In 1998, after 25 years operating health clubs across Phoenix, Kelly Bruce jumped at the opportunity to open his own club, Fitness 1 Gym. Today, Fitness 1 has expanded to locations across Phoenix, each and every one helmed by Kelly and his sons Chad, Richard, and Bobby. “We don’t just own them,” Chad proudly says, “we run them and we’re in the clubs everyday.” The amenities are certainly attractive, but it seems that what has really made Fitness 1 successful is the Bruce's dedication to their family-run enterprise. “I think that our members feel at home,” says Bobby. “I think [they] realize that it’s not a show… they're coming in here to get to work, to get results.”
Members—who are not forced into long-term contracts—can do just that thanks to an array of cardio and strength-training machines, free weights, and one-on-one personal training. The studio also offers members free fitness classes, such as Power Yoga, Chiseled, and Xplode—an interval-training class.
Sand-volleyball courts. Indoor pools. Cycling studios. At Fitness Works Athletic Clubs' four area locations, kids and adults alike caper about a dumbfounding landscape of fitness frills. The instructors lead a wide variety of Les Mills and Zumba group classes designed to work every muscle group. Exercisers can improve their lung capacity during BodyAttack or hone their flexibility during BodyFlow, which draws from yoga, tai chi, and Pilates. Although amenities vary by location, they all include cardio and strength-training equipment, steam and sauna rooms equipped with aromatherapy add-ons, and indoor heated saltwater pools relatively free of saltwater sharks. While adults burn calories, kids can mingle in the Kid Zone, engaging in arts and crafts or educational and fitness activities.
FITT Studio hoists a hearty schedule of high-energy workouts set to upbeat music, with buff and heavily certified instructors leading classes such as Zumba, Piloxing, and Turbokick. Apprentices in the fitness-hybrid Piloxing class don a pair of arm-strengthening weighted gloves to perform sculpting Pilates, boxing, and dance moves designed to work cores, burn calories, tone muscles, and knock out opponents made of cheesecake. The Turbokick cardio kickboxing class combines powerful kicks, choreographed dance moves, and high-energy music to keep pupils motivated and full of vim and vigor. Salsa away excess pounds with Zumba dance-fitness sessions under colorful nightclub-style lights geared to create a festive atmosphere. Classes range in size from 10 to 20 students, ensuring individual attention and enough space to comfortably burst from a cocoon and emerge as a butterfly with rippling abs.
Armed with equal parts passion, dedication to the practice, and wisdom gained through teaching certifications, Blissful Yoga Studio's instructors help students achieve lithe, flexible bodies with classes catering to all activity levels. Introductory classes help beginners pay special attention to their alignment and breathing, and hot Vinyasa-flow classes challenge the mind as well as the muscles with a continuous series of empowering postures performed in a room that's heated up to 97 degrees. Instructors also incorporate the studio's specially outfitted wall, using its system of straps to sink students into deeper supported postures during yoga wall stretch sessions, which help them better impersonate the lowercase letter q. In addition to classes, the studio hosts workshops for seniors and those recovering from injuries that cover the basics of the yoga sutras.
Although Bikram Yoga Avondale’s classes always cycle through the same 26-pose sequence, the practice is anything but boring. The repetition gives practitioners a pretty clear point of reference when it comes to tracking their progress over time, and the addition of sweltering heat challenges even the most adroit yogi. The heat of the Bikram studio boosts the heart rate, so the sessions function as cardio workouts, and the poses stretch and strengthen every major muscle group. Some even maintain that it boosts the immune system and improves focus. Since its inception, its grab-bag of benefits has attracted the admiration of high-profile adherents such as Shirley MacLaine and President Nixon.
The instructors at Bikram Yoga Avondale infuse each lesson with their personality, adding a touch of variety. The new facility, which also offers massage services, features a state of the art heating and ventilation system, new waterproof and anti-microbial carpets, along with larger changing rooms and additional shower facilities. To keep boat-loads of fresh oxygen coursing through circulatory systems, the staff deep cleans the facility with ardor, and deploys a state-of-the-art ozone air purifier.