Former college-football player Michael Reeves draws on his years of training and a degree in physical education as president of and a personal trainer at Top Form, a gym and field house. Whether training teams of young athletes or adults looking to get into shape, he blends his academic and practical experience to leave clients with a mental cache of exercises and routines. During personal-training sessions for individuals or groups, Reeves’ cadre of instructors uses muscle-isolating equipment such as stability balls, free weights, and medicine balls to shape cores or kick off impromptu games of dodge ball. On the artificial turf of an indoor field, athletes perform functional-movement drills while pulling weight sleds.
Reeves' wife and the gym’s vice president, Jen, leads mothers with newborns and toddlers through yoga-inspired workout classes. Little ones lie down or break dance on mats during the stretch and light-weight session as parents and progeny bond.
Spreading across five floors of the Steuben Building, Steuben Athletic Club houses a plethora of exercise machines and fitness classes to help clients achieve their ideal physiques. Initiate a personal transformation or maintain an already-sculpted silhouette with a month of full access to Steuben's fleet of treadmills, stationary bikes, and magical flying yoga mats. When taking a break from the club's immobile modes of transport, customers can bolster their biceps in the free-weight room, glide through the chlorinated waters of the swimming pool, or cultivate sweat beads in the sauna and steam rooms. Social exercisers can work alongside other fitness enthusiasts in any of the gym's classes, including body-strengthening yoga sessions and intense spinning courses, fast-paced regimens that utilize hardcore Ring Around the Rosie repetitions. Check the club's class schedule for up-to-date information.
Though the locally owned ABC Sports and Fitness has been in business since 1989, its sparkling rows of modern fitness facilities make it seem brand new. Past its rows of circuit machines and strength-training equipment lies a full gymnasium with a cushioned indoor track, where instructors lead more than 80 fitness classes throughout the week. Within a private cycling studio, 30 professional indoor bikes bustle and hum during group spinning sessions. Changing rooms house sleek wooden locker rooms and a sauna, along with showers where guests can belt out commercial jingles in privacy. While visiting the gym, members can also take advantage of onsite childcare facilities, professional tanning booths, and regular senior-citizen community group meetings.
While most gyms let loose their clients onto complicated equipment without preparation, like a gladiator facing off against a leg press, FitWomen’s staff shows its members the ropes during complimentary equipment orientations and group-training sessions. After a solo workout or a group Zumba class, ladies can retire to a locker room with private showers.
It’s said that the human mind has problems visualizing large numbers. So it might be hard to conjure an image of the 700,000 athletes Athletic Republic Clifton Park has trained in their 22-year history. Or even the 2,500 of their students who went on to compete professionally. Instead, it's probably easier to think about the proprietary equipment that fills Athletic Republic’s red-walled gym. There's the super treadmill, which reaches speeds of 28 mph in less than three seconds and inclines up to 40 degrees. There’s a hockey treadmill that angles blades up a slope, boosting skaters' power and agility. And there are conditioning cords that add resistance to common moves from many sports, including baseball, golf, and soccer.
This innovative approach to athletic training has its roots in John Frappier’s time with the US National Team during the 1986 Goodwill Games. After losing repeatedly to the Soviet Union athletes, he discovered the need to improve his team’s training methods, including the machines they worked out on. The technology he developed is still used by Athletic Republic’s certified trainers in group camps and classes, one-on-one training sessions, and carefully synchronized treadmill dances.
At Legion Training Center, a staff of professional judo artists, marines, and black belts help students of all ages boost their self-esteem, strengthen their bodies, and learn to defend themselves with martial-arts training across a variety of disciplines. The clean, sleek space combines the hard-hitting jujitsu, boxing, and muay-thai-kickboxing classes of a martial-arts studio with the rewarding self-improvement of a modern gym. Students tone muscles and burn fat with kettlebell and MMA yoga classes, or learn to fend off attackers or spar with worthy opponents with kickboxing, judo, and wrestling courses.