At Steele Fitness, the steady hum of workout machines can hardly be heard under the shouts of instructors leading individuals and small groups of students through custom workouts. Adjacent to a fitness-fashion boutique with high-end apparel from Hard Tail, Bliss, and Lululemon Athletica, the 10,000-square-foot studio comes alive with energy during workouts that draw on a seemingly endless supply of strength-training and cardio equipment. Functional tools such as kettlebells share the workout floor with machines such as the Technogym, whose rotating pulley system facilitates more than 200 sculpting moves. Muscles also test their might and endurance against stair steppers, spinner bikes, and Life Fitness treadmills that bolster aerobic endurance and maximize calorie burn. When they aren’t designing fitness regimens or demonstrating exercises, trainers lead grocery-store tours to help clients craft healthy meals and distinguish eggs packed with protein from empty-calorie bocce balls
The trainers at Art of Strength eschew newfangled machines. Instead, they employ only fitness tools that have stood the test of time: weight balls, ropes, logs, sandbags, and boxes. Ropes use the weight of the human body to build strength, and the relentless swing of kettlebells works the body as a whole and torches calories. Weights clatter beneath hanging rings and inspirational quotes chalked on the walls. Bass thuds and happy grunts fill the studio as patrons flip truck tires or leap onto boxes. The old-school equipment forms the core of classes, which leave patrons as strong as ancient warriors or the guys who had to push ancient warriors’ strollers.
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To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape for Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating 30 minutes of strength-training drills—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each student's abilities. Then comes 25 minutes of cardio: the trainers might start novice exercisers with a walk on the treadmill or light elliptical training, and challenge more advanced exercisers to high-intensity interval-training sessions for enhanced results.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To track ladies' progress toward reaching their goals, the trainers measure their weight and body-fat percentage every two weeks.
According to Minnesota Monthly, "The Firm is a sexy sort of gym." Glamour, Harper's Bazaar, Self, and Seventeen all agree, having identified it as the go-to gym for an incredible workout. But it's not just the museum-sleek aesthetic or rigorous classes that make The Firm great. Rather, it's the fact that the gym constantly evolves to accommodate new fitness trends. When spinning became the hot new workout, The Firm met the demand, offering the best spinning classes in Minnesota, according to CBS Minnesota. And now that CrossFit has risen to superstardom, The Firm offers it seven days a week. The Star Tribune reports that industry veteran Kelly Miyamoto is the visionary behind the scenes. Having started her career in the 1980s, she's witnessed the rise and fall of various workouts as well as the concurrent fluctuations in the market for neon leotards.