Like the full range of muscles it challenges, Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa affords a full range of experiences to a broad spectrum of visitors, from corporate coworkers to athletic kids. A 25-yard indoor lap pool hosts swimmers, who can dry off with towels in a full-amenity locker room. Group fitness classes challenge visitors to sweat through cycling, Pilates, and aqua Zumba. The latter gets swimming bodies boogying to the tune of energetic international and Latin rhythms. There are also more than 47 pieces of cardio equipment that allow visitors to work out independently, and some of the cardio machines have flat-screen TVs and satellite radio, which actually orbits you as you listen to it.
In order to offer their visitors ample guidance, Wellbridge Athletic Club & Spa staffs several personal trainers, who assist clients striving for a variety of goals, including weight loss and injury recovery. The facility’s free childcare allows parents to work out without the hassle of finding a sitter, and its spa allows those same parents to shed every last scintilla of stress during a relaxing massage.
At Fitness Together, getting fit involves getting focused and fired up to achieve. Here, certified personal trainers guide clients of all skill levels through motivating programs designed to meet goals loftier than a giraffe’s basketball hoop. To help their charges torch calories and tone muscles as efficiently as possible, the trainers incorporate evidence-based training methods, such as intervals, tempos, and fartlek, into each fitness regimen. Filled with cardio challenges and resistance training, workouts are tailored to individual needs and paired with nutrition tips that help the body build lean muscle. These sessions take place in a private, spa-like studio, flush with energizing red walls and functional training tools such as medicine balls, kettlebells, and gymnastics rings.
St. Louis Fitness Boot Camp's creator and head trainer, Johnny King, knows how hard it can be to start working out. Enormous corporate gyms seem designed to intimidate the new exerciser, and the workout genies trapped inside at-home DVDs can only offer motivation after they’ve been put in the player. That’s why he made it his mission to design an exercise program geared toward beginners, providing a low-stakes introduction to training and plenty of positive motivation.
He constructs easy-to-follow circuit training routines that alternate between working the lower body, core, and upper body, relying on the combination of exercises over time to whip bodies into peak shape. His small groups of trainees often encourage one another and help keep one other accountable to exerting their maximum effort during routines. Within the climate-controlled facility, exercisers shed sweat and pounds on spring-loaded floors that ease impact on joints. To supplement the workouts, he and the trainers provide nutritional counseling and even emotional counseling, gently reminding each student why they chose to start working out.
Though they are all licensed to lead group workouts, the instructors at ZPower Fitness feel more like party hosts. That's because their Zumba classes evoke the club rather then the gym—they combine modern, energetic music with dance moves that anyone can learn. Guests shimmy along to the beat during regular Zumba classes and incorporate maraca-like hand-weights into the choreography during Zumba Toning classes. For those who aren't in the dancing mood, the teachers offer R.I.P.P.E.D. classes that focus on building muscle. Owner Emily Cook-Willis, a certified personal trainer, can also schedule one-on-one sessions that target specific goals.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
The Traveling Fitness Center trainers are nationally certified fitness gurus, ready to transform your home space (as long as it's located in the St. Louis County area) into an impromptu shape-up spot. They'll bring all the equipment (Bosu balls, step board, body balls, resistance bands, free weights) necessary to sculpt your physique into the taut, trim profile of a precisely licked ice-cream cone. Each session will last 45 minutes to an hour and will give you the guidance you need to take the first steps in a healthier direction. Two or three people can join in (space permitting), so buy extras and invite some flabby friends over.