Perched on the second floor of a bustling Magazine Street shopping complex, with a compact floor plan of 4,800 square feet and windows that provide a view of a verdant oak tree, Salvation Studio (2917 Magazine St., 896-2200; www.salvationstudio.com) is more akin to a boutique hotel than a vast gym megaplex.
"I know every member by name," says owner Rusty Roussel, who leads exercise classes and has worked as a personal trainer for more than 15 years. "Because we aren't the biggest place, we make a commitment to having the best classes, instructors and equipment."
The studio features MATRIX strength-training equipment, a cardio-training area and an extensive roster of classes including yoga, spinning, Body Pump and Body Combat. In these classes, Salvation Studio instructors harness the motivating energy that comes from sweating en masse.
"Other people keep you focused," Roussel says. "Having people by your side is a huge deal, and that's how we created a family around here."
For those who prefer an individualized approach to fitness, Salvation Studio employs trainers who cumulatively boast decades in the fitness industry and several Ironman triathlons completed.
Roussel and other trainers also handpick lines of workout wear to feature in the neighboring shop, Salvation Body Fitness Yoga & Activewear.
"We've selected the stuff we know works," says co-owner and trainer Toria Richard. "It's very technical clothing for people who like to sweat."