Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Visitors never have to wait in line to workout at Cardio Express—each of the six clubs boasts a ton of Cybex strength-training machinery, an arsenal of free weights, and more than 80 pieces of cardio equipment affixed with personal 15-inch television screens. Compassionate instructors imbue gym visits with a human element as well, leading classes such as Core Fusion, Total Tone circuit training, and spinning sessions at the Southington, Vernon, and Manchester locations. Each year, the staff members carry the same motivational energy they use in their studios to recruit members and friends for the Multiple Sclerosis Bike Tour. Cardio Express has raised a grand total of nearly $400,000, and it also acts as title sponsor for the 2012 benefit.
It's not all kicking and punching. Although there is a lot of that, the instructors at The Charland Institute of Karate & Fitness use the classes and facility as a conduit for helping students deal with everyday challenges, de-stress, and build confidence. During strengthening and cardio-intensive classes, students kick their way through a curriculum that forges traditional and modern martial arts, aiming to teach self-defense, discipline, and how to effectively punt an assailant.
The attentive trainers of Core Studio sculpt bodies and impart fitness-focused wisdom within an intimate, boutique-style facility. Guests can take their pick of five group classes, all of which inspire camaraderie among buffness buffs, keeping muscles motivated and preventing predatory medicine balls from picking off stragglers. Zumba, propelled by invigorating music and custom choreography, entertains as it chases off rhythm-phobic calories. Yoga sessions revitalize lungs and limbs alike, and cycling and strength training forge firmer cores and promote balance, stamina, and endurance. Check the schedule for class times.
Cheshire Pilates Studio's diamond-sculpted fitness experts employ the principles of stability to tighten torsos on both mat and machine. During five one-hour core-strength Pilates classes, core constructors will harness their own body weight in a series of slow-moving posture changes designed to center the body and tone muscles. Props, such as the arc barrel, flex band, Joseph Pilates's hairpiece, and more, enhance the midriff manipulations by increasing the solidity and exactitude of the movements.
If you add up the doctors of chiropractic, licensed massage therapists, and registered yoga teachers, Balanced Body Chiropractic Center has more than 15 wellness professionals working to help clients heal and strengthen their bodies. The Center specializes in chiropractic—the practice of making small adjustments to fix misalignments of the spin—aiming to treat maladies such as allergies, joint dysfunction, neck and back pain, and headaches. In addition to adjustments, the Center’s professionals offer healing and relaxing massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, and psychotherapy.