At CrossFit Full Circle, dedicated coaches motivate students to get into the best shape of their lives. They’re guided by the no-nonsense workout ethic of CrossFit, a system that focuses on constantly varied functional exercises executed at high intensity. The gym's personal trainers draw from a wealth of experiences and certifications—owner Jason Struck is working on a master's degree in exercise physiology, and coach Matt Bahen boasts a background in serving with elite units in the navy⎯as they lead boot camps and exercises such as hurling kettlebell weights and performing pull-up reps. In order to build muscle, burn fat, and shake houseguests' hands firmly but not so firmly that they lose their arms, members use top-shelf equipment, weights, and bumper plates from brands such as Pendlay, Rogue, Kraiburg, and Dragon Door, all under the constant encouragement of a like-minded community of fellow athletes.
Sheltering Arms' boot-camp classes whip clients into shape with strength-and-cardio circuit training, and Athletic Republic Acceleration Richmond's individually designed, sport-specific training programs help athletes ages 8 and up play to the best of their ability and avoid injuries. The sports-training option combines high-tech equipment, expert guidance, and hard work to mold baseball, football, track and field, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball, baseball, or fast-pitch softball jocks into superhero versions of themselves. Instructors lead students through pre- and post-performance tests of abilities and strengths, as well as an analysis of running form.
Dance Therapy Studios, founded by internationally experienced hoofer Ashton Feliciano, emphasizes the fun, stress-relieving, and socially invigorating aspects of dance. With three Latin dance classes ($12 per class), tenderfooted tenderfoots and skilled sashayers alike can learn the basics of music-accompanied movement in three of five available Latin styles. The bachata adds a pelvic pop to a walking Cuban hip motion, while the rhumba seductively lets hips do much of the legwork. Bounce to the Brazilian beat of the samba, slink through the syncopation of the cha-cha, or master the close-quarters choreography of the merengue. Each class runs 45 minutes, allowing students to fully embrace their inner Fred Astaire, Martha Graham, or Millard Fillmore in less than an hour.
Next Level Fitness LLC's American Fitness Professionals & Associates–certified instructors send groups into fits of energetic, ever-changing exercises during outdoor workouts. They tailor the routines to suit patrons of all fitness levels, helping them build core strength, power, and endurance at their own pace while still being challenged. In any given session, attendees might swing and twirl heavy ropes for resistance, or run with medicine balls, hop, and do pushups. These varied exercises help to stave off the boredom of repetition, which can cause students to lose interest in working out.
Next Level Fitness's Tabata bootcamp, a program intertwined with the standard outdoor class, is designed for those with busy schedules, helping clients fit in one-hour workouts three times per week supplemented by shorter workouts on three off days. Complementing the fitness routines, trainers also provide nutrition tips and exercises to not only sculpt bodies, but keep them healthy too.
The class rows in unison, guiding a raft across the pond and back. Upon landing, the group splits into teams of two, each hoisting up a log and pressing it overhead. Through such group training, the instructors behind SEAL Team Physical Training, Inc. demonstrate their philosophy that teamwork brings out the best in people. Greeting everyone with a hearty ?Hoo yah!? they lead a fitness program designed by Navy SEAL John McGuire that never repeats the same workout. Training begins with the two-week basic-fitness class, which prepares clients of all fitness levels to enter ongoing membership training. There are also specialized programs for youth, marathon runners, and wile e. coyotes. SEAL Team PT?s results have earned recognition in publications such as Sports Illustrated as well as on Dr. Oz for a client who lost 160 pounds.
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 and use more than 150 pieces of cardio equipment, attend over 100 different classes, and play on the racketball court, basketball court and in the pool. 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 with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated. Members also have access to Kids Care and even tanning booths.