As they enter the training circle 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's around-the-clock gyms enable members of all ages and lifestyles to work on their physical well-being with a cornucopia of fitness equipment. With convenient 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength and cardio equipment. For those who exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere welcomes patrons of all ability levels, unlike schoolyard dodge-ball squads. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
For a dose of custom advice, patrons can seek out a personal-training session with a certified coach, who helps them assess, address, and accomplish their fitness goals. Clients reap the benefit of individual attention as a results-oriented personal trainer helps them tackle weight loss, prepare for an arm-wrestling competition, or unveil the mysteries of arcane cable-weight machines.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 2,014 clubs in North America and 564 across the globe, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As health and fitness seekers challenge themselves on Life Fitness/Hammer Strength cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they?re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness?s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
At Crossfit Epiphany, the certified coaches lead exercisers on ever-changing tours around the gym's array of barbells, boxes, kettlebells, and medicine balls. The exercises performed at each station are by nature functional and inclusive, allowing all clients to develop and improve their fitness for every-day activities regardless of prior experience, shape, or exclusivity agreements with other truck tires. The group-class setting encourages a fun and supportive atmosphere, one that spurs all members to sweat and push themselves throughout the Workout of the Day?aka WOD. The WOD might draw from Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, or cardio exercises on any given day, but each is designed to sculpt physiques and improve patrons' overall health regardless of their life stage.
Warm, humid air swirls in the blades of the ceiling fans of Bikram Hot Yoga Vancouver's certified Bikram studio, helping to limber up the bending bodies during 90-minute classes. Bikram-certified instructors lead students of all skill levels through the style’s 26 postures and two breathing exercises, each of which build on the last to strengthen muscles throughout the entire body. Their classes are set in a 105-degree studio with 40 percent humidity to enable students to sink deeper into stretches, release toxins via sweat, and imagine they’re in the mouth of a peaceful dragon.
By the age of 30, Stephanie Howard's extreme athleticism had nearly run her body into the ground. She was participating in physically demanding sports, from snow-ski racing and water-ski jumping to 197-mile relay marathons and even playing volleyball while pregnant. Stephanie had severely traumatized her spine in the process, suffering from compressions that landed her in physical therapy, chiropractic sessions, and regular injections at a pain clinic. Everyone told her this could only end one way—with surgery.
Stephanie refused to believe such extreme measures were necessary, and, on a whim, enrolled in a hot yoga school. Not only did her pain begin to subside, but she found herself gaining strength in her back. Hot yoga was the cure she needed. She eventually opened Yoga Hot Spot, starting out teaching 10 classes a week on her own before expanding to three locations with a team of experienced instructors. Each class takes place in a heated studio and explores various techniques including hatha, power vinyasa flow, and giving nicknames to individual beads of sweat.