Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
For more than 40 years, Herten Family Martial Arts has taught traditional Shorin-ryu karate to its Totowa- and Woodland Park-area students. Believing that discipline, respect, and mental control are just as important as physical fitness, the studio teaches kids as young as 5 as well as adults to protect themselves and master their own minds, bodies, and unsettling daydreams. In addition to karate, experienced instructors offer classes in bully self-defense, street self-defense, and cardio kickboxing, along with Japanese sword arts.
Fit Female is more than a gym. It's a culture of empowerment that encourages women of all ages to nourish their bodies, minds, and spirit animals through exercise. As a workout facility, Fit Female features more than 40 cardio machines and a recently renovated space where instructors host fitness classes in yoga, spinning, Pilates, and Zumba. Personal-training sessions offer customized workout plans, and amenities such as free childcare, tanning, and an indoor salt-water pool take away any lingering excuses.
Devoted exclusively to indoor cycling, High Velocity Indoor Cycling Studio houses 12 Spinner NXT stationary bikes, allowing for small and intensely focused training sessions. The interval-based workouts are led by a team of trainers who make custom playlists to match the tempo and intensity of each session and blast them over the studio’s immersive sound system, motivating their students through each 45- to 60-minute session.
At CKO Kickboxing, combatants wage one-hour battles against an army of heavy bags. The weighted punching bags dangle in two long rows as participants unleash flurries of kicks, punches, knees, and elbows upon them until they agree to personally train them. CKO's instructors emphasize the fitness aspects of kickboxing over a traditional martial-arts education, peppering sessions of punches and kicks with plyometrics and cross training to sculpt and strengthen the entire body. Students of all skill levels are welcome in each class, and beginners are encouraged to progress at their own pace.