Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates with INSANITY routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
More than 560 horses come to life when you ignite the engine inside one of The Racing School's authentic stock cars. The ensuing roar engulfs the entire vehicle, and your body rumbles as you grab the steering wheel and look towards the track. No stop signs. No pace cars. Just grip the steering wheel and drive?a race-car driver is born.
The Racing School has facilitated more than 14 years of thrilling moments just like this (and documented many of them on video). The staff here consists of current and former professional racers, who teach novices how to handle traditional stock cars, racing trucks, and other high-octane vehicles. Once instructors cover acceleration, braking, warp speed, and the other essentials, training culminates with a driving experience at professional-level tracks, including Waterford Speedbowl, Devils Bowl Speedway, and Thompson Speedway. Here, the experts give newbies the freedom to drive like pros, encouraging passing and letting drivers set their own pace.
Planet Fitness embodies a judgment-free zone where guests of all ages and fitness levels can sculpt their physiques with myriad aerobic and strength-training options within a friendly, down-to-earth atmosphere. Patrons may tone and strengthen muscles by pushing and pulling the extensive selection of brand-name equipment and free weights. With the help of an instructor, guests can design a custom workout program based on exercise history to help them achieve their varying fitness goals. Thirty-minute small-group classes concentrate on strengthening and toning specific body parts, and full-body circuit workouts.
It's not all kicking and punching. Although there is a lot of that, the instructors at The Charland Institute of Karate & Fitness use the classes and facility as a conduit for helping students deal with everyday challenges, de-stress, and build confidence. During strengthening and cardio-intensive classes, students kick their way through a curriculum that forges traditional and modern martial arts, aiming to teach self-defense, discipline, and how to effectively punt an assailant.
Brass City Ballet's classes translate emotions into movement. The dance classes take all forms including graceful ballet for students of all ages, energetic modern and jazz, and teen and adult yoga to get bodies and minds balanced. Dance Discovery classes teach kids aged 3–5 how to move to music and Booiaka card dance fitness helps build up a sweat and work off excess weight.
Armed with chrome dance poles, LadyCat instructors transform ordinary homes into bachelorette and birthday parties. As a DJ spins, so do the partiers, who are taught by pole professors to execute their own saucy routines. Party-package extras include special dance props, chilled bottles of champagne, and gifts for guests.