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.
Madison Pilates?s owner, Marissa Lins, founded her studio to nurture a supportive fitness community for students of all levels, including those who aspire to become Pilates teachers themselves. The staff of comprehensively trained instructors leads a schedule of beginner to advanced classes with a therapeutic approach, taking time to encourage and guide students through verbal cues, hands-on instruction, exercise demonstration, and professional-quality semaphore.
During newbie-friendly Pilates sessions, teachers introduce the basics of floor-based mat work, where pupils support their body weight themselves, and the fundamentals of spring-resisted equipment workouts, where apparatuses such as the Pilates Reformer and the Wunda chair resist or support students? movements to add strength-building benefits. Students in the intermediate- and advanced-level classes incorporate more demanding Pilates techniques while learning to monitor their own form during each smoothly controlled movement. In addition to group sessions, the teachers also lead private lessons for attendees seeking one-on-one instruction or help with their income-tax paperwork. Nestled amid a bouquet of towering oak trees, the Madison Pilates studio boasts a practice space with gleaming, wood floors and ceilings that are high enough to accommodate Paul Bunyan's coat rack.
Dave Gerry started the Princeton Club with three simple tenets in mind: great trainers, exceptional equipment, and easy access. To realize that dream, he assembled a team of American College of Sports Medicine–certified personal trainers to helm the cardio and strength-training centers 24 hours a day.
Whether working out solo, in a group class, or with a trainer to remind them that bench-pressing beehives is safer with a spotter, guests can drop their young ones off at the free childcare center. Splashes fill the natatorium as swimmers paddle across the six-lane lap pool, as the resistance-current pool's adjustable waves enable guests to walk in place. A dip in the whirlpool soothes stress, and the steam room's eucalyptus aromatherapy and sauna's rejuvenating heat send bodies back into the world refreshed. Above the club, tennis and soccer players soak in vistas of Madison as they duke it out on the rooftop garden's turf. The competition continues indoors on basketball, racquetball, and volleyball courts.
The techniques that Lauren Birkel imparts to her trainers are the same ones she used on herself while preparing for and completing the rigorous Ironman World Championships in 2005 and 2011, as well as the France-held International Triathlon Union Long Course World Championships in 2007. With this history of achieving difficult goals, Birkel knows how to inspire students without commissioning a band of rabid coyotes to chase them while they run.
She and her many cotrainers use these thoroughly tested methods of motivation to push students toward healthier lives in one-on-one, small-group, and large-group training sessions. She decks out her indoor studios with all the necessary equipment for personal-training sessions and isn't afraid to lead all-outdoor boot-camp academies in the heat or rain.
From the expansive practice room, wall-spanning windows provide a panoramic view of Perennial Yoga & Meditation's namesake perennial flower fields below. Before classes, students can meander outside, walking the winding paths or stopping by the Fitchburg farmers market located just beyond Perennial's front door. Inside, the studio complements its surroundings with hardwood floors, open space, and soft, glowing lighting during evening stretch sessions. The class schedule features more than 50 classes a week to accommodate practitioners of all experience levels, from beginner yoga, which acquaints newbies with basic postures, terminology, and breathing techniques, to strengthening power Vinyasa flows, which are performed in a warm environment that loosens limbs and forces snowmen to return to their post. Free mat rental is available for all students.
Trainer Brian Austin has spent the last 10 years of his life working in the fitness industry, though his passion for healthy living started at an early age. In addition to being a high-school athlete and college mountain-bike racer, Brian has also spent time training with a grand master boxer. And he brings all of his fitness experience to his personal-training and fitness classes, during which he caters workouts to athletes of all ability levels. Brian also offers nutritional counseling for clients who want to make more-healthful decisions or for aggressive bananas that keep bruising the other fruit in the bowl.