Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
While nightclub-worthy rhythms thump through B-fit's classrooms to fuel zumba, kickboxing, and piloxing classes, the ample natural sunlight reflecting up off the hardwood floors provides a stark contrast to the typical venue for such tunes. Trained, certified, and experienced instructors lead each class, whether it's the owner drawing on her background with Latin street dance or the resident microbiologis cum Zumba teacher cutting lose in the classroom. The team also offers personal training for one-on-one, goal-oriented fitness regimens, and nutritional counseling, including recipes for healthy eats such as Cajun scallops and mango salsa.
Himalayan Yoga & Meditation is operated by the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society of Wisconsin, which is the city’s oldest nonprofit school of yoga and meditation. Here, instructors teach the traditional techniques of meditation and yoga as taught by the Himalayan meditation masters. Along with local faculty, the staff includes visiting yogis and scholars from around the globe, who lead classes geared for students ranging from first-time yogis to lifelong practitioners. The Society also regularly hosts special events and workshops, such as the global full-moon meditation, where—contrary to popular belief—participants do not wear full astronaut gear while doing their yoga poses.
The perception of pole dancing is changing. When Maureen Metzger and her business partner DJ Hamilton started Blush Pole Fitness & Dance six years ago, Maureen says, "people thought [the instructors] were strippers." Since then, she's seen attitudes adjust as pole dancing went from taboo to a possible Olympic sport. Maureen equates pole dancing with aerial arts, on par with performances seen in shows such as Cirque du Soleil. She leads a series of classes and workshops that focus on upper-body and core strength or hone in sensual spins and dances. "You can be sexy and sensual," Maureen says, "and it doesn’t have to be tasteless . . . I watch Dancing with the Stars, and I think that is way more sexual than anything we do."
Occasionally, she still has to spend some time fighting inaccurate stereotypes, including an episode in early 2012 that involved inviting Jim Stingl of the Journal Sentinel to studio for a fact-finding mission. But mostly, Maureen and DJ concern themselves with empowering women to be "strong physically and emotionally." There comes a time, she says, when "you stop feeling sexy, you age, you gain weight, you get so busy with other parts of your life. . . I think we lose [that] and [pole dancing] reminds us to be women." She credits pole dancing as a vital ally in boosting her self-esteem during a double mastectomy in her battle against breast cancer.
And though Maureen is the first to tout the power of pole dancing, she is also one of the first to undercut some of its weightier connotations, much like a doctor who uses a stethoscope that squeaks. "[We're] totally willing to laugh at ourselves," she says. "Nobody is taking this too seriously." The lighter mood, in particular, helps welcome shy students, who Maureen and DJ witness transform into "strong, confident, sexy, and feminine [women]."
Led by owner and fitness enthusiast Sandi Vande Berg, the expert personal instructors of T3 Fitness focus on customizing workout routines to suit individual needs. They lead small groups through FIT Club sessions designed to increase strength and endurance, as well as Pilates classes that promote strong cores and flexibility.
Self-Confidence and Self-Discipline -- Focus and Fitness – Safety and Self-Defense
Black Belt Leadership Academy's program promotes the development of physical and mental qualities that lead to success in the karate academy, at home, at school, and in the workplace.
Noel Angotti, owner of One Love Yoga, harnesses her passion for yoga to lead students of all abilities through muscle-toning poses and breathing techniques to hone concentration. The studio's repertoire of Hatha and Vinyasa classes employs synchronized movements to elongate muscles and improve the flexibility of bending bodies and paper clips pretending to be bending bodies. Marked by the gentleness of its slow and gentle movements, the Hatha style calls on a series of specific postures, gestures, and breathing techniques to help students to connect with their soul shells inside and out.