A favorite exercise of telephone-line repairmen, fire fighters, and skyscraper iron workers, pole dancing provides a challenging yet approachable full-body workout for all adult clients. You’ll battle high blood pressure with the power of dance, whirling away stress and weight like a flank steak in a clothes dryer. Classes at Xpose Fitness are a perfect way to spicy up your exercise routine or surprise significant others with an activity more exciting than making them up like a clown while they are sleeping.
Kicking, punching and jabbing are typically discouraged, but not at Transformations Fitness for Women. The women’s-only gym’s kickboxing-style workouts give athletes the moves they need to tone physiques and brush up on their fighting maneuvers, no matter their level of experience. The gym’s two locations boast eclectic class schedules, with classes ranging from Zumba dance fitness workouts, which burn calories with sultry Latin moves, to sessions that enhance strength and flexibility through a fusion of yoga and Pilates. While guests work out, they can drop kids off at the gym’s complimentary daycare, whose staffers stay in touch with each other via two-way talk radios, rather than by sending them regular flocks of carrier pigeons.
At Feel Better Fitness, key fobs grant clients 24-hour access to the gym’s facilities. Feel Better purchased all of its gear from the now-defunct Snap Fitness, creating a glorious bodybuilding phoenix out of the old gym’s ashes. Free weights, modern strength-training machines, and cardio equipment from brands such as Cybex and Eagle populate the gym floor, while flat-screen TVs hang from the walls. The staff offers boot camps as early as 5 a.m. and as late as 6 p.m. as well as personal training and nutrition instruction to help guide clients toward their fitness and lifestyle goals.
In a story by Patch reporter Elizabeth Janney, owner David Sturman described Elkridge Athletic Club as "a friendly gym," stating that “no matter what your fitness level is or what your shape is, you feel comfortable here." The welcoming environment—together with high-energy classes and cutting-edge equipment—may be why voters named the health club as the best local gym in an Elkridge Patch poll.
Each initiation-fee-free, month-to-month membership includes access to the sauna and hot tub along with unlimited group classes. Guests dance to straightforward moves set to Latin beats in Zumba workouts, and combine cardio and mind-body techniques in Hour of Power classes. Members also receive a complimentary personal-training session to design a customized fitness plan or learn to make a black leather purse that looks just like a kettlebell.
Optimism is contagious at Positive Vibes Fitness, a personal-training studio where clients tackle physical challenges with upbeat attitudes and functional fitness tools. David E. Cox, an ACE-certified personal trainer, helps clients locate the greatness that lies within and turn it into fuel for fun, challenging workouts. Many of his charges train in groups of two or more, which lets them cheer each other toward goals such as losing weight, boosting sports performance, and successfully arm wrestling the Statue of Liberty. Heavy objects such as kettlebells and battling ropes fortify limbs and cores, and TRX suspension-training straps build full-body strength and flexibility with body-weight exercises that can be tailored to nearly any fitness level. To help clients melt calories and stress, the studio also hosts group fitness classes, including dance-inspired routines filled with salsa, hip-hop, and reggaeton tunes.
Pole Pressure owner Jessalynn Medairy is an international pole-dancing performer, judge, and teacher. In 2010, she placed fourth in the US Pole Dancing Championship, she has appeared numerous times in Pole2Pole magazine, and she often performs for NATO. With these credentials, Jessalynn heads a team of certified pole-fitness instructors as they teach students the art of pole fitness in a variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced pole-dancing classes. The instructors keep classes small to give students the one-on-one attention they need to master the sultry and muscle-toning spins, twirls, and climbs.