Trainees at Studio 30 may spend 20 seconds performing a single rep, but it's not because they're slacking off. The gym's trainers rely on slow-motion training, arming their clients with the heaviest weights they can handle as they work each muscle group to fatigue. This method tones and strengthens muscles while minimizing the risk of injury, as it involves no jerking or heaving of weights.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
Dancing and parties go hand in hand, and at Studio 44 Dance and Fitness, that’s especially true. Inside the 2,100-square-foot downtown Westport studio, artistic director Sue Benton and her team of instructors, many of whom are professional dancers, lead students of all fitness levels through easy-to-follow dance and strength-training classes. During Dance 44 sessions, students move to swing, rock-n-roll, and R&B. Unique classes include Grooveology, which gets bodies moving and shaking during easy-to-follow routines that blend techniques from street jazz, hip-hop, modern, and lyrical dance.
And while Sue heads up the dance side of Studio 44, owner Candace McCarthy helms the events side, which transforms the modern studio into an elegant space for birthdays, weddings, and creative endeavors such as photo shoots and fashion shows. With years of event-planning experience under her party hat, Candace is on hand to assist with event preparations including coordinating floral arrangements, developing creative themes, and scheduling catering services. During these soirees, guests can take advantage of Studio 44’s 1,500-square-foot common area, as well as the spacious studio’s stereo system and dance floor.
The chief yoga instructors on a staff of dozens, Gina Norman and Stan Woodman aren’t your average couple—or even your average yoga studio owners. A world traveler with a longtime interest in mind-body work, Gina followed her path to Thailand, where she learned the local yoga practice, and then to India, where she studied up on vipassana meditation. Prior to opening Kaia Yoga Complete Wellness Center, Stan was a snowboarding addict and decades-long yoga practitioner living in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Today, the two strive to offer “a yoga for everyone,” with a lineup that includes smooth Vinyasa practice, disciplined Ashtanga poses, hot yoga in a 95-degree studio, and family-friendly fitness classes. After working up a sweat exercising or reciting Ulysses in one of the studio’s classes, students can take the heat off with soothing, natural spa services such as massages, body scrubs, and energy healing. With a long menu of pampering therapies, no aspect of the body leaves Kaia wanting for its own treatment, and the onsite vegetarian café’s baked goods, wraps, juices, and smoothies help guests with the other kind of bodily nourishment.