“No makeup, no men, and no mirrors.” That was the unofficial motto of Curves’ original Texas location in 1992, and it’s no less true today: at nearly 10,000 clubs worldwide, women attack a 30-minute training circuit designed to burn calories and build strength through cardio and resistance workouts. After each minute on a piece of strength-training equipment—each built for feminine frames and designed to work opposing muscle groups with a single movement—exercisers move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to keep their heart from getting bored and falling asleep.
More than 100 pieces of workout equipment fill Butler Health & Fitness, but that doesn't mean you have to exercise alone. Group instructors lead yoga, Zumba, and senior-oriented SilverSneakers classes, and personal trainers lead one-on-one personal-training sessions. Other membership perks include access to saunas, tanning beds, complimentary childcare, and racquetball courts, which are just basketball courts for tennis players.
Focused Fitness' licensed and certified instructors help their clients stay in shape with personal-training sessions and a variety of group classes. Students can tone their muscles during Ab Blast, dance to Latin rhythms during Zumba classes, or exercise their entire body during boot-camp classes.
Chris Cesnak doesn't wait for Apollo to dead lift the sun over the horizon to start his day. At Summit County Adventure Boot Camp, Cesnak—an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist—starts every workout at 5:30 a.m., using equal parts surprise and support to forge women's bodies into shape. Suited to women of all fitness levels, each morning consists of a hodgepodge of exercises that often include sprints, push-ups, core work, and obstacle courses, as participants feed off the motivation from Cesnak, each other, and birds shouting "Go to sleep!" from their nests.
Sneakered feet pound the ground as athletes of all ages race through challenging exercises supervised by Speed and Explosion’s trained coaches and instructors. These workouts can be designed to help athletes hone their bodies into football-slinging or race-winning machines, as they are created based on the athletes' goals. Motivating coaches train sportsmen of all fitness levels, helping them build more muscle or chisel their abs into the shape of Mount Rushmore. Meanwhile, adults can attempt to torch calories and slim down during Body Defined classes.
Though the term “boot camp” may conjure images of aggressive drill sergeants barking orders as their recruits struggle through grueling tasks, Fit Body Boot Camp of Pittsburgh sessions are much the opposite. Their enthusiastic trainers motivate patrons in indoor boot-camp classes, issuing positive reinforcement as they work together to burn calories and excess fat through challenging, but not defeating, exercises. Each 45-minute session is designed to promote fat loss with a varied routine of interval training that may involve weightlifting, push-ups, sit-ups, and plyometrics. Many activities require participants to band together to tackle obstacles, bolstering a sense of support and camaraderie. Instructors then lead exercisers in a cool down with stretching, leaving them more limber than a linguini noodle basking in a Jacuzzi.
Xtreme Fitness flings open the doors to guests of all skill levels during classes that range from Zumba to Brazilian jujitsu, accommodating diverse tastes. While guests work out in the gym, the certified trainers patrol the free-weight area, cardio equipment, and the 700-square-foot matted space meant for martial arts and one-person trust falls, dispensing workout tips. They also help guests grasp onto the still-beating heart of their fitness goals during private, custom training sessions. When not absorbing self-defense strikes and yoga poses during classes, members can pop into the facility 24 hours a day to rehearse their conditioning routines or hide from hoards of lazy vampires.