There are all kinds of reasons people avoid the gym, from having to share a musty locker room to waiting for equipment to open up. That’s why Express Fit is not your typical gym. In fact, it’s not a gym at all, it’s a personal-training studio where changing rooms are private, sessions are individualized, and every workout takes place under the guidance of a personal trainer. Yet, what makes Express Fit even more unique is the efficiency of its 12-minute method.
Knowing that the gym experience can be a time-consuming maze of machine clutter, and that most fitness seekers don’t have enough time for proper exercise, Express Fit’s system aims to pack the equivalent of a week's worth of hour-long workout into its weekly 12-minute sessions. Express Fit’s method focuses on strength training and building muscle tone to trigger the chemical reactions that cook off undesirably stored energy. Using advanced Nautilus One equipment and the FlexTech fitness-tracking system, personal trainers specifically customize workouts for the needs of each patron, monitoring fat loss and tracking personal progress as they go.
Yoga Vita seems to be made of sunshine. Glowing paper lanterns and golden-yellow walls greet all who enter, awakening the senses while melting the day’s stresses. Amid lush, green plants, new and seasoned yogis cultivate strength and focus with lengthy poses, controlled-breathing exercises, and guided meditation. To help students to align their bodies properly, instructors such as studio director Debra Lauren incorporate straps, blocks, and other supportive props. Debra has amassed a deep understanding of Iyengar yoga during repeated trips to India, which have refined her teaching skills and earned her enough frequent-flier miles to book passage to Jupiter.
Jahaira Oritz-Olowe isn't just a licensed Zumba instructor, she's a Zumba success story. Six weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, she began helping students of all ages and fitness levels shimmy toward their fitness goals. And she hasn't just been teaching others to lose weight, she's been working out with them—she's lost 40 pounds since gaining her certification, which is great for her because she's not a London banker. During group and private sessions, she leads Zumba's easy-to-follow dance moves—inspired by salsa and merengue—set to high-energy Latin tunes. Jahaira also hosts master workshops to help her community get in shape and support such charitable causes as the Susan G. Komen foundation.
Since 2001, Stroller Strides' fitness professionals and buggy-bandying workouts have helped new mothers to overcome the struggles of staying in shape while caring for a wee one. Specially trained instructors helm a series of 60-minute classes, which consist of a warm-up and interval stations where limbs stretch resistance tubes in body-toning drills. Energizing indoor sessions utilize fitness stations and activities such as latin dance, while outdoor jaunts make use of benches and other environmental facets to augment maneuvers. Throughout the routine, engaging routines keep children from growing overly fussy or pranking classmates by tossing banana peels in front of their carriages.
When sensei Thomas Torpey threw his first kick 20 years ago, it was really the first step to becoming head instructor of Team Bullshark’s two martial arts schools. He began studying shotokan karate, but quickly expanded his repertoire into the realm of mixed martial arts, learning various other forms of striking and grappling. He found particular clarity in the psychological side of martial arts, and now teaches students not just exercise methods and self-defense, but also the ability to hone attitude, behavior, character, and x-ray vision.
Professor Erick Tavares—a second-degree black belt in Brazilian jiujitsu—and his protégé Sensei Marcus also help students in Sensei Torpey’s classes. With all the classes that the schools offer, students can construct a comprehensive mixed martial arts curriculum that will prepare them to strike, grapple, and blend smoothies with a flurry of punches.
At CrossFit Englewood, the certified instructors lead their charges in a different workout each day. All the exercises focus on prepping the body for everyday movements, incorporating exercises such as pushing, squatting, and lifting, which can be scaled to suit each participant's fitness level. In the team-training program, patrons can focus exclusively on strength and conditioning specific to the sport of their choice. To ensure participants are performing to their fullest abilities, they evaluate postures and prescribe corrective exercises. With performance psychology, the trainers motivate patrons to apply the benefits of CrossFit lessons to life challenges, such as being expected to brush their teeth every day.