When Rick Rugg and Bob Schiffhauer founded the first Athletic Club in Buffalo in 1980, they chartered their gym around three values: service, cleanliness, and having owners operate their own facilities. True to the founders’ original vision, each of the Rochester locations' employees strive to keep their cardio and resistance equipment spic and span as they care for facilities that range of up to 30,000 square feet.
In addition to personal training, instructors lead more than 400 group fitness classes—including cycling, yoga, and Zumba—offered each week across their five locations. After workouts, guests can slip into saunas and private showers; most locations also have steam rooms, and the Perinton location has a pool. Three of the RAC locations are for women only, allowing them to workout uninhibited by the company of men or asexual mermaids.
Dispersed throughout a class studio and a spacious workout floor, World Gym Rochester's trainers usher guests of all ages and abilities toward physical health. Their certifications—granted from organizations such as NFPT, CrossFit, and Moms in Motion—bespeak experience in several fitness fields, just as the gym's class curriculum covers exercise styles from Zumba dances to martial arts. As the trainers emphasize realism during their personal sessions and group workouts, they eschew the gimmicks of pocket treadmill salesmen for a focus on achievable results.
Guests can cycle beneath the lightning bolt decor of the spin zone, watch television as they jog in the cardio area, or heft weights aboard strength machines on the fitness floor. Tanning and chiropractic amenities can also tend to physiques that aren't working through reps or posing as life-size Operation game boards in the childcare room.
At RockVentures, climbers of all ages and experience levels scale challenge-filled walls lining the 18,000-square-foot facility. Classes impart students with surefooted spirit and fundamental climbing skills such as anchoring the rope for comrades. In addition to individual challenges, the center hosts several group events, ranging from team-building weekends to kids' birthday parties and summer camps. Rock Ventures grants discounted admission to veterans and their families with advance reservation on Saturday mornings, and helps disabled climbers conquer the rocks by using block-and-tackle systems to hoist themselves up.
Owner Kent Winchester informs his work at RockVentures with a multifaceted history of leadership and team-building experience, including a stint in the Peace Corps.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The leashes from students’ untamed muscles are released during a fierce two-hour clinic that combines savage techniques with safe and principled instruction. Students are led through intense exercises armed with cast-iron kettlebells and medieval conditioning tools such as maces, hammers, and greased-up Bubonic battle-axes. Effort and intensity are emphasized with odd lifts and bodyweight motions that leave muscles throbbing with equal measures of rapture and fatigue. Small group classes begin on July 16 and will be held every other Saturday, with reservations required.
Rain or shine, athletes can sprint and juke across the three Astroplay fields that sprawl throughout Total Sports Experience’s 115,000-square-foot facility. Soccer, lacrosse, football, and lawn-mowing competitions unfurl atop two boarded and one unboarded patch of faux grass. Hoopers bank shots off of two Goalrilla posts during pickup games on a full-size basketball court. The onsite fitness center cross-trains athletes with Precor, Cybex, Hoist, and York machinery, and certified trainers help exercisers select the proper equipment to match their fitness goals and sweatband colors to match their auras. After an intense match or solo workout, the sizzle of grilling barbecue and hot dogs wafting from Total Sports Experience’s food court beckons stomachs in need of refueling. The eatery also buzzes with free WiFi, a bonus for parents looking to multitask during a little one’s team practice.