Rebecca Rankin and Lisa Lau came out of college prepared to be an architect and an engineer, respectively. Today, they own Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill. Their goals haven't changed much, though—Rebecca specializes in the architecture of the human body, and Lisa studies its engineering, teaching students how to bend and breathe during each 90-minute class.
These classes are held in a studio heated to around 105 degrees. But newcomers to the practice needn't worry—as the space's website says, "The heat is not there to make it tough, it is there to help." As participants move through the 26 asanas, or postures, of Bikram yoga, the heat loosens up their muscles and encourages a detoxifying sweat, allowing for deeper stretches and a smoother post-workout slip-and-slide ride. Rebecca, Lisa, and their fellow instructors limit their class sizes to better personalize their guidance, and welcome guests of all skill levels to attend any session.
The Jewish Community Center of Pittsburgh pursues its mission of upholding an exemplary, thriving, and engaged community rooted in Jewish values. The Center contains state-of-the-art fitness facilities, complete with group exercise programs, personal training, and modern facilities that include gyms, basketball courts, and swimming pools. Leaders also organize other programs that range from day and overnight camps for kids to art classes, dance programs, aquatics seminars, and physical education for all ages.
It can be hard to find room for exercise in the busy modern lifestyle, especially when group fitness classes don’t match with one’s schedule. Club One Pittsburgh aims to correct that problem by hosting more than 300 classes a month, or roughly 10.1 classes a day. At their two main locations, they teach 11 varieties of Pilates, nine styles of yoga, and six different spin classes, the latter of which earned a CBS accolade as being the city’s best.
Both of Club One Pittsburgh’s locations are packed with state-of-the-art workout equipment, and the East End location also boasts indoor and outdoor pools and a full spa. Guests also receive complimentary towel service and free parking, a result of the now-canceled Hitting Parking Meters with Baseball Bats exercise course.
Highly educated trainers—each of whom has a bachelor's or master's degree in exercise science—help clients at bodyXchange fitness tone their bodies and transform their lifestyles with nutrition and exercise programs. Rows of dumbbells weighing 5–135 pounds ring the walls of the 5,000-square-foot gym, where members can swing kettlebells, push sleds, or struggle with a 550-pound tractor tire as well as pumping iron on more conventional Hammer Strength and Icarian strength-training machines. Life Fitness treadmills, stationary bikes, and other cardio equipment populate a separate theater, where wall-hung plasma TVs keep minds busy as bodies sweat and mouths hum the theme to Chariots of Fire.
Dedicated to helping ladies get in shape, the staff of certified instructors at Fitness With a Twist lead body-sculpting sessions designed to boost women's self-esteem and sultry quotients. During pole fitness classes, the instructors divulge pole-dancing techniques, including tantalizing spins and core-strengthening transitions from pole to floor. For an emphasis on sensual choreography, students don a pair of heels and ankle-length burlap sacks while dancing through burlesque-style routines with the help of a chair. In addition to flirt-enhancing fitness sessions, the studio also offers boot camps, Zumba, and full-body toning classes, as well as social gatherings for gals—including birthday bashes and bachelorette parties.