Climbers of all ages and skill levels scamper across roughly 22,000 square feet of climbable space inside Brooklyn Boulders's rock-climbing gym. A dedicated route-setting staff organizes color-coded problems on craggy, angled top-rope walls as well as bouldering walls that reach up to 15 feet. To help visitors master these walls, seasoned instructors train them in three basic types of climbing: bouldering, top-rope climbing, or lead climbing. They teach these skills through classes such as the peak-performance program, which combines seven classes in lead climbing, bouldering, and cross-training to accelerate students' learning. To ease stressed muscles and promote calm reflection, staffers also lead all-ages yoga lessons and monthly yoga workshops.
Brooklyn Boulders also injects creativity into its special events, which encourage visitors to climb in costume around Halloween and take part in competitions during which they pretend the floor has turned to lava. Staffers also invite local graffiti artists to display their murals inside, work to preserve regional climbing areas by partnering with Access Fund, and coordinate programs through its BKB Foundation?a nonprofit that provides greater access to rock climbing for kids and adults.
With a full slate of classes, tanning, and massage, Assembly Sports Club works to help its clients accomplish their health and fitness goals. The gym's team offers individualized attention with its personal-training sessions. Those who prefer a group setting can participate in a group-fitness class, such as Pilates, Zumba, kickboxing, or indoor cycling. Clients can also get in a workout with the gym's top-of-the-line Hoist, Precor, and Life Fitness equipment. After calorie-burning workouts, gym-goers can relax in a tanning bed or massage chair.
The staff at Clubex Fitness & Nutrition for Women believes that when it comes to diet and exercise, success is a team effort. That's why the trainers host about 30 different group exercise classes every week, including Pilates, circuit training, and Zumba. Clients looking for a more specialized approach can work one-on-one with personal trainers.
Of course, the facility also allows guests to exercise on their own. Clubex provides for solo workouts with cardio machines, strength-training equipment, and free weights, which keep the gym from blowing away in strong winds. Nutritional programs encourage healthy lifestyle changes, and onsite childcare helps moms-on-the-go enjoy carefree exercise.
The instructors at The Body Center don't view Pilates as a simple exercise trend?instead, they conduct classes as interactive seminars on human anatomy. They teach clients how to train certain muscle groups by identifying and coaxing them through specific movement patterns designed to increase strength and flexibility at the same time. Ultimately, they try to instill in their students an enhanced sense of bodily awareness, one that informs walks down the street just as much as it does stretches on the mat.
Because physiques differ depending on build, lifestyle, and how often they were pinched as babies, The Body Center's curriculum is appropriately broad. Class themes range from Reformer and mat Pilates to SCALES and BOSU Core fitness. Beginners derive comfort from the company of other trainees, while intermediate and advanced classes pursue communal challenges. Specialized lessons can focus on specific body parts, sports performance, or the use of props, and modifications throughout every course cater to individual fitness levels.
The staff keeps classes small in the interest of personalization. Mat classes accept up to 10 students, and Reformer classes won't admit more than 6. Private and duet sessions allow for even more focused attention, as instructors won't be distracted by the loud popping of several emerging six-packs.
If you've never been to a Healthworks gym before, today's Groupon is just for you (sorry, regulars). It gets you a "class pass," which lets you attend classes at any of Healthworks' five locations: Back Bay, Brookline, Cambridge, Chestnut Hill, or Salem. You can also use the locker rooms, saunas, steam rooms and whirlpools. Work out, then relax in the bubbling waters and daydream about how good you'll look when bathing suit season rolls around. And because Healthworks is women-only, Larry Leering and Stanley Stare-Master won't be around to ogle you as you bust the moves.