Family Fitness and FitZone for Women Centers are spread across eight locations, but they share a common goal: to help guests find their ideal physique. They accomplish this mission by filling their 15,000- to 25,000-square-foot facilities with ellipticals, arc trainers, and treadmills that engage cardios, cores, and limbs alongside group training classes led by certified personal and group fitness instructors. Visitors can also keep tabs on their progress with the centers’ fitness monitoring program and body mass testing.
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.
According to trainer Emeka Umeh at Fit Body Bootcamp, people don't have to choose between spending hours at the gym and sitting on the couch. His group workout classes spur participants into action, helping them burn calories and lose weight in an atmosphere free from judgment and intimidation. While classes may not require bulging muscles or the endurance to withstand a drill sergeant's bad breath, accountability is still the name of the game. The group setting motivates students to push themselves and each other—not only through individual exercises but toward a long-term commitment to better health.
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.
If the weight loss of the company's owner and a trainer—75 pounds and 100 pounds, respectively—is any indication, Grand Rapids Boot Camp and Fitness means business. The outdoor classes are tailored for all fitness levels, so beginners and seasoned athletes will both feel the burn as the perform weight exercises, resistance workouts, and functional movements.
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.