Within 10 years of opening its first location, Fitness 1440 has expanded into a franchise of more than 15 clubs across nine states. But, the enterprise doesn’t adhere to the cookie-cutter model of typical franchises; each location looks different, offers different amenities, and is tailored to meet the needs of the community. What members can always expect, however, is an arsenal of cardio and weight-training equipment, knowledgeable personal trainers, and group fitness classes, such as Zumba, yoga, and cycling.
There are plenty of ways to mix up a fitness routine from performing different exercises to working with different trainers. But how about getting fit while suspended in midair? That’s exactly what happens at Circusoul Productions, where students hang above the ground in aerial hammocks. Also known as yoga slings, these hammocks are made from one continuous piece of nylon fabric, which is strategically knotted to coddle the whole human body or a quickly cooling Thanksgiving turkey. Circusoul instructors lead aerial yoga classes both indoors and outdoors (when weather permits). Back on the ground, they provide mat-based yoga workshops, private therapy sessions, and comprehensive training programs for aspiring aerial yoga teachers.
Mantra specializes in Lagree Fitness workouts, which supplement Pilates with a moving piece of equipment called the Megaformer. Lagree started in Southern California, and that's where Sarasota native Kathy Maloy fell in love with it. Excited to share her discovery, Maloy brought the practice back to her hometown by founding Mantra. When the studio was featured on ABC 7 News, viewers got to see Lagree in action. A Herald-Tribune piece described its offerings as "Pilates on crack," citing an intensity that draws a celebrity clientele at Hollywood's Lagree studios. Although the workout is challenging, instructors cultivate a supportive, friendly environment.
Led by martial artist Bill Essex, a Shaolin kung fu and tai chi black belt, Shaolin-Do Martial Arts trains children and adults in the time-honored Eastern discipline of combat. At Shaolin-Do, students can prepare to become black belts or train for competitions, but that’s never the main focus. Instead, the instructors hope to instill confidence and skill through a fitness activity they can practice for life. Shaolin-Do blends hard and soft arts to develop internal and external strength simultaneously. Along with kung fu and tai chi classes, students can also participate in month-long boot camps that incorporate martial-arts moves and other exercise techniques for full-body workouts.
Noelle Segal, founder of newly opened Family Tree Yoga, has a single motto: “Allow people to feel welcome the moment they walk into the door.” With that in mind, she created her intimate yoga studio, a warm, mirror-lined space with wood floors and green trees painted on the walls. Here, experienced instructors lead group classes—for both kids and adults—designed to help mitigate aches and pains and anxiety while boosting energy and confidence. The studio specializes in Vinyasa-style classes that focus on healthy alignment, and visitors can also fuse meditation with movement in a power flow session. Other classes include gentle yoga, flow, candlelight power flow, family, mommy and me, prenatal, and doga.
While stationary bikes implicitly imply immobility, ON1 Cycle’s RealRyder bikes are anything but immobile. Designed to engage core muscles in addition to legs, the stationary cycles tilt, lean, and gallop when kicked just like real bikes do. Certified instructors lead six different types of sessions that range from the music-infused Happy Power Hour to the intense High Octane course, which incorporates high-intensity interval training. Students can tinker with their own bike settings and choose how hard they wish to pedal during the adaptable classes.