Vanity: Spring Training
If the swimsuit pinches, you must lose inches. Three new local fitness centers help you prep for the beach.
Knockout Boxing and Fitness
At Knockout—billed as “a unique boxing club for women”—each intimate 75-minute Thai kickboxing session combines cardio and strength training; you’re always moving, from the warm-up that includes weights and squats, to throwing your weight around at the punching bags, and on into the
The first time: Pay, sign your release, and start throwing punches.
The follow-up: Go as often as you like. (If we lived closer, we’d be there a few times a week.)
Pros: Trainer Josh Amaro is patient and motivating … and, sigh, looks like Gael García Bernal. The workout was actually fun—and our sore muscles the next day confirmed that it worked.
Best for: Women who are bored with their workout, and those who like a cool but attitude-free NYC/L.A. loft vibe.
The verdict: An ass-and-abs-shaping bonanza.
658 Lancaster Avenue, Berwyn, 610-644-6880; knock-outfitness.com.
Optimal Wellness’s Polar BodyAge Fitness Assessment
It’s the sort of thing you expect the folks at NASA to go through. Using something called the Polar BodyAge System (um, a computer), the evaluation produces an insanely detailed fitness profile that’s used to help you meet specific goals: losing weight, gaining muscle, etc.
The first time: An Optimal trainer takes you through a series of questions and has you perform tests to gauge strength, body fat, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness—then prints out a personalized 20-page dossier explaining how to meet your goals.
The follow-up: Sign up to work with an Optimal Wellness personal trainer, or take their suggestions to your own gym.
Pros: Idiot-proof. The question isn’t whether the plan works—it’s if you’ll get your butt off the couch to follow it.
Cons: No more blaming your trainer, your boss, the dog, the weather, cheesesteaks …
Best for: Anybody who could stand to get more fit—i.e., everybody besides, say, Lance Armstrong.
The verdict: Hasselhoff who?
201 South Camac Street, 215-639-9960; optimalwellnessonline.com.
Body IQ Lifestyle Center
Think of it as a personalized training smorgasbord, mixing cardio, Pilates, stretching and body rolling, a woo-wooy-sounding deep massage that mysteriously re-energerizes you.
The first time: You’ll fill out a health history, then meet with specialists who evaluate your strength, flexibility, conditioning and body fat.
The follow-up: With that info, Body IQ produces a custom-tailored program of 90-minute sessions.
Pros: The one-on-one workouts with Body IQ specialists force you to push harder; the variety keeps you from getting bored.
Cons: The focus on yoga-like exercises and breathing may turn off those who think a workout means Rocky-like runs.
Best for: Athletes and anyone with a history of injuries … or workout ADD.
The verdict: Go four to five times a week for four weeks, and you’ll have more toned muscles, super-strong abs, and the guts to face the three-way dressing-room mirror.
Medical Tower Building, 255 South 17th Street, 4th floor, 215-567-4969; bodyiq.net.