As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Snap Fitness, bustling with cardio and strength-training gear, throws open the doors to its facilities 24/7. Before exercisers put sneakers to treadmills or lift their first weights, staff meet with them to talk about their fitness goals before suggesting personalized fitness plans based on clients' strength, cardio condition, and bionic-limb manufacturers. The gym keeps members motivated with regular check-in calls and demystifies healthful eating with custom online meal plans designed by nutritionists. Staff also forestall exercise-routine boredom by working individually with clients on a routine basis.
Featured on Morning Blend and in the Journal Sentinel for its merger of nutritious eats and fat-busting workouts, Fit Food Trainer invites students into group classes led by certified personal trainers. Tone both tummies and rumps with Butts and Guts' muscle-firming drills, or turn the spotlight on stomachs with a Cardio Core class. Alternately, hands can hoist dumbbells and weighted balls at Bells and Balls, which took out its third component, Bills, after clients' check-signing hands kept cramping up.
Ronda Arndorfer began exploring Pilates in 2001 at the age of 40, when she was trying to recover from the multiple running injuries she incurred while training for her first marathon. Her rehabilitation was so successful that she decided to learn how to share the experience with others. She became a certified Pilates instructor and—after opening a studio out of her home—eventually founded The Movement Center, a place where students can restore both body and mind in a positive, lighthearted environment. Arndorfer continues to attend workshops and teacher trainings with master instructors throughout the country, and some of her staff members have trained in Pilates via Arndorfer's teacher-certification program.
Arndorfer's passion for movement has paid off: the center has been featured in numerous television and magazine media outlets and was voted the Best Pilates Studio by CityVoter in 2009, 2010, and 2011. In addition to traditional yoga and Pilates classes, the crew offers innovative and challenging techniques such as aerial yoga—in which students "float" on a trapeze-like swing—and yoga performed on open water using a standup paddleboard. Barre classes require students to hold onto a ballet barre or the outstretched arm of a handsome stranger while strengthening muscles with a mix of yoga- and Pilates-inspired moves.
The center's team includes massage therapists, a nutritionist, and a physical therapist and certified Feldenkrais practitioner who continue the healing that begins within each class. They also offer childcare for guests' convenience.
Created by fitness trainer and life coach Dr. John Spencer Ellis and led by owner and certified fitness professional Doug Krueger, the Lake Country Adventure Boot Camp program shepherds women to physical fitness with motivational workout regimens and nutritional counseling. Before the camp starts, trainers take your measurements and body-fat percentage before hopping into a curious pod, leaping into the future, and comparing them to those of the trimmer post-camp you. In the interim, the four-week or three-day workout regimen cycles through circuit training, jogging, kickboxing, and yoga to surprise and challenge muscles. During winter months and unforeseen Renaissance festivals, sessions move to spacious indoor facilities.