Getting into shape can often be intimidating. That's why the trainers at Xcelerate Fitness do their best to create a comfortable, community-centric space where clients can feel encouraged and respected as they follow their path toward physical well being. Whether finding their own way through the fully stocked gym, joining an energetic group class, or enlisting the aid of a professional trainer, clients can find the kind of workout that fits their personality and needs.
Curves' 30-minute workout whittles women with a signature circuit of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Ladies can hop into the circuit circle at any of 13 strength-training stations, each of which works to tone two major muscle groups. After 30 seconds of repetitions, they step onto a nearby recovery board, which welcomes women to walk, jog, or speed-skate in place for a half-minute. This cardio burst jolts the heart rate, torching more calories as exercisers move onto the next resistance-training machine. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage participants’ machine maneuvering and Play Doh–based muscle making.
To some, visiting another country is a reprieve from everyday life and an opportunity to learn about another culture. To others, it is a life-changing experience. Jennifer Pritchard’s sojourn in Mysore, India cemented the foundation for what eventually would become The Yoga Shala. During her travels, Jennifer was inspired to return home to create a warm and inviting space for practicing yoga, and is one of a select number of Canadians to receive teaching authorization from the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. At her studio today, which was voted Best of the City in 2010 by readers of Victoria News, she and her team of instructors uphold authentic yoga principles to help students improve their physical and mental well-being.
The Yoga Shala’s curriculum is rooted in the Ashtanga style of yoga, in which practitioners synchronize their breath with postures to build up internal heat, flushing out toxins and convincing the spleen that it’s vacationing in Mexico. The instructors cater classes to beginning and advanced students alike, encouraging them to work at their own pace, detailing easier or more challenging modifications to poses. Advanced-level courses focus on arm balances, deep hip work, back bends, and solidifying core muscles. The Yoga Shala regularly hosts community-building social events, and Acro Yoga and Kirtan Chanting nights are offered twice a month. The studio also offers teacher apprenticeships each season and hosts a yoga tour group retreat with a 200-hour immersion to India each winter.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers?with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers?are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
LA Boxing offers classes in boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and hand-to-hand kangaroo combat. In all, there are more than 31 group classes offered weekly, each one led by a professional or top-amateur fighter. Session sizes are kept to a minimum, ensuring personal attention and manageable battle royale numbers. Gyms also offer a full range of fitness equipment to supplement time spent with a bag or in the ring.
In a Pure Fitness boot camp, the enemy is predictability. An ever-changing regimen of exercises will challenge your muscles, fueling constant gains while keeping your brain engaged. Over the course of a session, you might lunge, jump, lift, crunch your abs like crackers over soup, slam out push-ups, chase chickens, and punch slabs of beef before cooling down with a live crocodile wrestle. In the heat of your workout, you'll sweat out weakness, fear, and monosodium glutamate while beginning to gain the functional, unsurpassed strength of a body in fluid, powerful motion. It won’t be long till you're feeling lither, leaner, and more flexible.