantage of tanning amenities or pick up nutritional supplements.
CrossFit Future's high-ceilinged, 4,750-square-foot facility is anchored by kettlebell areas, ring stations, and deadlift bars waiting to be hoisted high. Trainers—each with a CrossFit Level 1 certification or better—fuel 60-minute group or one-on-one workouts with calls of encouragement. The seven-strong staff unites backgrounds as diverse as a mechanical-engineering degree, a fireman, and a seventh-place finish in the breaststroke in the 1996 Olympics. Using up to date equipment, the team motivates students to sprint up and down the back alley, drag sleds, or toss medicine balls into giant pill bottles.
Members at Curves, a fitness center designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and manage arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help to manage participants’ machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use your own body weight, fitness level, and aerodynamic water bottle to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lifting and lowering motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses pushing and pulling motions to develop toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, Title Boxing Club maintains a network of dozens of studios spread across 27 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.