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.
A renowned exhibitor of contemporary art, The Arts Center cultivates creative potential in adults and children through art classes and events that emphasize hands-on learning. Members receive discounts on arts classes—up to $25 off kids classes—an opportunity to exhibit their art at the annual members’ Fence Show, discounts at local businesses, and the right to sing in the gallery when nobody’s around. Patrons with a taste for food can enroll in courses on the culinary arts, and aspiring artists can transform stuttering line work into fluid brushstrokes via drawing and painting courses.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Robilee McIntyre's sculptures, masks, and crafts have been stylistically compared to Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss. The slanted roofs and oblong proportions of her miniature houses recall the domiciles of Whoville, while her playfully macabre faces would fit in alongside the colorful characters of Beetlejuice and Corpse Bride. Dark, yet whimsical designs such as these have garnered two studio spaces and the accolades of clients who call McIntyre "a fantastic artist and a wonderful communicator." Her miscellany of life experiences both bitter and sweet, including losing both of her parents, have shaped her artistic outlook. She named one of her studios after her father's two college nicknames and surrounds her porcelain houses with flowers in honor of her flora-adoring mother. "I seem to think in 3-D," she muses, "and these sculptures are a rewarding way for me to conquer the limitations that illustrating on a flat page holds for me." Not content to just create her own magnum opuses, Robilee educates burgeoning artists with loving instruction that invites them to answer the insistent beeper pages of their own creativity.
While E Studio Hot Yoga may never reach the size of General Electric—one of the companies for which owner Emily has led corporate fitness efforts—it's still an ambitious undertaking. A team of instructors leads the center's classes, which range from ballet-barre workouts set to upbeat music to power-yoga sessions held in a 90-degree studio. Like a crutch with a manufacturing error, the schedules at both the Clifton Park and Latham locations are flexible; classes take place seven days a week, with a variety of morning and evening classes held throughout the week.
The certified instructors at Hot Yoga Saratoga believe that heated exercise has more benefits than just boosting the body’s flexibility. For nearly 20 types of classes, they warm up their studios to help bodies heal injuries, release toxins, and thin the blood so it can flow more easily to tissues and organs. From silent Bikram sessions in 105-degree heat to yoga sculpt classes set to 90 degrees and upbeat music, the studio aims to have something for yogis of all ages and experience levels.