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 in cardio routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
You might see "Motown" or "80s" on the schedule, but InSync Cycle Studio is not a dance venue. These events still involve plenty of legwork, though—students pedal aboard stationary bikes as invigorating music blares all the while. During these sessions, they'll surmount imaginary hills with real resistance, or zoom through long straightaways at high speeds. Some might be marathoners, and others might be first-timers. It doesn't matter to the instructor at the head of the class, who makes sure that everyone's workout is suited to their experience.
Typically, these instructors are the ones in charge of the music. Most classes aren't themed, but follow a mix of tunes that mesh with the teacher's taste. Some will even time the rhythm of their inclines and sprints to match the song, which is why "Flight of the Bumblebee" has been banned forever. Regardless of the soundtrack, each low-impact lesson helps to tone muscle and build endurance in a communal, encouraging space.
It's hard to be bored at the MAC. With three locations and a host of unique fitness programs, the fitness center has something for even the most indecisive of exercisers. Want to swim in the saltwater lap pools? Play squash on one of the courts? Take part in a MAC training camp? Or start a specialty regimen in the Kinesis, TRX, or Pilates Reformer studio? Committed to a comprehensive wellness program, staffers offer complimentary consultations for new members, as well as nutritional programs. The trainers at MAC Wellness help guests reach their fitness goals while having fun. Athletes looking to restore pre-injury prowess can also dip into one of the therapy pools or whirlpools with a personal trainer.