Dozens of upright punching bags stand like padded pillars throughout MA Fitness’s space. Over the years, they have learned to fear the fists and feet of the gym’s aspiring martial artists. Thanks to the motivation and encouragement offered by the staff of professional and volunteer coaches, even first-time kickboxers pound the stuffing from their stationary opponents with an endless rain of blows. The strikes get fiercer as students perfect their technique with unlimited kickboxing classes or build their strength during body-resistance conditioning courses.
In addition to helping patrons whip themselves into shape and hone self-defense skills in a cross-training atmosphere, the staff reaches out to the community through myriad charity efforts. MA Fitness has sponsored fundraisers for organizations including All Children's Hospital, Toys for Tots, and the American Cancer Society. Each week, it hosts Sunday Smack Downs, a kickboxing class from which part of the proceeds go to charity, untouched by overweight cats wearing top hats and smoking cigars.
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 Shapes Total Fitness for Women, the instructors strive to make working out as easy and fun as possible. That's why?in addition to providing access to free weights and cardio machines?they host more than 67 group training sessions per week, with options ranging from yoga to indoor cycling. That way, clients can get in shape using whatever means work best for them. Some of the eclectic classes have zero impact on joints, too?specifically the ones in the on-site pool. These include 45-minute water cardio classes and versatile aqua aerobics sessions, which are ideal for athletes with arthritis and other special needs. The most completely flexible workouts at the gym, however, are the personal training sessions. The one-on-one workouts are designed purely around the client's goals, whether she wants to lose weight or grow strong enough to carry her favorite dumbbell home with her.
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.
Shannon Bostwick shapes healthier clients from top to bottom using variable workouts and advanced TRX suspension training. Clients sweat, strive, and sculpt as Shannon strikes up a fast tempo, using body-weight resistance and cardiovascular exercises to increase muscle tone while maintaining core strength and flexibility. Circuit-style workouts change each day, confusing muscles and keeping the mind engaged.
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.