Read on to learn exactly how that fitness classes leave you with more muscle or better tone.
Bulky upper-body muscles might have hindered early humans who had to chase their prey across the plains, but it could help those who often had to climb trees to adjust their satellite dishes. That?s why the body builds muscle according mostly to use: do enough curls, and the biceps expand. As anyone who has experienced post-workout soreness could intuit, those curls are actually a form of controlled damage, making thousands of miniscule tears to the muscle tissue that beckon autoimmune cells to show up alongside testosterone and other hormones. The white blood cells help switch on satellite cells, which are similar to stem cells. Before they're activated, satellite cells aren't doing much?instead, they lie dormant around muscle fibers until they're called into action to repair torn tissue.
This isn't the only kind of cellular transformation at work in growing muscles. Long muscle cells, which contain several nuclei, can also begin to change type after a workout. Certain kinds of muscle fibers are equipped to handle brief bursts of effort but will quickly become tired if asked to do more intense work. These are the first to disappear as someone starts an exercise routine, as they're converted into fibers with more endurance. This principle is so dramatic that a sports scientist can generally tell whether someone is a professional athlete or a professional mattress model by examining a minute sample of muscle tissue.
Hiroshi Powell noticed he had a knack for weightlifting, so he swapped the weight machine in his mom's basement for a membership at a pro-level facility. There, Hiroshi began training with national powerlifting champions, learning the secrets of their technique while building friendships and cultivating his own carreers in powerlifting and bodybuilding.
The seriousness with which Hiroshi threw himself at his goals, and immersed himself in the fitness field, informs his approach as founder-owner of Chiseled Health and Fitness. "Chiseled," he says, "is not a social club or [a] cookie cutter commercial gym. Those are great for some folks, but not everyone." In place of the hundred-pound rubber chickens dead lifters find at other gyms, guests at Chiseled find a facility fully stocked with professional weight training and cardio essentials. Accented with red trim, the facility's white walls, black mats, and glossy hardwood floors offer a non-distracting environment in which Hiroshi and his three fellow personal trainers customize clients' workouts. Members also complete self-guided routines, and take CrossFit classes.
Students arrive at Ballroom Dance of NJ seeking to learn the elegant art of social dancing, a tradition carried on by Russia natives Sergei and Olga Bezrodnov. The husband-and-wife team has taken home numerous Russian and U.S. championship titles, and the two are committed to sharing their passion for dance with the community.
Having experienced how ballroom dancing can promote both physical and mental well-being, the Bezrodnovs teach adults, children, and entire families how to gracefully navigate the dance floor. They coordinate events where couples can demonstrate their skills in styles such as the foxtrot, waltz, tango, cha-cha, and swing, preparing soon-to-be-wedded couples for their big day and singles to pass the time in malfunctioning elevators.
Winner of more than 100 mixed-martial-arts competitions, Tiger Schulmann shares his pride and love for fighting and self-defense with both adults and children in gyms across five states. From first-time grapplers to expert muay thai fighters, students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to dive into a class at Schulmann’s. At more than 47 locations, adults can take classes in kickboxing, MMA, and jujitsu—the last of which instills students with the skill and confidence to take down opponents of any size, strength, or telekinetic ability. Kids, meanwhile, can learn martial arts for fun, or gain useful experience in bully prevention; the kids’ classes help victims immediately identify and safely diffuse situations when pitted against an aggressor.
Many gyms offer advanced fitness equipment, motivating programs and classes, and a host of amenities. But unlike many conventional gyms, Lady of America Greenbrook caters specifically to women. In spacious, comfortable workout rooms, resistance machines are custom-fit to women’s smaller frames. Trained staff plays with kids 6 months and older in the childcare area, which features health-focused activities as well as a PlayStation 2. The team also offers services such as nutrition counseling with certified sports nutritionists and one-on-one workouts with certified personal trainers. Additionally, fitness evaluations—which come free with every membership—are designed with women’s needs and concerns in mind.
In the gym, free weights build muscle, and recumbent bikes and elliptical machines boost endurance enough to outlast a dolphin or a submarine painted like a dolphin in a swimming contest. The advanced Precor model 956 treadmills’ impact-absorbing system saves joints while an active cardio monitor allows users to literally follow the dictates of their hearts. Instructors provide motivation in group classes such as ball Pilates, fitness yoga, spin, and Zumba. And the therapeutic heat of the infrared sauna allows for a nice post-workout relaxation session.
As founder and clinical director of Acupuncture Health Associates, Dr. Andy Rosenfarb leads a licensed, pain-punishing team of acupuncturists that helps patients overcome an array of troubling conditions. Fifteen years of acupuncture experience guide the doctor's sure hands as he inserts thin needles at key points on the body's energy meridians, dislodging blockages that disrupt the flow of qi, or energy, to vital organs. When energy flows freely, the body maintains a balanced state of wellness and allows the individual to lead an active lifestyle, with less time spent hobbled by health concerns and more time spent winning freestyle rap battles. Acupuncture has been shown to treat a wide range of conditions—Dr. Rosenfarb specializes in care for degenerative eye conditions, such as cataracts and glaucoma, and coworker and licensed acupuncturist Vanessa M. Guinet specializes in women's health and reproductive issues.