Upon entering Go Cycle Studios, it might feel like you?ve accidentally walked into a club: hip-hop, rock, and dance music streams from the expansive sound system, reverberating off the exposed brick walls and polished concrete floors. The cycling and fitness center?s owners, Jimmy and Lisa, use this atmosphere to set the mood, but they?re serious about exercise. They and the other instructors tailor spin classes and other fitness programs to challenge riders of all levels, from beginners to those who want to work up to jumping a police barricade. Under their instruction, riders sweat astride Keiser stationary bikes, each outfitted with monitors that display RPMs, heart rate, approximate calorie burn, and miles covered. Before or after class, students can head to the back patio to sip coffee in the fresh air or furtively discuss ways to hasten the comeback of handlebar streamers.
Arthur Murray has been a leading name in franchise dance since 1912, when the entrepreneur began selling mail-order dance lessons. Expanding his reach, he enlisted teachers to spread his signature dance lessons on first-class steamships and skyrocketed to fame in the '30s after introducing the public to such dances as the Lambeth Walk and The Big Apple. By the 1950s, Arthur and his wife, Kathryn, were hosting their own highly popular TV show on ABC, The Arthur Murray Dance Party, which ran for 12 years. Today, Arthur Murray's team prepares students for rug cutting at special events and weekend nightclub jaunts. Throughout lessons, instructors teach the foundations of two to four dances from a long list of styles that range from Latin to country-western, helping students to learn basic step patterns, timing, and the ability to lead or follow.
At Yoga Shelter, you won't hear esoteric chants echoing through the halls or meditation music reverberating from rock-shaped speakers. That's because founder Eric Paskel wants to make yoga accessible for all students, whether they're searching for inner peace or a more toned bod. Hip hop, dance, soul, chill, contemporary, and classic music accompanies all classes, ranging from Yoga Rocks, which focuses on sequenced postures, to Fusion, a blend of faster- and slower-moving classes. There is no hierarchy of classes; each 60- to 75-minute session is open to all skill levels. As Paskel himself puts it on his about page, ?What's different about us is that we admit we have issues, we know we have work to do?if you can relate to that, you'll love this place.?
At Bad Boy Gym, amateur athletes train toward fitness prowess through kickboxing, in a no-frills, full-boxing-ring environment. The gym?s powerhouse instructors shepherd students through group sessions to blast fat from bodies as they train under the royal-blue ceiling. Insanity classes put students to the test with intense intervals of cardio kickboxing to forge a full-body, cardio-conditioning workout, while Let's Get Ready To Rumble classes feature a new full-body exercise every 8 seconds set to energetic music. Eschewing group classes for the plentiful bonus balls and resistance bands, guests can forge fitness paths on their own. They can improve their musculature by shadowboxing in the ring, whip endurance levels into shape with jump ropes, or pummel a punching bag until it promises to train them personally.
Yogi Jason Schramm, inspired by the daily struggles of the city he loves, named his yoga school in its honor. Within the school’s three locations, he draws upon more than 10,000 hours spent teaching to show students how to find inner peace and use it to effect change. The instructors use ancient yoga poses to propel pupils inward, and Schramm lets subtle influences from his martial arts training shine through in some courses. Ashtanga classes summon sweat with vigorous poses that build strength and flexibility, and Vinyasa techniques weave movement, stillness, and deep breathing into a fluid sequence that changes daily.
Jennifer Gray puts her 15 years of fitness-industry experience to use formulating goal-oriented programs for women. Gray begins with a healthy helping of circuit weight training and kickboxing before adding a pinch of Pilates, a dash of yoga for flexibility, and a sprinkling of belly dancing for core strengthening. She also strives to help clients develop nutritionally sound eating habits, giving them the tools to avoid fatty, bad-for-you foods such as processed meats and deep-fried statues of Grover Cleveland.