Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's Gym members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
To help women achieve their fitness goals, the certified personal trainers at Get In Shape For Women focus on four areas: weight training, cardio training, nutrition, and accountability. In small group sessions, trainers modify exercises to suit up to four ladies' fitness levels, beginning by calibrating strength-training sessions—such as free weights, lunges, and squats—to each client's abilities while still ensuring they are challenging themselves. Then comes high-intensity cardio interval-training sessions in which trainers encourage exercisers to achieve optimal results on the treadmill or elliptical.
The trainers supplement the group workouts with nutritional planning centered around the concept of eating six small, balanced meals six days a week. They set aside the seventh day as a "free day" for a bit of indulgence, be it eating a favorite sweet or lusting openly after bacon. To hold their women accountable, trainers talk nutrition on the floor during scheduled appointments, and the ladies' progress toward reaching their goals is measured by trainers each week.
Prior to opening CrossFit No Exceptions, Aaron Taylor served four years in the Air Force,
then went on to receive a degree from the FLETA Federal Police Academy. Suffice it to say he knows a physically demanding challenge when he sees one. CrossFit's workout of the day is exactly that?an intense series of functional exercises?such as burpess, cleans, and squats?that changes daily to keep trainees on their toes. Despite the challeging routines, the exercises can be tailored so they
can be performed by nearly anyone, and Taylor and his team also lead introductory OnRamp classes seven days a week to acquaint newbies with the CrossFit fundamentals.
The YMCA keeps residents healthy and engaged in more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country, but it traces its American origins to the streets of 19th-century Boston. Here, Thomas Valentine Sullivan carried on the mission started in London by George Williams: providing affordable recreation and residence to young men from cities and country towns alike. Over the last century and change, the organization's mission changed to keep pace with the evolving times; today, the YMCA of Greater Boston welcomes anyone interested in furthering the causes of "youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility."
This modern mission combines the Y's signature programming with new initiatives designed to keep citizens one step ahead of an ever-changing world. Members stay fit and active with everything from organized sports and fitness classes to lifeguard, CPR, and first aid lessons. But the Y's developmental programs go far beyond bodily strength; their enrichment and leadership courses equip youths with the confidence needed to take charge in their everyday lives, and ESL classes help newcomers to English embark on the next step of their linguistic lives.
Equipment: Benches, weights, bands, equalizers, steps, ropes
Students Should Bring: mats, water, towels
Average Class Length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 5–10 people
Class Location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration Required: No
Good for Beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Josette Puig, co-owner of GetJosette Fitness Studio, admits that hitting the gym for an hour is not what makes a difference when it comes to losing weight—it's really what you eat, when you eat, and how often you eat. That's why her fitness studio's members get access to nutrition education, including nutrition plans, clean-eating recipes, and simple rules to follow, including picking out two days a week when you get to make yourself a dessert or sneak a bite from your co-worker's ice cream cone. Josette believes that healthy food is the key to burning fat, building muscle, enhancing energy, and improving sleep.
Once patrons properly fuel their bodies, they can blast calories in fitness classes such as Insanity, which relies on long bursts of maximum-intensity exercises and short periods of rest to chisel bodies, and Body Barre classes, which use ballet barre moves and heart-pumping music to sculpt muscles.
Koko FitClub’s automated personal-training system rockets both men and women toward fitness goals with 30-minute custom workouts that incorporate cardio and strength training. An initial consultation determines fitness level and baseline measurements, which Koko’s computerized equipment uses to design a tailored workout plan that precisely measures the weight, pace, and rest time appropriate for each exerciser.
The patented Smartraining machines guide exercisers through each workout and adapt as the user’s fitness needs change, to constantly challenge the body. Exercisers can track their results and body composition measurements online and even compare individual fitness levels to others in the Koko FitClub community.