Today, it's undeniable: Jazzercise is a worldwide empire, spanning more than 1,800 locations and 32,000 weekly classes across the globe. It's also hip; gone are the leotards and legwarmers of the 1980s, replaced with a high-intensity blend of cardio, strength training, kickboxing and power yoga performed to hits by chart-toppers from Shakira to Justin Timberlake. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set, with recent additions such as Fusion, Core, and Strike broadening the workouts' variety and application. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background. This sense of community keeps Jazzercise devotees coming back, but so too do the results; benefits ranging from weight loss and boosted core strength to increased flexibility and stress relief.
Jazzercise's continued success can be traced to the innovation of its founder, Judi Sheppard Missett. While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, she 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. Little did she know that this ?just for fun? class was the prototype for what would become the Jazzercise sensation.
Anytime Fitness is a busy, popular fitness chain that works to remove common obstacles to working out. At any one of the 21 locations this Groupon is valid for, clients have 24/7 access to the gym’s cardio and strength-training equipment, and some locations offer group fitness classes, such as Zumba and small group training. Certified personal trainers are available to help those looking to take their workouts to the next level, and members can finish their exercise routines with a stop off at the onsite tanning booth to add a summery glow to muscles.
ActivEdge Fitness Club's large, two-story fitness temple burns calories with its high-tech cardio deck featuring mounted flat-screen TVs, drowns them in a 25-meter lap pool, and scares them off with the help of peers in more than 20 fitness classes. On the first level, members pump free-weights on a carpeted floor that cushions joint strain, or on a variety of machines designed to sculpt lats, glutes, and thighs. As parents make a splash in aqua aerobics, their kids can burn off excess energy and talk about their favorite characters from Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations in the supervised childcare center. Members can also make use of the club's basketball court and follow it up with a trip to the tanning room. For a high-intensity full-body-blasting boot camp, the gym’s own GTX program answers with an intense cross-training regimen. Instructors lead groups through a series of interval stations where clients build muscle definition and whip cardiovascular systems into shape with the help of punching bags and medicine balls laid out on turf and rubber floors. During those training sessions, guests lift and push giant tractor tires, swing heavy ropes, and hop high onto plyometric boxes—all exercises that incorporate functional movements to help people perform everyday tasks, such as hurling giant tractor tires into the air and lassoing them with heavy ropes.
New Life Fitness World motivates calories crusaders with personal trainers and more than 140 hours of group classes. Launch fitness plans in a one-on-one training session before bounding into any of the four locations' exercise courses, such as cycling, Zumba, and Piyo, a combination of yoga, Pilates, and trick yo-yoing. After land-based laps around the indoor tracks, or the aquatic equivalent in the indoor heated pools, fit fiddles can indulge in a sauna steam, a hot-tub soak, or a tanning session. Towel service and locker rooms facilitate transitions out of the gym, while childcare frees parents from the stress of pushing strollers while jogging on the treadmill.
Inches-A-Weigh’s weight-loss program for women melts away extra pounds with an effective three-phase program. For four weeks (a value of $49 per week for two of the weeks, plus a $199 enrollment fee—the cost of the other two weeks are waived), customers get access to the state-of-the-art weight-loss center. After individual figure analyses, phase one begins the calorie-cutting quest by introducing each client to a personalized, nutritionally sound eating program. During phase two, figures are shaped and squeezed via low-impact exercises that are easy on joints while being hard on flab, while phase three uses aerobic equipment to improve the cardiovascular system. Call to schedule an appointment and begin trimming the fat with Inches-A-Weigh.
When licensed cosmetologist Chuck Fiegen founded Capri College in 1966, he knew that the best way to prepare students for the work force was to start at the top—with the educators. By sending his instructors all around the world to learn the latest trends and techniques, he was giving his students access to information they couldn't find in any textbook. More than 45 years have passed, but Fiegen—who continues to run the beauty school with the help of his six children—remains a stickler for teaching excellence. He can occasionally be found observing teaching methods and offering his two-cents on the clinic floor.
Inside the ACCSC-accredited college, instructors with at least three years of experience bolster students’ employability with training in cosmetology, massage therapy, aesthetics, and nail technology. Students put their training into action in the student-staffed salon and spa, where they paint and snip dull strands, and soften extremities with paraffin treatments. In the spa, students dole out five types of massage modalities, from relaxing Swedish strokes to Thai massage, which addresses tension with yoga-like stretches and the pressing of eject buttons. Their panoply of facials help counteract skin woes, such as fine lines or acne, whereas microdermabrasion buffs away dead skin, sunspots, and other facial imperfections with an onslaught of sodium-bicarbonate crystals.