At Iron and Grace, butterflies can emerge from their corporeal cocoons in kettlebell and Pilates classes that help to build strong and balanced bodies with an emphasis on functional-fitness training. The kettlebell program’s full-body exercises exemplify this approach, eschewing repetitive movements in favor of motor-recruitment patterns centered by the iron cannonball. Kettlebell exercises work the entire body as students hoist and swing them by their attached handle, increasing both cardio and muscular endurance and helping to make everyday tasks such as bicycling and climbing corporate ladders that much easier. Instructor Chad Sexton holds four-hour training sessions a week for small groups of six students or fewer, teaching them the essential moves of his beloved discipline before guiding them onward to the gym’s more advanced kettlebell classes.
I Love Yoga Studio foster a sense of community by creating a space where students of all skill levels can further their individual yoga practice in a safe and welcoming environment. To accommodate the varied needs and interests of their students, the studio's instructors lead classes that draw inspiration from a wide assortment of yoga styles. These range from the introspective practice of Kundalini yoga, which emphasizes mindful breathing techniques and revitalizing meditation, to Vinyasa yoga's dynamic sequences of seamlessly transitioning asanas and coordinated breaths. Regardless of whether students are seeking to improve their strength and flexibility, manage stress, or perfect their staring-contest skills, the classes at I Love Yoga Studio teach attendees to become more tuned to the connections that exist between the mind, body, and spirit. The studio also hosts workshops and therapeutic sessions intended to promote holistic health and wellbeing.
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.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable members to work on physical well-being with a cornucopia of equipment. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or a random street man tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength equipment or top-of-the-line cardio equipment, which features televisions and other media diversions. Even if you exercise during conventional hours, Snap's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere will provide a refreshing change of pace from any meat-market gym or tough elementary-schoolyard workout. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
James River Yoga's co-owners, Nancy Allen and Donna Everhart, forged their 1,300-square-foot studio out of raw warehouse space along the Lynchburg riverfront. The visionary founders lead a staff of five additional instructors in welcoming students of all skill levels to a cornucopia of yoga sessions that includes gentle, vigorously paced, and hot yoga styles. The studio also hosts a progressive series of Anusara-inspired classes, which steadily improve students' technique while allowing yogis to build on the skills they learned in the previous sessions. By capping each class at 12 students, the teachers can lavish personalized attention on attendees to ensure each one finds proper alignment and relaxation more potent than sitting in a sauna heated by burning credit-card statements.