While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Stocked full of cardio equipment, free weights, and resistance-training equipment, Fitness 4 All encourages muscle-toners of all stripes to enhance their fitness level. The two-month membership, good at both locations ($19.99 a month), gives full access to all equipment and facilities. Unlimited group fitness classes ($10 a month) include Zumba, Yoga, COREbody Tone, and more, helping to shake up tedious workout routines and exhibit solidarity with neglected quadriceps. Check the February schedule for a list of classes available at the Sylvania location, though unlimited classes can be used at both gyms.
Lead trainer Russ Wakefield draws upon his decades of experience in the fitness industry and the use of carefully calibrated exercise regimens to help his customers tailor their physiques precisely and effectively. His personal-training techniques utilize the gradual lifting practices of the slow-cadence method to safely and steadily build lean muscle and ready clients for more advanced strength training, such as stealing a piano without anyone noticing. Each weekly 20-minute session is tailored to each iron pumper's specific needs, with an array of Nautilis, MedX, and other exercise machines reporting for nonsentient duty. In addition to fine-tuning fibers and incinerating fat, metabolic-rate testing is available to zero in on the calorie-crunching capabilities of the body, forming a fitness strategy built around the body chemistry and aerodynamics of each customer's mortal coil and immortal online avatar.
• For $30, you get nine pole-dancing classes (a $90 value). Though Studio Fitness has a schedule full of classes for continuing students, this Groupon is good only for pole-dancing sessions on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. • For $25, you get nine Zumba classes (a $63 value), held on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:00 a.m. and Saturdays at 11:00 a.m.
After honing her basketball, softball, and volleyball skills in high school, Kelly Williams graduated to a new role: early-morning workout queen at the local gym. Despite this illustrious title, her love of fitness began to fade. Before long, she wondered if she liked to move at all. Luckily, hot yoga classes quelled her doubts. Filled with exercises that challenged her definition of working out, these routines rekindled her passion for exercise and inspired her to open Bikram Yoga Toledo. Here, instead of jogging and pedaling to summon sweat, yogis glisten like the sun’s diamond tiara as they pose in a torrid classroom. In addition to making muscles more pliable, the heat helps oust toxins from the body. Led by a certified instructor, each class revolves around 26 Hatha-inspired poses sequenced by yoga master Bikram Choudhury. Paired with two deep-breathing exercises, these beginner-friendly bends and balances tone muscles and push oxygen through the bloodstream to foster full-body wellness. After class, students can retire to the locker rooms, where hot showers dissolve pent-up stress and sweatbands fashioned from Fla-Vor-Ice pops.