One can look behind every stationary bike or beneath each treadmill, and never come across a man at American Woman Fitness Center. They will, however, find a swimming pool, rows of cardio machines, and a studio that hosts more than 50 fitness classes. Because the health club only admits women at its two locations, gals can feel more comfortable and confident as they break a sweat on elliptical machines and weight-training equipment.
The all-female staff leads a slew of group fitness classes, including CrossFit, Corebar training, Zumba, and yoga classes, some of which take place in the swimming pool and can result in highly desirable dolphin abs. In addition to classes, they offer personal-training sessions along with weight-loss and nutritional counseling tailored to female physiques. While ladies are working out, they can rest assured that their wee ones are looked after, as the staff also provides childcare services.
CrossFit XT's coaches give their students the tools to achieve total-body fitness through CrossFit. With its series of constantly varied functional movements performed at a high intensity, it works all muscle groups. Since CrossFit is scalable, trainers can get students of all ages and fitness levels on track to reaching their goals. Each day they develop new workouts that keep students and muscles from getting bored. Because of CrossFit's intensity, coaches prep students with a fundamentals course.
The house rules are CrossFit Momentum are simple: hustle, get after it, and be sure to clean up any chalk or sweat after each workout. Trainers preach a dynamic approach to fitness rooted in high-intensity, functional movements. Each 40-minute workout might include a mixed bag of plyometrics, handstands, dead lifts, clean and jerk, and a couple kettlebell swings for good measure.
Cesar Bravo—a gymnast who holds certifications from CrossFit, the International Sports Sciences Association, and the USA Gymnastics National Safety association—opened Bravo CrossFit in 2009 with a few sandbags and a single rusty barbell. His gym has evolved leaps and bounds since then; it recently moved to a new, 3,000-square-foot facility, in which Cesar still teaches every class. He helps clients from all walks of life get in shape, including students, business executives, athletes, and stay-at-home parents. He leads these clients through functional exercises that eschew the muscle-isolating machines and movements of traditional gyms. The daily-changing routines harness kettlebells and calisthenics as well as training skills from Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics. He further helps his clients overhaul unhealthy lifestyle habits with nutritional training, and posts healthy, flavorful recipes online for dishes such as slow-cooked coconut-ginger pork and bacon-wrapped chicken to ensure that taste buds don’t get bored and wander into a pint of ice cream.
It's tough. It's intense. And it works. They call it The Spartan Edge, and it's one of the newest programs at Edge Lifestyles Gym. The CrossFit training class leads students through effective workouts that incorporate exercises inspired by everything from gymnastics to powerlifting. Under the tutelage of certified CrossFit instructor Nick Agoalia, students perform a wide variety of exercises in an encouraging group environment. Along the way, they develop the skills and confidence necessary to flip over massive tires and defiantly stand up to enraged truck drivers after doing so.
Strongman competitor William Harris opened his gym to help exercisers achieve ultimate physical conditioning with an innovative approach to fitness that eschews the mirrored walls, isolated machine workouts, and pie-eating competitions of standard gyms. His cadre of personal trainers—most of whom are certified Level 1 CrossFit coaches—draws on real world athleticism: trainer Phaidra Knight was named the women's' rugby player of the decade 2000–2009, and Rob Gutierrez works as a physical trainer for the NYPD. For CrossFit sessions, certified trainers design intense, ever-changing workouts that safely push members while providing motivation and support. Classes rotate through various challenges such as calisthenics, weight lifting, kettlebells, and sprinting, relying on both intensity and variety of motion to improve comprehensive fitness. To bolster long-term health, coaches dispense nutrition tips that keep bodies fueled and give clients the tools to spur fat loss and muscle gain. The results build bodies that function in real-world tasks, such as running to catch a bus, lifting a sack of dog food, or throwing a discus and riding it to work.