Between Om Shanti Om Yoga Center’s saffron-colored walls, eight gentle-voiced instructors guide students into meditative poses. They flow through a variety of positions, each designed to open up muscles while quieting the mind. The instructors have diverse backgrounds, which include degrees in math, doctoral degrees, and 30-year competitive-running careers. To introduce new students to the practice, Om Shanti Om offers a basics package, which includes beginners-only classes twice a week. There are also discounted rates available on more-advanced classes to encourage newcomers to test the waters of 75- or 90-minute classes, which involve finding the area under the curve of your back during each pose.
A ringleader at Venice California’s Muscle Beach, Joe Gold founded World Gym in 1976, creating what would become an iconic spot for Hollywood’s brawniest bunch, including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. Today, that gym is a worldwide franchise spanning more than a dozen countries. World Gym in Ronkonkoma comes with all the perks clients have come to expect from the franchise, including a free-weight room stacked with dumbbells, barbells, and plenty of plates. Cardio addicts can head to one of several group classes, such as spotlight cycle, which utilizes stationary bikes for heart-racing, indoor exercise. After a workout, exercisers can grab a towel and a snack or re-energize with a drink from the juice bar.
The patter of fists against a punching bag. The bass clang of weights in racks. Cardio and resistance machines from Matrix, Life Fitness and Hammer Strength purr in Soleil Total Fitness’s 20,000-square-foot facility as visitors work toward fitness goals. During more than 45 group exercise classes in three studios, a hush falls over yoga pupils and sweat leaps from the brows of Zumba and kickboxing participants. In the spin studio, stationary bikes help torch calories, and in a boxing and mixed-martial-arts area complete with a 20-foot boxing ring, patrons learn to fend off the punching bag stalking them in their nightmares. The gym’s team of certified personal trainers, alternatively, can tailor workouts to patrons’ fitness goals, whether they are trying to make their high school’s baseball team or the Olympics.
CrossFit Kryptonite trainer Scott DeTore proves his skill in the gym every day, but it wasn't until 2011 that he proved it on a national stage. He won the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games in the master's division and came in second in 2012. He and his fellow trainers—both competitors in the Reebok CrossFit Games themselves—teach students the art of CrossFit, a functional yet high-intensity fitness program that scales its workouts to participants of all skill levels. Their facility houses all of the equipment necessary for these ever-rotating workouts, which incorporate pull-ups, squats, kettlebells, climbing ropes, and gymnastics rings.
Underwhelmed by half-hour circuit centers and unfriendly vibes in other health clubs, On the Go Fitness owners Jay Fields and James Remien set out to create a state-of-the-art fitness facility where people of any age or physical ability wouldn’t feel intimidated. Customers get a well-rounded workout courtesy of strength-training, cardiovascular, and flexibility-conditioning options, whereas group classes that range from cycling and Pilates to Core Barre and Butt & Gut challenge advanced athletes and beginners alike. Meanwhile, the Kids Fitness program combines fun activities with exercise routines, fighting the lethargy that comes from eating deep-fried video games after playing them.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.