Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Anytime Fitness attracts devout customers for its amenities alone: 24-hour access to its 1,700 locations across the country, 24-hour security, private showers and bathrooms, massage services, wellness programs, and personal training, to name a few. The gym’s top-of-the-line equipment from Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, and Intek Strength ranges from cardio machines—treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes—to strength equipment—free weights, weight machines, and circuit-training tools.
Evolve owner John Cook and each of his trainers make it a personal mission to practice what the gym preaches: honing the fundamentals of physical prowess. Each coach is either a current or former elite athlete in addition to an exercise professional, a fact that enhances their ability to inspire clients. In John's case, a competitive history in wrestling, powerlifting, and mixed martial arts combines with positive mantras to motivate his students.
Since its 1996 founding, Evolve has embraced functional workouts rather than monotonous jogs aboard the treadmill or races with a slinky down the same flight of stairs. Strength and conditioning classes include drills for agility, core work, stability, and endurance, and MMA and wrestling programs showcase tried-and-true grappling techniques. Though sports-performance sessions might focus on specific athletic skills, most other classes remain accessible to anyone hoping to amp up their training. Routines mix up their maneuvers daily to keep muscles on their toes, and a charged atmosphere of support eliminates the need for kettlebells that say "I wuv you!" when squeezed.
Anita Artzner helps people build leaner bodies with Pilates lessons. She infuses her experience dancing with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company and the Canton Ballet into intense lessons and draws from certifications in a variety of exercise techniques, including Resist-A-Ball, dance medicine, and Core Dynamics. In addition to her regular Pilates classes, Anita offers a free, 20-minute Watercooler Pilates workout that people can incorporate into their daily routines at work, on the train, or while squeezing tomatoes in the grocery store.
The Yoga Place’s founder, Michael Curtis, considers himself an eternal student, always learning more of what yoga has to offer. Somewhat paradoxically, this is what makes him such a good instructor, since it means he’s ready to go back to any point in his yogic journey to help a fellow student. He characterizes his pursuit of yoga in three foundational descriptions: skillfulness in action, equilibrium, and clarity of mind. He imparts these principles six days a week in classes for all levels of practitioners.
Michael’s pursuit of fitness doesn’t end with yoga, however. He also has teachers on staff who conduct belly-dancing and tai chi classes, both of which are excellent ways to enhance the mind-body connection without growing an extra spinal cord.
Long Island native Rocco Cona has had a tennis racket in his hand since the age of 11. His unyielding infatuation with the sport motivated him to go pro, win the Kidel Cup in 1983 as part of a doubles team, and found Springside Racquet & Fitness Club in 1988. Within the family-friendly facility, Cona leads a team of certified trainers and accomplished sports instructors as it whips athletes of all ages into shape with tennis, soccer, and swimming lessons. When the gang isn't busy perfecting backhand slices, bicycle kicks, and breaststrokes, it's hosting body-toning fitness and aerobics classes, such as kickboxing, spinning, and granite-statue-wrestling. They also offer custom personal-training sessions, in which they pump up heart rates with Cybex resistance equipment, Bodymaster free weights, and elliptical cross-trainers.
Springside's facility houses a cushioned indoor track as well as tennis and parquet courts, an NBA-size basketball court, and soccer fields that are available for recreational use. The community center's staff includes trained professionals certified in CPR and well versed in tantrum mediation techniques for when they watch over youngsters in the playroom.