Although Main Street Strength & Conditioning recently moved to more spacious digs—its new location boasts 7,500 square feet, an upgrade from its previous 1,200-square-foot facility—it hasn't left behind its tried-and-true exercise methods. Kettlebells, battling ropes, tires, and sandbags help exercisers plow through calories in group training classes, personal training sessions, or on-location boot camps. The classes mix strength and cardio work for intense sessions designed to rapidly replace fat with muscle and weak abs with Lego abs.
True to their studio's name, the staff of Hot Yoga House strive to immerse guests in a comfortable, homey atmosphere. The instructors host classes for all experience levels that bathe bodies in 95- to 100-degree heat, and they complement the warm temperatures with compassionate teachings. Each instructor brings their own character to the sessions, which follow the Barkan method of yoga mixed with elements of Vinyasa and meditation. They blend these styles to help students cultivate strength, flexibility, and personal growth, a feat normally only accomplished by doing handstands on top of a hardcover copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Modern Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding. Between classes, the resident massage therapist, Julia Rix, can soothe tense muscles with specialized kneading.
World Champion Productions owner David Elkin has followed a much-decorated career in competitive ballroom dancing—he has received four world titles, seven U.S. titles, and three British titles—with more than 20 years of teaching. His expertise informs a troupe of full-time, internationally-certified instructors, who teach Latin, swing, and ballroom-dance lessons in private and group settings. The school's Hendersonville location boasts a state-of-the-art sound system with a huge preloaded repertoire of danceable tunes and a raised hardwood dance floor that emits only the tiniest shrieks when stomped on. Weekend nights open the studios for students to strut the stuff they've learned in class, with complimentary adult beverages, live bands, and a lighthearted social atmosphere.
Lisa Humphries is a certified Pilates practitioner and a licensed chiropractic-therapy assistant. At Proper Pilates—the Pilates studio she operates inside Absolute Wellness—Lisa, Tammy Cox, and Kristi Turner combine knowledge gleaned from the two disciplines to sculpt bodies with safe stretches. Under their guidance, students perform exercises using special apparatus such as the Arc Step Barrel and the Clinical Reformer—built with a trapeze—toning muscles and increasing flexibility so that every joint on the body can spin 360 degrees. Those who opt for private lessons get an added benefit: at the end of sessions, one of the instructors manually stretches clients' muscles while they recline on a specially designed table.
At each Gold's Gym, temperature-controlled group exercise rooms host yoga classes, and exercisers in a nearby cardio cinema room pedal and jog while watching full-length films. A cycling room and functional training equipment such as ropes and kettlebells afford further options for varied workouts. Alternatively, Gold's Gym personal trainers can guide workouts, ensuring clients are using proper form and getting the most out of their exercise regimens.
Minty-green and cool-blue walls set off by polished hardwood floors create a serene setting for reformer- and mat-based workouts led by Pilates instructor Shana Wilson Doyle, who spent nearly a decade honing her Stott Pilates skills. Group mat classes vary in difficulty to help practitioners of all fitness levels protect their precious caramel centers by building tough abdominal shells. Specialty Pilates equipment, such as the reformer and the tower, enhance private and semi-private sessions, where Shana guides students through efficient resistance moves and can provide clients with more personalized attention.