The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
True to its name, Today's Fitness Center embraces an ultramodern ethos in its spacious, high-ceilinged gym, with flat screens buzzing above high-tech treadmills and weight machines. Instructors lead groups in interval training classes—popular, effective workouts built on high-intensity movements and constantly varied exercises. Kids play in a toy-filled paradise at the gym's daycare while parents take Zumba and Pilates classes or focus on spinning, lifting free weights, and bending iron bars. Personal trainers help members of all fitness levels maximize the efficiency of their workouts.
Lando and Stacey, coaches of CrossFit Lando, draw on their experiences as a collegiate baseball coach and a competitive gymnast, respectively, to help clients identify, achieve, and surpass their goals. They design new workouts each day based on CrossFit’s principles of varied, functional fitness. Though workouts change daily, they may include a mix of exercises such as Olympic weightlifting, running, rowing, plyometrics, and medicine-ball training.
Treadmills, stationary bikes, weights, stair-climbers—most gyms are packed with equipment just like this. What makes Elite Fitness Center unique is that every membership also comes with a team of certified trainers who help each person get the most out of each workout. To begin, trainers assess personal fitness levels and use that data to apply the best methods for losing weight, improving stamina, and building enough muscle to open any jar. Their customized programs achieve that through cardio and resistance training as well as in-depth nutritional counseling. Elite also hosts kickboxing and karate classes, giving participants several group-oriented approaches to fitness.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
After training Marines as a former sergeant in the US Marine Corps, Dave of Better Health Pro brought his skills to the civilian sector to help clients lose weight and achieve their fitness goals. Dave, who is also a marathon runner and a trainer certified by the International Sports Sciences Association, leads a variety of fitness programs including small-group training classes, boot camps, yoga, and cardio kickboxing. Remote students can access Dave’s expertise with online virtual training as well. To truly maximize the results, each client also receives a comprehensive strength analysis, cardiovascular and VO2 max testing, body-composition measurements, and a custom nutrition plan, all of which they can track via a virtual profile.