The first beads of sweat form on the cyclist's hairline, and he quickly wipes them away before leaning back down and gripping the bike’s handlebars. His feet move at an incredible speed, rapidly spinning the two wheels around an imaginary river bend and then struggling against the resistance of a simulated hill. At Blazing Saddles Indoor Cycling, spinners of all fitness levels pedal specially designed stationary bikes to the beat of a high-octane soundtrack. During 45- to 60-minute classes, participants build their strength and stamina while burning calories to whip into shape or train for an upcoming cycling race or penny farthing journey up to ye olde mill and back.
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Working out on Grace Anatomy's reformers—the roller-and-spring contraptions that work core muscles in a variety of exercises—provides an intense, core-strengthening regimen on cutting-edge Stott Pilates equipment. Grace limits class sizes to six participants, ensuring that each participant receives individual attention from the studio's experienced instructors. Classes, offered for four skill levels, are plentiful, with 48 offerings per week on Grace's schedule, catering to the busy lives of working parents, harried professionals, and road-weary carnival barkers alike.
Pilates Plus has brought the SPX fitness class's high-intensity blend of traditional Pilates and modern weight training to media outlets from the TV Guide channel to Shape magazine. At each 40- to 55-minute group session, Pilates pros show students how to cultivate strength, stamina, and prize-winning roses with a ProFormer machine, which works upper- and lower-body muscles through a system of springs and pulleys. Although old-school routines such as pushups and lunges tone the body, support from the ProFormer machine keeps pressure off the joints and spine so elbows don't go on strike in the middle of putting a warthog in a headlock. The Pilates component of the workout lengthens and enhances posture while keeping heart rates up and burning calories.
65-year-old Judith Harris hadn't worked out a day in her life. In her testimonial on CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle's website, she says, "It was with absolute fear that I entered a gym for the first time, knowing I needed help, but not having any idea what to expect." Jessyca Slaymaker, the center's owner and head trainer, worked with her to devise a personalized fitness regimen, then helped her build the confidence to push herself past her preconceived fitness barriers. Today, Judith is down to 5% body fat and can curl a 15-pound dumbbell. "What I am learning from [Jessyca] has impacted my life beyond the gym," she says. "I give her the highest recommendation."
This is just one of the success stories from CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle, where experienced teachers and trainers forge fit bodies in the seasoned and inexperienced alike. For parents with small children, Jessyca and her certified staff host Mommy & Me yoga sessions and the Tiny Jammers music class, which keeps little ones engaged with creative music activities while parents work out. Jessyca calls on her prenatal fitness certification to lead Baby Bump Bootcamp, which keeps expectant mothers healthy and helps stave off the common aches and pains of pregnancy. Naturally, CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle also offers a host of classic fitness classes, leading students through everything from restorative yoga to medicine ball workouts. Morning Mix Flow vinyasa yoga classes help detox the body with vigorous poses and breath work as ballet barre sessions harness the lengthening and strengthening powers of traditional ballet techniques.