What began in 1975 as one inner-city gym in Highland Park, Michigan, has since evolved into a global health-club organization with locations in 17 different countries. Powerhouse Gym equips weightlifters and cardio bunnies alike with all they’ll ever need to keep—or create—a tight and toned physique. The gym offers equipment outfitted with personal TVs as well as a cast of certified and knowledgeable personal trainers. Depending on location, members will also have access to group fitness classes, such as yoga, Zumba, and Les Mills BodyPump, as well as 24-7 turnkey access to the facility.
Colorful skeins of yarn line the walls at The Knitting Circle, where knitting enthusiasts and first-timers alike can acquire supplies or sit down for some knitting or crocheting in a comfy area. Guided sessions include two-hour knitting or crocheting classes, which teach participants how to weave yarn into scarves, hats, and finger and toe puppets. For DIYers, The Knitting Circle offers all of the patterns, accessories, and books necessary to get started on a new project or finish an old one.
Before founding World Sports Fitness, Pierre F. Mouele routinely went toe-to-head in the ring, earning a kickboxing championship title. Finally, he hung up his gloves and retired his cactus-covered shoes so that he could use his boxing training to whip people into shape. Today, he puts his clients and classes through the same demanding conditioning regimen that prepared him to lay out his opponents.
His students cut swathes of muscle pummeling red, black, and blue punching bags in Shotokan karate and self-defense classes. Alternatively, clients heft weights and toss heavy balls during strength-conditioning courses, which help them sculpt a fighter's body without any of the impact exercises associated with traditional boxing training, such as getting constantly punched.
Blue and red padded squares glow underfoot in the vast gym, unused punching bags standing in neat ranks to the side of the space. Above them hang tidied rows of flags, representing the many nations and organizations from which World Sports Fitness draws its curriculum.
Spanning across 3,000 square feet, a New York loft-like setting with brick walls gives way to padded black floors, both spaces teeming with energetic exercisers and knowledgeable instructors. Students are led through a variety of group classes for all fitness levels, with high-energy cardio workouts to be found in the Zumba classes or coed kickboxing classes that pummel 20 hanging kickboxing bags. Other classes include kickboxing under blacklights, called glow boxing, cross box, kick boxing, cardio confusion with a mix of cardio and strength training, ab lab to focus tightening cores, yoga, barre 90, and pole technique. A high-tech sound system blasts motivating tunes as guests work out in groups or at their own pace, using the free weights, Bosu balls, and step benches as tools for chiseling their physiques.
I Wish Lessons’ professionally guided classes convene in various venues throughout Chicago, Boston, DC, and Detroit, uniting and educating like-minded learners in vibrant social settings. The company’s hundreds of teachers have educated countless learners while introducing them to new friends and planning private events, including birthday parties and baby showers. Classes broach a multitude of engaging, lighthearted subjects, such as beer and bacon pairing, scotch tasting, cupcake decorating, and sushi rolling.
At Seung-ni Fit Club, natural light flows in from large windows to illuminate punching bags, free weights, and TRX straps that surround an expansive studio beneath high ceilings. In this setting, students of all ages and ability levels obliterate calories under the watchful eye of instructors, who aim to get to know each participant and contribute to a convivial atmosphere. Five programs, such as the eight-week Body Challenge, join drop-in classes of Zumba and Kangoo Jumps on the packed schedule, whose classes go from early morning to late evening.