With a resume that includes ballet and rock-climbing experience, Amber Monson took naturally to the graceful art of aerial silks. She founded Sky Gym as a place to train herself and others in her most beloved pastime, and ultimately, her venture paid off.
When she's not training and performing with other aerialists all over the world—including some from Cirque du Soleil—she passes on her skills to new students, helping them discover new levels of strength and grace. Besides aerial silks, she keeps students elevated with classes such as trapeze, sky yoga, and lyra—a ceiling-mounted hoop in which students spin after being dunked by their favorite NBA player. “I can’t decide which is more fulfilling to me, performing aerial or teaching it," she says on her website. Nonetheless, she continues,"I am incredibly grateful to my students and my trainers for allowing to make aerial dance my life."
The gym at Delgado Boxing sounds like a percussion section: the impact of gloves on heavy bags keep the pace, and the sounds of shifting feet and jump ropes slapping the floor blend to form a cadence of their own. Featured on CNN as a model small business, Delgado Boxing is the labor of love of pro boxer Paul Delgado, who oversees boxing lessons and boot-camp workouts for adults and kids, that use pugilistic techniques and exercises, keeping the intensity at the high level one would expect from a guy with 20 victories, four knockouts, and only six naps to his name. Though the gym offers premier-level training for those whose ultimate dream is to appear in Madison Square Garden in hooded bathrobes, it welcomes aspiring boxers and fitness seekers of all stripes.
Although each of the seven Just Fitness 4U locations has its own distinctions—such as the Lawrenceville location's 24/7 hours or the Marietta location's 25,000 sq. ft. facility and marble lobby—they more or less share the same tools for getting in shape. For starters, each is furnished with state-of-the-art Life Fitness and Hammer Strength equipment, which can be used or lifted to increase strength. Moreover, the facilities have a team of certified personal trainers and group fitness instructors who lead one-on-one workouts and fitness classes such Pilates, Zumba, yoga, and spinning, respectively.
The expert trainer behind Planet Shark Fitness doesn't believe in diets, and she doesn't believe in cardio. From her 12 years of training experience, she has witnessed first hand the power of weightlifting and proper nutrition, and she helps her clients reap those rewards with a variety of services that include personal training and nutrition coaching.
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.
Atlanta Fitness Diva could be described as "girly" because of its pink walls and pink exercise bikes, or because of its exercise programs designed specifically for women. In the fun, welcoming, and women's-only environment, owner Pamela Molinari motivates gals of all ages, shapes, and sizes to burn calories and build muscles—but not bulky mass—through accessible training regimens. She calls upon on her more than two decades of experience as a female personal trainer as she leads fitness regimens designed to sculpt curves and burn off the often hard-to-lose pounds. In intimate training sessions and group classes, she and her team focus more on inspiring ladies to feel healthy, rather than slipping back into their elementary school snowsuits.