Named for both the Thai word for go and a small, peaceful town in Thailand, PAI Yoga & Fitness strives to combine two conflicting notions—energy and tranquility. Motion and stillness unite in PAI’s roster of classes, which range from yoga's fluid postures to challenging, heart-pumping TRX routines. At two locations, the instructors lead classes within appropriately matched settings, with yoga classes taking place in a sunlight-drenched room with gleaming wood floors and fitness classes occurring in a black-floored studio populated by feral megaphones.
Gretchen Dusseau and Keri Crost faced a challenging paradox: how could those with little time achieve the level of fitness their body needs?This is when they founded their own fitness philosophy, launching System of Strength.
At SOS, Gretchen and Keri's team take participants through a five-part training system that covers metabolic, eccentric, strength, and isometric training, with a healthy smattering of stretching and diet tossed into the bargain. This approach guides each of SOS’s classes, creating dynamic workouts that incorporate exercises such as plyometrics, yoga poses, and Pilates combinations that can be adjusted for every fitness level.
Gretchen and Keri empathize with their clients, understanding how easily mental obstacles and everyday distractions can get in the way of a fitness regimen, what with family obligations and smart phones that need to be fed every hour. To help clients soldier through these challenges, they pepper SOS’s site with motivational quotes and posts success stories as sources of inspiration.
Though its name may conjure fantasies about sprinting down crowded streets or bench-pressing buses stalled in traffic, Urban Active Fitness grants its members abundant space in which to spread out and follow their workout proclivities. At dozens of locations across the Midwest and South, members can sculpt their bodies in whichever manner they choose—from personal training with resistance machines and free weights to group classes in cycling, Zumba, and Pilates. A number of group classes draw on the gym’s urban theme for inspiration. Urban Iron, for example, focuses on building muscles that resemble the cast-iron beams of skyscrapers, and Urban Yoga closely imitates the poses necessary to squeeze onto a subway train at rush hour.
With its clay-tile roof and stories of columned arcades overlooking a grassy field and bubbling waterfall, Vita Fitness Corazón resembles a Roman villa more than a traditional gym. Guests strengthen their heart on high-tech Cybex cardio machines, or tone muscles in yoga, Zumba, and spin classes led by qualified personal trainers. Members glide through a lap in the outdoor pool, or perfect their backswing on the campus's six tennis courts. Even the locker rooms surround guests with an air of luxury, with lavish hardwood wardrobes, full towel service, and a secluded spa attached to each facility.
At Shape 4 Life, experienced fitness instructors who achieved their own weight loss transformations now help clients shape up in similarly dramatic fashion. 50-minute Spin & Tone sessions use exercise bikes to incinerate fat, and BodyBlast boot camps provide customized training that can be geared toward exercisers of any age or fitness level.