Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
As a former architect, Amba Yoga director Lesa Kingsbury has a deep appreciation for form and function, elements that she incorporates into her yoga practice. Registered through the Yoga Alliance, Lesa draws on 14 years of experience to helm a team of seasoned instructors that promotes freedom of movement, mind, and spirit. Within temperate rooms kept at around 70 degrees, instructors lead Hatha yoga classes centered on alignment, form, and fluid motion as well as Vinyasa classes. The studio?s restorative offerings include yoga therapy, massage, and meditation techniques
Diane Garetano's school—whose curriculum covers piano as well as other instruments—was an immediate success in the first year. She was renting space to accommodate her ever-expanding student body and the pianos that kept sprouting extra keys. Today, The Piano Studio for Kids imparts instrument skills at two locations. The school also has evolved in terms of technique, with instructors now incorporating even more methods built on fun, structure, and positive reinforcement. Once a year, students may elect to show off the fruits of these labors, with admission free of charge at a recital culminating in certificates, gift bags, and applause.
With more than 40 years’ teaching experience, VMA Kempo Jiu Jitsu’s certified instructors impart self-defense skills, confidence, and discipline in a range of martial-arts and fitness classes. In coed, women’s-only, and children's classes, students kick, strike, and grapple as they hone techniques drawn from kenpo, brazilian jujitsu, mixed martial arts, and Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. In women’s-only cardio-kickboxing classes, students boost endurance, flexibility, and strength as pounds melt away.
Woodway treadmills whirr and weight machines clank 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Though staffed while sun's up, the fitness center is accessible via members' key cards at night, giving gym-goers ample opportunity to incinerate calories and tone muscles on a full range of Cybex equipment or pass off their tears as sweat while watching Homeward Bound in the cardio theater. Workouts are supplemented with private sessions led by certified personal trainers, online nutritional resources, and onsite tanning booths that gold-plate freshly toned frames.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes opened The Little Gym based on his new take on physical education. His curriculum emphasized motivating children to achieve instead of pressuring them to win. As a result, The Little Gym became a noncompetitive, positive, nurturing environment where young ones could develop physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Since then, Little Gyms have sprouted up across the country.