Most children revel in playing video games, but it's often characterized as the antithesis of getting fit, what with all the endless hours of sitting idly and guzzling soft drinks. However, Fit Fusion Interactive's innovative instructors have managed to seamlessly integrate the two into their high-intensity martial-arts training program. To add an element of excitement and fun into getting fit and learning self-defense techniques, they utilize video-gaming fitness equipment. The stationary game bikes challenge cyclers with simulated on-screen hills, and the video game Dance Dance Revolution motivates dancers to work up a sweat to thumping tunes as they face off against imaginary opponents, who hail from the rival dance crew that served you at the soda-pop fountain last April.
To help their adult clients reach their fitness goals, these instructors also lead fitness classes such as karate classes and Fusion, which blends techniques from kickboxing, Pilates, and boot-camp classes. During Fitness Arcade sessions, students can take a break from all the fit-getting and compete against players from all over the world in the latest video games.
When players achieve a new level of fitness, they earn a colored bracelet to signify that they're moving up in Fit Fusion Interactive's ranking system. It is similar to the belt system in traditional martial-arts classes but made up of 15 levels, and students advance by acing physical challenges, passing tests of health knowledge, and slaying hydras with well-timed kickboxing moves. In addition to the classes and signature training program, kids and adults flock to the center for services such as personal training, parties, and special events.
There are no TVs to gaze off into. No chairs to doze off into. No mirrors for flexing or preening into. No crying home to Mama. Comfort doesn't concern the trainers at Hammer Human Performance & Sport. The trainers thrive on pushing people past their limits, not coddling lackadaisical fair-weather exercisers. Passion, desire, and willpower drive their clientele, who endure an intense, scientifically based training formula. Fused with strength and conditioning, the goal of the formula is functional fitness, not just looking buff in a tank top. It's hard, but it's rewarding and inspiring as average Joes and Janes train like professional athletes and master the balance of speed, power, and strength.
What was once Lil's Dancing School has now transformed into The Studio Dance & Pilates, thanks to a longtime Lil's teacher, June Coppola. Her lifelong journey with dance began at age 4, and after 23 years of teaching at Lil's, she got the chance to take it over and realize her dream of owning her own studio. Now, a multitude of experienced teachers, including a core group that has danced together for more than 25 years, lead classes in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary dance for dancers of all ages. Coppola has also incorporated Pilates, yoga, and Zumba into the class offerings, giving her clients a chance to both hone their dance skills and tone their bodies.
When Roald Dahl wrote Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he imagined a much-coveted golden ticket that granted access to myriad wonders and unveiled the inner workings of an entire industry. MetaBody created a real-life version of that ticket with the MetaBody Yoga & Fitness Pass, though it applies to fitness instead of candy. The pass grants access not to a single gym but to classes at a variety of local studios, specializing in everything from yoga to boot camp. With the freedom to move from location to location, students can sample different regimens, instructors, and styles of exercise to cobble together a program that fits their needs and goals. MetaBody's nutritionists supplement class packages by coaching clients in healthy eating, recipe cooking, and speed-reading nutrition-fact labels.
In 1987, Evelyn Knapp and Carol Kur founded Personal Training Institute. Since then, their creation has expanded to 13 locations, thanks to a well-executed specialty: custom fitness and nutrition programs. The institute's one-on-one training regimens start with an evaluation, which covers everything from a medical history to a body fat analysis. Based on the results and clients' goals, trainers craft workouts that blend strength training and cardio, state-of-the-art fitness equipment, and motivational techniques, such as convincing clients that they can run all the way to Hawaii. The comprehensive regimens feature nutritional guidance, too, which helps clients to boost their overall health along with their fitness levels.
New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.