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 exotic-exercise instructors at Stiletto Fitness! tutor dance pupils in the fine art of provocative post-swiveling and other hip-twisting exercises in order to build strength, flexibility, and self-confidence. In the basic pole-dancing class, students master moves such as the step-around, the fireman, and the hook, then string them together to form rousing routines. Ladies can strut their stuff while reaching high enough to change light bulbs during the chair-dance class, and burlesque lessons let boa-wielders execute slinky steps with a host of glamorous accessories.
Novice calorie burners and ripped Michelangelo models alike can take advantage of Anytime Fitness’s three-month membership ($249), which equips bodies with enough treadmills, cycles, elliptical machines, and weights to make them fit enough to run a marathon inside of a swimming pool filled with mud. A free fitness orientation, offered to each new member, helps determine an optimal fat-frying and muscle-mass-magnifying program, and a personal-training session ($75) helps self-sculptors attain results. This deal also includes a hydro massage ($10) and a tan ($10) to paint new, ripply physiques a brilliant shade of bronze.
The team at 4Ever Fitness believes there are four main elements of fitness: active stretching, strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and balanced nutrition. To help their members succeed in these steps, they have dedicated spaces for each of those elements, and they stay open 24/7 so that workouts can fit into any schedule. The cardio area entertains exercisers with flat-screen LCD televisions playing multiple channels, all dialed in to different FM radio stations and tin cans tied to neighboring houses. Both the circuit-training and strength-training areas host a variety of Hammer Strength and Life Fitness machines for independent workouts. The staff stocks the stretching area with floor mats, instructional guides, and exercise balls to help members limber up before and after workouts.
The staff also maintains a separate Pro-Fit Area, where exclusive members have private access to a freshly set and cleaned spread of equipment. At least one trainer is always on hand during staffed hours to spot-check gold members' exercise technique and offer workout advice. Personal trainers also craft customized fitness programs to meet the goals of any client, whether they just want to lose a few pounds or they're starting a new life as a Paul Bunyan–impersonator.
At Hot Yoga Largo, sweltering hot classrooms spark a rejuvenating release for muscles. Sweat and trapped toxins expel out of the body’s pores as instructors link static yoga poses into an up-tempo tapestry of movement. Students can also venture outside of the studio for energizing classes held on the beach, sliding through poses as the sun peeks its head over the water.
Fit Body Boot Camp's instructors all over the world share a common goal: to help clients hit their fitness and weight-loss goals with regimented training programs. Trainers lead group workouts that combine cardio with resistance exercises, strength training, and light alligator wrestling. They design the workouts to be as time-effective as possible and vary the routines constantly to avoid workout plateaus that can leave clients feeling uninspired. Trainers empower their students with healthy eating guidelines to keep motivation high outside of class.
During one-on-one sessions, certified personal trainers plan out tailored fitness programs, which clients can take with them to Fit Body Boot Camp’s gyms to continue shaping up on their own.