Helmed by two professional dancers and a martial artist with a second-degree black belt in karate, the certified instructors at Bounce Aerobics strive to infuse each of their classes with a party-like atmosphere. They lead guests of all ages and abilities through high-energy moves in a variety of weight-lifting- and dance-based fitness classes. When they're not disguising aerobic exercises as easy-to-follow dance moves in hip-hop, Zumba, and dance fitness classes, they slow the pace down in body-and-spirit rejuvenating yoga and Pilates classes.
Their studio encompasses an urban atmosphere reminiscent of Manhattan's downtown feel. This loft-like space is outfitted with brick walls, faux streetlights, and a lifelike subway car, as well as a full-length mirror to confirm that the instructor is not actually King Kong. In the onsite boutique, friendly staff members help shoppers pick out exercise gear and gym bags from Zumba, Turbo, and Bounce Aerobics' own line.
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.
Harro East Athletic Club molds bodies with the tutelage of its devoted trainers. Courses, which meet throughout the week, suit a range of fitness levels and goals and convene in a variety of spaces featuring professional gym equipment and freshly sponged chalkboards. In addition to classic disciplines such as yoga and qi gong, the club focuses on nontraditional courses such as Nordic walking, which emulates the intensity of Nordic skiing minus the skis, snow, and frost-bitten Norwegians. The water-fitness class flows in a gravity-defying, high-density buoyancy chamber, sparing joints from constant impact with solid ground, and group cycling trains cyclist for the grueling, mountainous terrain of the Tour de Imagination. The Instructor's Challenge, for intermediate fitness levels and above, forces unruly calories through a gauntlet of workouts including circuit training and spinning. Many classes meet more than once a week, and fitness fanatics are free to mix and match.
Though CrossFit BoomTown’s owner, Chad Curtis, has been involved in fitness and athletics for half of his life—majoring in physical education, leading fitness programs for the Marine Corps, and conducting personal-training sessions—he has never been as excited about a fitness program as he is about CrossFit. He packs his gym with pull-up bars, kettlebells, and rings, and he assembled a team of fellow CrossFit-certified trainers to coach classes throughout the week. The team opens its studio to students of all ages and athletic backgrounds, guiding them through routines designed to foster strength, agility, and weight loss. After each high-intensity workout session, the instructors leave students with guidance on leading healthy lives outside the studio, from nutritional advice to encouraging them to walk up the stairs rather than renting a donkey to carry them up. In addition to CrossFit classes, the studio offers yoga and private training sessions.