Gyms offer circus spins, lovelorn lunges

Mon Jan 3, 2011 9:44am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - How can you mend a broken heart? Try a squat.

Vying for new memberships in 2011, fitness centers, gyms and studios are offering everything from circus stunts to breakup advice.

"January is our sweet spot. This time of year you give people a lot of variations," said Donna Cyrus, senior vice president of programing for Crunch fitness. "We want to keep people working out and trying new things,"

Buoyed by New Year resolutions and dreams of fresh starts, new gym memberships can spike over 12 percent in January, according to IHRSA (International Heath Racquet and Sportsclub Association), the fitness industry's global trade association.

Cyrus said her membership base of 20 to 40-year-olds favors short, intense workouts, often with a performance base or sexy edge.

So at Crunch you can swing, Cirque-du-Soleil-like, from circus silks hung from the ceiling, or get a 16-hour certification in pole dancing. The rebounding class is re-dubbed Bar Hoppin'.

It's just positioning the best practices: cardio, strength, resistance training, in a different menu," Cyrus said.

If Crunch can seem like a singles' party, Gold's Gym addresses those for whom the party's over.   Continued...

<p>Women take part in an aerobics class at a gym in Tokyo September 4, 2007. REUTERS/Toru Hanai</p>