Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 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.
Created by fitness trainer and life coach Dr. John Spencer Ellis and led by owner and certified fitness professional Doug Krueger, the Lake Country Adventure Boot Camp program shepherds women to physical fitness with motivational workout regimens and nutritional counseling. Before the camp starts, trainers take your measurements and body-fat percentage before hopping into a curious pod, leaping into the future, and comparing them to those of the trimmer post-camp you. In the interim, the four-week or three-day workout regimen cycles through circuit training, jogging, kickboxing, and yoga to surprise and challenge muscles. During winter months and unforeseen Renaissance festivals, sessions move to spacious indoor facilities.
Ronda Arndorfer began exploring Pilates in 2001 at the age of 40, when she was trying to recover from the multiple running injuries she incurred while training for her first marathon. Her rehabilitation was so successful that she decided to learn how to share the experience with others. She became a certified Pilates instructor and—after opening a studio out of her home—eventually founded The Movement Center, a place where students can restore both body and mind in a positive, lighthearted environment. Arndorfer continues to attend workshops and teacher trainings with master instructors throughout the country, and some of her staff members have trained in Pilates via Arndorfer's teacher-certification program.
Arndorfer's passion for movement has paid off: the center has been featured in numerous television and magazine media outlets and was voted the Best Pilates Studio by CityVoter in 2009, 2010, and 2011. In addition to traditional yoga and Pilates classes, the crew offers innovative and challenging techniques such as aerial yoga—in which students "float" on a trapeze-like swing—and yoga performed on open water using a standup paddleboard. Barre classes require students to hold onto a ballet barre or the outstretched arm of a handsome stranger while strengthening muscles with a mix of yoga- and Pilates-inspired moves.
The center's team includes massage therapists, a nutritionist, and a physical therapist and certified Feldenkrais practitioner who continue the healing that begins within each class. They also offer childcare for guests' convenience.
The most practiced students at YogAsylum are not the ones who can touch their toes—they’re the ones who know how far they can safely reach. Fueled by the belief that yoga is an individual experience, the instructors prioritize personal exploration of physical limits over competition. They put this principle into action while leading classes that accommodate guests of any experience level and cover styles such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, and Hatha. Using provided props, bolsters, and blankets, they help students ease their bodies into more challenging poses. Because they advocate a holistic approach to spiritual health, they offer more than drop-in classes—they provide energy healing and spiritual counseling in addition to therapeutic massage in their wellness center. They also hold musical events, special workshops, and a registered Yoga Alliance teacher training program that has been approved by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board.
YogAsylum is one of the largest studios in Wisconsin, and was built from scratch to incorporate eco-friendly principles and elements of feng shui. Its cork floors diminish joint discomfort in students stretching beneath energy-efficient bulbs, and movable walls can easily resize the space to accommodate bigger groups and alter the difficulty of life-size games of Pong.
At Absolute Pilates, certified instructors guide exercisers through a series of controlled stretches, extensions, and other moves that rely on body weight and gravity to add muscle-toning resistance. Atop floor-laid mats, pupils learn Pilates’s precise, muscle-group-isolating techniques that work to straighten posture, fortify core muscles, and tone limbs without piling on huge bulk and its attendant purple shorts. The studio's warm yellow walls, natural lighting, and wood floors create a cheery and calming atmosphere for students in group or private lessons.
At Axiom Health & Fitness, wellness experts fortify everyday routines with exercise, house-made health foods, and relaxation. The scent of house-made granola fills the 5,500-square-foot facility, where calories melt faster than a snowman at a chili cook-off. Treadmills and elliptical machines dare visitors to sprint, glide, and climb toward fitness goals, and plate-loaded weight machines replaces fat with lean muscle. For a more intense, focused regimen, boot camps throw guests into the ring with functional-training tools such as sandbags, kettlebells, and weighted chains, and personal and group training helps with everyday obstacles so that clients can lift a child without pain, or outrun a rollerblading cheetah. The gym's fitness experts also work hand-in-hand with clients who want to lose weight, offering tips on how to eat healthier and increase energy levels.