Kicking, punching and jabbing are typically discouraged, but not at Transformations Fitness for Women. The women’s-only gym’s kickboxing-style workouts give athletes the moves they need to tone physiques and brush up on their fighting maneuvers, no matter their level of experience. The gym’s two locations boast eclectic class schedules, with classes ranging from Zumba dance fitness workouts, which burn calories with sultry Latin moves, to sessions that enhance strength and flexibility through a fusion of yoga and Pilates. While guests work out, they can drop kids off at the gym’s complimentary daycare, whose staffers stay in touch with each other via two-way talk radios, rather than by sending them regular flocks of carrier pigeons.
Under the guidance of fitness director and National Asana Yoga competitor Eddie Hall, Baltimore Fitness & Tennis furnishes its 55,000-square-foot facility with exercise equipment and arenas for group classes. More than 35 cardio machines—including treadmills, ellipticals, steppers, and rowers—tone physiques while eyes gander at affixed screens or motion-powered zoetropes of a pumping heart. Strength-training machines from Cybex and Life Fitness challenge muscles alongside a catalog of free weights. During group fitness classes, yoga instructors demonstrate poses and breathing for an enhanced sense of balance, and kickboxing strikes or Zumba moves keep feet from staging revolts against hand favoritism. Following workouts, exercisers can lounge in the toasty air of onsite saunas or the spray of locker-room showers.
Life Bridge Health & Fitness partners with Parisi Speed School to form a fitness duo that produces top performing athletes. Hosted inside of the center, the school focuses on training young athletes in nutrition education and bolstering their agility and endurance. Parisi uses traditional speed and strength training methods that have cultivated more than 190 NFL draft picks to increase muscle stamina and teach students how to avoid injuries.
With collective experience in physical therapy, athletic training, exercise physiology, and sports performance, the certified staff trainers at Life Bridge Health & Fitness can address the individual fitness needs of just about any client. They conduct their programs inside a nearly 70,000-square foot facility. The center caters to a range of fitness needs with amenities such as metabolic rate-test machines, massage studios, an indoor swimming pool, and a 30-foot rock-climbing wall with three auto-belay systems. Their connection to LifeBridge Regional Health means they have a team of hospital-worthy medical personnel inside the building at all times, should any injuries occur.
Inside the fitness center, instructors also conduct one-on-one and small group personal training sessions designed to help clients with aspirations such as losing weight, improving flexibility, and outrunning a smug neighborhood squirrel. Coaches also helm group exercise classes in yoga, Pilates, cardio-building aquatics, cycling, TRX, and barre fitness. Inside the private massage rooms, licensed therapists knead away pain and stress using 10 modalities such as neuromuscular therapy, deep-tissue, Thai, and muscle energy technique.
After navigating through the plethora of weightlifting and cardio equipment, guests at 40,000-square-foot Meadow Mill Athletic Club stand before a glass wall protecting them from the ricocheting squash balls speeding back and forth on 16 courts. Meadow Mill’s team of squash instructors leads personal sessions and group clinics on the indoor racket sport for youths and adults, and more seasoned players compete in tournaments often held at the facility.
Just beyond the workout floor and racket courts lie separate fitness studios, in which guests tone their bodies in yoga, Pilates, and 17 spin classes per week, led by certified trainers, who also tailor fitness programs to meet clients' needs in one-on-one sessions. Youth and toddler programs introduce kids as young as 18 months old to fitness with playful movements in Mini Movers, basic skills in Ballet, and fitness-focused games in Toddlercise, such as Pin the Javelin on the Donkey. Furthering demonstrating a dedication to health and wellness, an onsite therapist treats overworked muscles with acupuncture, stretch, and massage treatments.
Ojas customizes its Body in Bliss massage session to the needs of each individual client in order to drain the body's tree trunk of its stress sap. The massage technician will start by speaking with you about your aches, pains, and anxiety dreams and will then use that knowledge to set his or her hand phasers to "relax." From there, simply lie still and bliss out as your tensions are massaged, stroked, kneaded, and occasionally garotted away. Body in Bliss incorporates a serenity-enhancing blend of essential oils that massage the nose as much as the body and uses warm stones to stimulate circulation and draw deep-set tension out of the body's muscles, joints, and field of glandmines. You'll leave Ojas's premises with your muscular fibers singing as harmoniously as a barbershop quartet, instead of screeching like the lead singer in a Norwegian death-metal barbershop quartet.
After earning her Bikram yoga instructor certification from the practice's founder in 1999, Bikram Choudhury, studio director Sarah Ittmann traveled the world teaching the 26-posture practice throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Ireland. Now settled in Baltimore, Sarah, her husband Henri, and their team of certified Bikram teachers host daily classes in a 2,000-square-foot space.
Since the hot temperatures—which hover around the 100-degree mark—incite healthy sweating and detoxification, staffers regularly steam-wash the antimicrobial, nonslip floor to keep the studio as clean as Mr. Bubble's standup routine. They also provide men's and women's locker rooms equipped with showers, toiletries, and hair-dryers.