A health club, also called fitness studio, exercise center or fitness center, is a place which houses exercise equipment for the purpose of physical exercise. There exist specific health clubs that specialize in catering for female exercisers and do not allow any male patrons on the premises. These type of health clubs are often termed ladies-only health clubs. In order to cater for these types of exercisers, many unisex health clubs offer a ladies-only workout area or room, inside which no male patrons are allowed. Health clubs offer a collective and often entertaining and informal form of working out and/or bodybuilding beyond the structure of the classic gym.
Most health clubs have a main workout area, which primarily consists of free-weights and exercise machines. This area often includes mirrors so that exercisers can check and maintain correct posture during their workout.
Cardio theatre or cardio area includes many types of cardiovascular training-related equipment is located. This equipment usually consists of rowing machines, stationary exercise bikes, elliptical trainers and treadmills. These areas often include a number of audio-visual displays (either integrated into the equipment, or placed on walls around the area itself) in order to keep exercisers entertained during long cardio workout sessions.
Most newer health clubs offer group exercise classes that are run throughout the week by qualified fitness instructors. Many types of group exercise classes exist, but generally these include classes based on aerobics, cycling (spin cycle), boxing, high intensity, yoga, pilates and muscle training. Health clubs with swimming pools often offer aqua aerobics classes.
Most health clubs employ personal trainers, to which members have access to for training/fitness/nutrition/health advice and knowledge. Personal Trainers can help write a customised fitness routine, sometimes including a nutrition plan, to help members achieve their goals. They can also monitor and train with members. More often than not, access to personal trainers involves an additional hourly fee.
Newer health clubs generally include health-shops, snack bars, restaurants, child-care facilities, member lounges and cafes. It is not unusual for a sauna, steam shower, or wellness areas to be present. Health clubs generally charge a fee to allow visitors to use the equipment, courses, and other provided services.