The trainers at Precision Fitness believe that achieving wellbeing is a deeply individual process. For this reason, they work only with small groups of students, avoiding the intimidating bustle that’s common at most gyms and instead facilitating focused, nonjudgmental sessions. The intimate setting allows them to create exercise regimens for patrons of all walks of life, from those with little gym experience to seasoned athletes or brides-to-be. Their programs typically involve a mix of cardiovascular and weight training, as well as nutrition tips for healthier long-term diets that don't just advise patrons to eat two apples a day. Though they embrace a private atmosphere during lessons, group activities outside of the gym, such as bowling outings and dinner parties, encourage a sense of community among their clients.
You won't find any treadmills or weight machines inside Primitive CrossFit. Instead, owner Matt Charney fills his gym with barbells, kettlebells, pull-up bars, plyometric boxes, gymnastics rings, giant tires, and ropes that dangle from the ceiling. Reading that list may be exhausting, but it's nothing compared to the workouts themselves, which are extremely welcoming to beginners. CrossFit is known for its intensity, and Primitive lives up to this reputation with a series of high-energy workouts that change every day to keep muscles guessing. With its focus on functionality, CrossFit can help individuals achieve goals that range from running a 5K to cartwheeling a marathon.
At Anaheim CrossFit West, owner Stephanie Amato and her team of experienced coaches lead small groups through the ever-changing and intense workout of the day in their recently expanded studio. The workouts?which are designed for all fitness levels, including Little Mario, Bigger Mario, and Fire Mario?require exercisers to complete a daily sequence of functional exercises such as squatting, deadlifting, rowing, and jumping with purpose. To help replenish exercisers' bodies following the grueling sessions, Stephanie, whose nickname is Primal Mama and whose background includes nutrition counseling, posts protein-packed recipes on her blog.
Shawn Crawford has been climbing for more than 40 years, working with wilderness search and rescue at age 13 and later serving as a park ranger. Today, he’s the owner and head instructor at Rock City Climbing, where he puts his American Mountaineering and Guiding Association certification to use as he teaches climbers of all experience levels techniques of top-rope climbing, belaying, rappelling, and bouldering.
Inside a gym equipped with more than 10,000 feet of climbing walls, as well as top-rope and bouldering areas, students learn basic and advanced climbing techniques in a range of classes. As they climb, instructors introduce techniques such as hand and foot placement and what to do if gravity starts working in reverse. Visitors can leave the main floor to explore a tunnel maze behind the climbing walls, filled with trap doors, narrow passageways, and drops of up to 11 feet.
When not overseeing his gym, Shawn leads outdoor climbing excursions to challenging locales such as Joshua Tree, Riverside Quarry, and the Statue of Liberty. He also oversees a nearby ropes course, where staffers help groups and individuals navigate two ziplines, as well as more than 20 aerial challenges at heights of up to 60 feet.
Pure Barre program founder Carrie Rezabek Dorr continuously tweaks her dance-inspired workout regimen, relying on the traditional ballet accouterment to support body-lengthening moves. Dorr started her first class in the basement of an office building in 2001 without so much as a mirror to call her own, but in the intervening years, she managed to grow her workout into a national franchise. Her method involves a ballet barre, which practitioners grasp as they perform isometric movements of discreet muscle groups. Such movements isolate the buttocks, thighs, and core to build strength and burn calories. Though results vary on an individual basis, some students report seeing the beginning developments of long, lean ballet muscle after just 10 classes, which, incidentally, is the same number of eggs one must break to improve at the art of omelet making.