At FC CrossFit, pain has a name. Each of their daily workouts boasts a different name as well as a unique and invigorating blend of power lifts, body weight exercises, and gymnastic moves. For instance, Mary forces trainees to execute five handstand pushups, 10 one-legged squats, and 15 pull-ups. During early-morning or post-work sessions, trainers help students perfect their form as they lift kettlebells and perform handstands designed to strengthen their muscles and empty their pockets of spare change.
North Shore founder Marc Meltzer grew up training in many martial-arts practices, but by the early 1990s, he became singularly devoted to muay thai. He fought in one of the first public muay thai matches in the Massachusetts area, and went on to study with champion fighters and teachers of various muay thai techniques.
Today, at his own academy, Marc specializes in two different martial arts: muay thai and thai sword fighting. His competitive muay thai sequence helps students rise through the ranks, beginning with a mandatory introductory class, and progressing with conditioning, midlevel striking with pads, and advanced sparring classes. The thai sword fighting courses are rooted in self-defense practices, as with kali, close-quarters combat techniques that teach students how to use their environment to fend off attackers. Krabi-kabong primarily uses swords and staffs, and muay boran is an ancient practice that focuses on empty-hand striking, kicks, holds, and throws.
Despite many obvious differences, new yogis and fighter pilots share a common fear: turning upside-down for the first time. At Yoga Sakti, however, instructors have installed a yoga wall that acts as a fail-safe for students who want to practice their inversions. A system of straps and props support pupils as they attempt advanced postures or strive to overcome physical difficulties, such as back problems. An aid for beginners and experts alike, the wall also acts as a symbol of the large studio's welcoming, encouraging atmosphere.
When they aren't manning the wall, yoga instructors lead classes in a wide variety of styles, from heated Vinyasa sequences to mellow gentle-stretch sessions or even mellower Nap in Your Parked Car seminars. Variety is a major theme running through the gym's curriculum: TRX routines bookend spin classes and ballet-barre workouts or combine with kettlebell swings to form one of several combo classes. For a more meditative visit, guests can explore the onsite wellness center, where massage, acupuncture, and hypnosis therapy aim to calm the mind.
At Studio 13, Pilates isn’t confined to the mat. Its stretching, core-strengthening moves enliven Reformer apparatuses, infuse yoga classes, and add an unexpected dimension to the ballet barre. In fact Pilates has seeped its way into the majority of the studio's more than 100 weekly classes. But that doesn't mean this fitness haven is single minded. Pilates-free fitness styles such as Zumba—where upbeat music fuels energetic dance—or spinning—where imagined lions fuel heated bicycle pedaling—also carve bodies into shape. P90X classes incorporate intense, varied workouts designed to work every area of the body, which is why they're a favorite among elite athletes and gymnasts. Seven styles of barre fitness classes incorporate the toning, sculpting techniques of ballet, sometimes with a blend of Pilates or TRX for good measure. Whatever the workout, students can rest assured that the class they attend will be taught by an instructor certified in that particular fitness style. Studio 13's spacious personal-training area, meanwhile, allows for more personalized workouts, as does the gym’s arsenal of cardio and strength equipment.
In Sanskrit, the word “Sangha” is associated with a community whose members seek to enrich their own lives and improve the world around them through a positive practice. The community at Danvers Yoga Sangha utilizes yoga, meditation methods, and spiritual awareness to achieve that goal. The team of professional yogis at the studio seeks to create a supportive environment during each class, so clients can nurture their health, healing, creative living, and spiritual awakening. The instructors work to guide students during series of stretches that are designed to restore health, promote healing, reduce stress, and make inner peace attainable without eating the liner notes from a John Lennon record.