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. Adele Fridman, founder of MetaBody, created a real-life version of that ticket with her 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.
The expert fitness instructors at Sweat Fitness's Philadelphia-area locations help students of all ages and fitness levels track down svelter silhouettes with Precor training equipment and fat-roasting classes—including yoga, Pilates, spinning, Zumba, and kickboxing. Committed to fostering a supportive community for all fit seekers, the trainers devote individual attention to each patron to help them meet their fitness goals. Clients first undergo a body-fat analysis to assess their preworkout fitness level and to help them gauge their progress throughout their journey. During group sweat sessions, patrons can tone their bodies in classes such as Group Power and Power Pump, which blast subdermal meat suits via squats, lunges, and curls. A full aquatics center welcomes guests to dive into relatively narwhal-free waters for swimming lessons, triathlon training, and pool parties.
Shiny silver poles serve as each student's dance partner during Awakenings' pole dance fitness classes, which are designed to, "awaken your inner goddess". But the classes aren't just about learning the art of seduction. By mastering graceful moves on the stationary apparatus, students get a full-body workout that combines elements of yoga, aerobics, dance, and strength training. Aerial arts classes deliver similar benefits, but instead of using a pole, students lift off the ground with
the help of silks and aerial hoops that allow them to perform yoga poses and inversions in the air. But Awakenings also has classes for those who prefer to keep their feet on solid ground?burlesque classes, for example, teach the age-old art of the tease, and incorporate the use of traditional props such as chairs, boas, and Nixon masks.
Bikram Yoga Manayunk's classes aren't meant to be easy, but they are meant to accommodate virtually every student. The studio temperature hits 105 degrees, creating a more dynamic workout while simultaneously loosening taut muscles and helping students sink further into each stretch. Within this environment, the instructors encourage attendees to push themselves while still respecting their physical limits. The defined sequence of 26 poses and two breathing exercises never changes, although anyone can ease the difficulty of a particular asana by modifying the hold or tying helium balloons to their ankles.
As students transition from one deeply twisting stretch to the next, tissues are inundated with fresh, oxygenating blood flow, which helps revitalize the muscles and rejuvenate the mind. Instructors are always on hand to lend assistance when needed and to remind everyone to stay hydrated.
Sometimes our dreams are within reach, but more often, those dreams are on the highest of high shelves, beside the BB gun and the cupcakes "for tomorrow." Reach that shelf with today's Groupon to stretch your muscles and muscle your stretches into four stretchy sessions of intense muscular moves. For $30, you'll get four yoga classes at Yoga on Main, a $60 value.
If Robert Jones III of Riley FAST looks familiar, it might be because his DVD workouts play in living rooms across the country via Comcast Fitness On Demand. Robert?who holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science and a certification from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America?draws on more than 10 years of personal-training experience to help his clients reach their fitness goals. He holds individual and buddy personal-training sessions, as well as sport-specific sessions that focus on proper form and technique. He also conducts group classes such as boot camps, Zumba, and core classes that help individuals meet their goals in a supportive environment.