Fitness guru and founder of Burbank Athletic Club Greg Bedrossian knows what it means to beat the odds. Born with a hole in his heart, he was advised throughout his life to avoid strenuous exercise. But instead of giving up, Greg dug into deep personal reserves of will and became a personal trainer, eventually opening Burbank Athletic Club.
Today, his CPR- and AED-certified trainers have picked up on his knack for bypassing perceived physical limitations. Through their fitness classes and training programs, the staff strives to help their students embody the same grit and determination in shaping their own bodies. The high-intensity classes—including cardio kickboxing and a boxing-Pilates fusion known as Piloxing—ramp up the difficulty as time goes on. Vinyasa, flow, and other forms of yoga are available as well, led by experienced yogis. These are contrasted by low-impact, high-intensity spinning classes, which work the body but also the mind, as clients must recognize that no matter how hard they pedal, in the end they go nowhere. Classes are often supplemented with individual workouts in a vast gym filled with weight machines, free weights, and cardio machines.
Promoting positive socials skills through gleeful play, Under the Sea Indoor Playground, named one of the area's best indoor play spaces by CBS Los Angeles, gives kids a colorful landscape of obstacles, toys, and floor-to-ceiling murals to play in. Throughout the three locations, youngsters of various ages ramble through soft-padded activities such as the soft moon bounce, or exorcise pent-up energy scaling the sea castle. Meanwhile, parents and guardians can watch proudly from nearby seating or join in and challenge children to good-willed games of foosball. For younger children, Under the Sea turns down the tempo of play with a soft baby corner, toddler swing, and learning-oriented play equipment. Under the Sea is designed to help develop social skills, coordination, and self-esteem with a colorful cast of painted octopi, mermaids, and sea monkeys mistaking the playground's yellow slides for sea bananas.
After struggling with stress, depression, and weight gain, Scott Yonehiro was inspired to get healthy when he realized how much his young daughter needed him. He lost more than 73 pounds and gained a wealth of knowledge about how to turn the body into a fat-burning, muscle-building machine. Today, the busy father, husband, and owner of Ballistic Body Fitness uses close to 20 years in the industry to help people reach their own goals. He tailors each plan to meet individual needs, offering a Jumpstart to Fitness program that facilitates rapid results despite an overloaded schedule, and a 90-day body-transformation challenge with a straightforward meal plan and metabolism-boosting exercises.
When David O'Donnell retired from the New York Fire Department, he probably thought his physically demanding days of stepping into blazing buildings, lugging around gear, and swinging pick head axes were over. And to a degree, they were. But while recovering from the injury that caused his retirement, he decided to make physical fitness a priority.
Nowadays, he's traded in the pick head axes for kettlebells at his fitness studio, The Kettlebell Gym. In addition to overseeing his students' kettlebell swings, O'Donnell and his team also oversee the techniques of another fitness training program: TRX suspension training, which teaches exercisers how to lift a two-lane suspension bridge.
The Bar Method workout, which has been featured in Self magazine and Seventeen, started with German ballet dancer Lotte Berk. After injuring her back, Berk took her physical-therapy regimen and fused it together with her old ballet workouts. Burr Leonard took this system and modified it in 1991, in an effort to minimize the impact it had on delicate joints. The workout became known as The Bar Method, named for the horizontal barre that ballerinas use to steady themselves during dance routines and astronauts use to practice pole dancing in space. Bar Method workouts combine Berk's original dance conditioning and physical-therapy moves with fast-paced interval training and muscle-building isometrics, and aim to tone physiques without adding bulk.
Starting kids as young as 12 months on the path to strength and confidence, the instructors at Fun & Fit Gymnastics hope to build foundations that will shape their students for the good. The philosophy here centers around finding the best class for each child. In that process, instructors pair kids with others of similar age and ability levels to develop not just athletic skills, but social ones too. The enormous facility also contributes to the curriculum, with a 50-foot spring-suspended tumbling floor, beams, bars, vaults, trampolines and a 5-foot-deep foam-filled pit used for fun and to enhance safety.