At Victory Fitness Center, members pump iron in the weight room and pedals on the stationary bikes before giving weary muscles respite in the whirlpool or sauna. Besides providing fitness coaching to keep everyone on the right track, the gym also provides an environment free of intimidation with men- and women-only workout areas. To supplement those workouts, the staff designs easy-to-follow weight-loss programs, and certified trainers lead group classes such as Zumba, boxing, and boot camp.
When people think of boot camps, they often imagine a trainer who relies on a shrill whistle and an angry, booming voice to startle exercisers into action. Bobby Steiner is not that trainer. Instead, the founder of Xtreme Fitness Boot Camp and certified personal trainer uses positive reinforcement to motivate participants to get healthier. This approach simultaneously challenges students and makes them comfortable in the fitness environment where they embark upon an ever-changing exercise routine. Bobby also works to meet individuals' needs by offering up alternative exercises to those with specific injuries or an allergy to yoga.
Founded by world-class duo Igor and Svetlana Iskhakov, Dance Centre is dedicated to the empowerment and physical fitness of the everyday person via the art of dance. The studio features both high-level instruction for budding Baryshnikovs as well as a host of beginner-friendly classes in a variety of dance styles. Group classes consisting of as few as five pupils practice basic steps within the Gahanna facility's grand 6,000 square feet of studio space, the perfect place for dancing and drag racing floor buffers. Igor and Svetlana also host regular practice parties for their students, which present festive opportunities to show off new skills in a no-pressure social setting or mingle with accomplished star students.
At Ohio Krav Maga & Fitness, a facility staffed by decorated martial artists and coaches, experienced instructors guide students through self-defense classes. Those that lead the studio’s namesake Krav Maga courses show students how to work with their body’s natural instincts to take down a predator or quell the body’s urge to start the wave with every conversational mention of sports.
Further self-defense skills emerge during muay thai combat and weapons disarming seminars. In the gym’s fitness corner, cardio kickboxing slings five rounds of fast-paced punches and kicks, while yoga helps fighters wind down and leaves them more relaxed than a sloth traveling through taffy. The facility also offers CrossFit classes, where students perform a variety of functional movements in short bursts of maximum intensity to burn fat and rapidly build muscle.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
AussieFIT models its gym environment after Australia's lively culture, right down to the adventurous attitudes of its staff. The two clubs welcome members—or "mates"—into their fitness fold with workouts that embrace a fun-centric philosophy. Vigorous fitness classes transport their routines from Australia to the studio floor, where instructors guide BodyPump's barbell lifts and BodyCombat's martial arts strikes as they play invigorating music. Regardless of prior gym experience, visitors can groove along to BodyJam's intuitive dance choreography before taking a cooldown jog or slow-motion sprint on one of the many cardio machines. The exercise floor also includes a full-body circuit deemed the Quickie workout—an intense, nine-station regimen. Certified personal trainers oversee private sessions for a more customized approach, and attentive employees watch over youngsters at the onsite Little Nippers Kids' Club.
After living everywhere from Washington, DC, to Guatemala, the owners of Urban Moves wound up in Columbus, and decided to pursue their passion for fitness and entrepreneurship. They bought the gym from its previous owner, and transformed it into a membership-free fitness studio dedicated exclusively to exercisers working with trainers, either one-on-one or in group classes.
In the boutique studio, the team of personal trainers designs programs to suit their clients’ goals, whether they want to complete a 5K race or take a bite from the famed nougat peak of Mount Everest. The troupe also hosts a variety of group classes in a wide range of exercise modalities, from gentle yoga to high-tech Power Plate training—a bona fide miracle of modern science that shapes muscles through vibration.