Helping guests feel comfortable is Body Zone Health & Fitness Club's main concern. The center has a variety of checks in place to make sure that new customers are given the guidance they need to get the most out of the gym. To help them, personal trainers are paired with newcomers during their first month of membership, working together to figure out what each guest's body needs. Once oriented, guests can work out on their own or in a group, choosing from a lengthy list of group fitness classes that range from total body conditioning, salsa, fit after 50, and stress-reduction yoga classes. To make sure that current members are also taken care of, Body Zone offers a variety of amenities such as childcare, massage, and nutrition.
Greg Molkentin may have found inner peace through yoga and meditation, but that doesn't mean he likes to sit still. As the yogi behind Yoga With Greg, he shares his favorite yogic style - the flowing movements of vinyasa - with students throughout the week. Sometimes, he does this in a classroom, but, twice monthly, he also leads yoga-based hikes into local parks. He and his pupils climb the sandy dunes of Bakers Beach to catch glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge before mimicking the architectural marvel with their bodies. Alternatively, they find watery ocean vistas between the trees in Land's End park, where they let the asana flow like the waves.
And even on these outdoor excursions, a large part of Greg's practice remains focused on meditation. Beyond his 200-hour yoga teacher certification, he also has 15 years of meditation experience with eight years of retreat practice in Kyoto, Japan.
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.
Invoke Yoga & Pilates sprang from a friendship that formed when Ali Staloch, a certified yoga teacher, took a class from Heather Liguore, a certified Pilates instructor. The two ladies were led to combine their talents and create a fitness haven where students can work their cores, enhance their flexibility, and cultivate inner peace within one building.
During hot-yoga classes, experienced teachers shepherd students through 26 ancient poses within 95-degree heat that works to loosen muscles, oust toxins, and scare off devious snowmen masquerading as yogis. In addition to guiding pupils through power-flow yoga and em-power yoga, they'll demonstrate basic poses and modifications in beginning yoga courses designed for rookie contortionists. On the other side of the coin, instructors fluent in Pilates lead sessions that incorporate mat-based isometric exercises and low-impact movements on Reformer machines, working to strengthen core muscles. The teacher, who may be Liguore herself, circulates through the room during group classes, sharing words of motivation and tips on form and alignment.
Snap Fitness 24-7, bustling with cardio and strength-training gear, throws open the doors to its state-of-the-art facilities 24/7. Before exercisers put sneaker to treadmill or lift their first weight, personal coaches meet with them to talk about their fitness goals before suggesting a personalized fitness plan based on each client's strength, and cardio condition. The gym keeps members motivated with regular check-in calls and demystifies healthy eating with custom online meal plans designed by nutritionists.
As she twinkle-toed her way across stages in countries from France to Brazil to Japan, internationally lauded dance teacher and choreographer Joy Smith's moves have enraptured audiences in music videos, TV shows, and music tours. At her studio, Santa Cruz Dance Company, she strives to impart a similar passion for dance in students of all ages and abilities. She fosters an encouraging environment in which they can learn the steps and lay the foundations for a lifetime of fitness. Along with a team of instructors, she teaches budding performers the fundamental techniques of ballet, contemporary jazz, acrobatics, and musical theater. The instructors incorporate these techniques into choreographed dance pieces and help students learn to express themselves through the movements—a skill they can use to show their feelings about their favorite roller coaster being put to sleep.
She also calls on her years of dance experience to help whip adults into shape during Zumba classes, an effort which has earned her Good Times' award for Best Aerobic Instructor. As a master trainer, she fires up fitness dance parties with her easy-to-follow blend of aerobics and Latin dance. She takes her training a step further by certifying and licensing Zumba trainers throughout Northern California as a Zumba Education Specialist.