Slim and full of energy, Kathy Bartnick's present-day physique betrays no hint of her lifelong struggle with weight. Five years ago, she shed her excess pounds through exercise and proper nutrition, and today she works to teach others the same determination. She heads up a team of expert coaches, who lead students at all levels of fitness through energetic group workouts. They also give clients meal plans and nutritional tips, teaching them how to whip up a wholesome snack and differentiate between a healthy vegetable and a fire hydrant dressed in a carrot costume. In lively cycling classes, clients peddle away on advanced Star Trac bikes as upbeat music plays and a glimmering light show takes place before their eyes.
Novice calorie burners and ripped Michelangelo models alike can take advantage of Anytime Fitness’s membership, which equips bodies with enough treadmills, cycles, elliptical machines, and weights to make them fit enough to run a marathon inside of a swimming pool filled with mud. A free personal-fitness orientation, offered to each new member, helps determine an optimal fat-frying program and teaches muscle-pumping principles of safe, effective exercise. This deal also includes a month of unlimited tanning ($20/month) to paint new, ripply physiques a brilliant shade of bronze.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
At Franks Knockout Fitness, former professional boxer Frank Perez trains his students like prize fighters. That means plenty of punching-bag work, jump-rope work, interval-training circuits, and Rocky quotes. The result is a full-body workout that improves cardio fitness, tones muscle, and teaches self-defense techniques. You don't have to be a pro fighter to sign up for a class, though. Perez welcomes all experience and fitness levels.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable visitors to fortify their physical well-being with a cornucopia of advanced fitness equipment and certified personal trainers. With 24-hour access, members don't have to let The Man or one of his many secretaries tell them when to help themselves to Snap's strength-training gear or top-of-the-line cardio machines, which feature televisions and other media diversions. A friendly, unintimidating atmosphere provides a refreshing change of pace from aloof gym employees and ear-splitting pump-up jams. Members also enjoy nationwide access to all Snap Fitness locations, ideal for working out while traveling.
• Orientation of the facilities and equipment • Unlimited access to tennis courts and fitness center (a $75 value) • No court fees (a $12–$20 value/hour) • Unlimited group fitness classes • 45-minute nutrition consultation with a dietitian (a $45 value) or a 60-minute tennis lesson (a $60 value) • The initiation fee (a $75 value) will be waived if the Groupon customer joins the gym after the 30-day membership expires.