Bally enshrines exercise classes, calorie-burning equipment, and a fitness-focused staff within its sanctuaries of health. A 30-day membership includes access to a spread of group exercise classes, including Pilates, Reaction Cycling, and Step Fitness (class offerings vary by location). For self-guided worker-outers, cardio equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, cross-trainers, and stair climbers torch calories while entertaining the brain with video entertainment and integrated music systems that occasionally whisper quotes from Charles Atlas. Bally also boasts an array of strength machines, free weights, and small-apparatus equipment, and grants gym-goers access to on-site locker rooms, showers, and, at some locations, a pool and steam room. Visit each location's webpage for a list of specific amenities and the lineup of classes.
Brooklyn Sports Club's mission isn't just about getting people fit—it's also about getting them to have a good time. The club emphasizes the communal aspect of working out with plenty of group activities and family-friendly programs for all ages. Children as young as six months can participate in swim classes in the competition-size lap pool, and there are several martial-arts programs for older kids.
Adult members can take advantage of any of BSC's facilities, including a boxing studio and a group fitness studio that hosts everything from Zumba to Hatha yoga. There's plenty of space for solo workouts on the fitness floor, including a 14,000-square-foot section with weights and a 5,000-square-foot area with computerized ellipticals and stair climbers. Here, certified personal trainers teach clients how to lift effectively and properly unwrap a protein bar. To help members further enjoy their time at the gym, there's a massage spa and a sun deck that occasionally hosts live music.
Since Joe Gold opened the first location in 1965 in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 700 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members—which include professional athletes and celebrities such as Tiger Woods, Faith Hill, and Jessica Alba—chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers in cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, bolster flexibility during yoga, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Sensei Anthony Diaz and the staff at Ridgewood Martial Arts have been teaching kids, teens, and adults how to defend themselves since 1997, the year danger was invented. Although their specialty is shotokan kickboxing, they also offer boxing and general martial-arts lessons. Each lesson is a workout in itself, but for an exclusively fitness-minded session the team also schedules calorie-scorching circuit-training classes.
Chef Onique Oliver is no stranger to high-profile clientele. She catered a meal for Mariah Carey’s wedding party in the ’90s (Michael Jackson was in attendance), prepared a meal for the 50th anniversary of a prominent New York senator, and once held the post of Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce’s signature caterer. But at Shepsmeri's Kitchen, her clientele consists solely of students. Through private and public cooking classes, she introduces her pupils to seasonally inspired dishes packed with local ingredients. The classes welcome both master chefs and first-time cooks.
When it comes to music, Nick LeClair Throop does a bit of everything. He sings and plays multiple instruments: guitar, piano, bass, and banjo. He moves between funk, soul, pop, and other styles with the ease of a record shop employee on rollerblades. The versatile musician also holds a bachelor's in music performance from Ithaca College. He shares all of this expertise with music students during onsite or on-location lessons.