The recently opened Life Time Fitness center is 200,000 square feet (four to 20 times bigger than most fitness facilities) of workout options, pampering and relaxation and poolside bistro-ing that's challenging the notion of workouts as quick in-and-out sweat-fests. Although members ($59.95 a month for singles; $139.85 for families; additional for tennis) can and do sometimes dash in for just an hour of spinning or lifting, "people may spend several hours, creating their own resort experience, especially on weekends," says general manager Jesse Brandyberry.

This one-stop-for-all-things approach is not commonplace among the nation's health clubs, but many experts predict it's likely to grow over time. Meanwhile, increasingly bigger facilities with enhanced amenities and a huge smorgasbord of workout options are blossoming everywhere, even as a counter-trend — reduced-size mini gyms in strip malls and other locales continues to surge ahead.

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