Best Gym - 2005
The Zoo Health Club
Eduardo, the short aerobics instructor who is trying to kill you, looks at you with zero sympathy as you lift the medicine ball above your chest, looking not unlike a dying cockroach. "Get stronger!" he says. And you do. Tough and unsmiling as Eduardo is, you still manage to feel very happy, very healthy, and very buff by the end of his Circuit Sculpt class, during which you'll race from station to station lifting weights, doing squats, and performing a sick amount of lunges. The other instructors -- like kickboxing coach/Japanese drummer Roy or cute little bendy thing Tara -- also make exercise a good time at the Zoo. It's not a big place, but what it lacks in space it makes up for in homey quirks. The bottom floor of this Fort Lauderdale beachside institution fits only the check-in desk and a smoothie bar. The second floor has just one aerobics room and a modest assortment of free weights, exercise bikes, and machines. But the roof is like a ghetto penthouse. Sure, the free weights are a little rusty from the weather, but here, you can join a cycling class, get a tan, watch kiteboarders, take in the sunset (or sunrise), and feel superior to all the fatsos down below. Membership (about $45 a month) includes a parking pass.