Although there aren't brain surgeons roaming around their rugged, warehouse-like space, CrossFit Synapse's owners delved into neuroscience when developing their gym's philosophy and name. More specifically, they drew inspiration from the section in the brain where electrical impulses guide the mind and body through their routines. The gym's staff of certified trainers strives to emulate these connections with an ever-rotating array of functional exercises, helping guests fortify both their body and their mind. During CrossFit Awesome classes, the intense, yet fun-loving team crafts challenging workouts, drawing from their repertoire of weightlifting moves, gymnastic techniques, and cardio drills. Although they design their sessions to push each student beyond their limits, they can scale the intensity of kettlebell swings and pull-ups to accommodate any fitness level. In addition to their signature course, they also offer personal-training sessions, yoga, and children's classes that aim to build the foundations for a healthy lifestyle and potential career in Olympic hopscotching at an early age.
In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months old?12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents magazine.
You could run 150,000 miles on one of Group Interval Training's Woodway treadmills and never need to change its belt. But despite their equipment's shock-absorbing capabilities, the fitness instructors focus on short running sessions, which they call Sprint Intervals, in their signature Tread/TRX group fitness classes. They combine these treadmill workouts with an ever-changing lineup of strength and endurance exercises, which incorporate equipment such as resistance bands and medicine balls, or as giants call them, aspirin. The classes span 60 minutes, but according to Group Interval Training, the routines help students continue to burn calories long after they step out of the fitness studio.
Other fitness classes expand on the Tread/TRX program. Total Body Conditioning, for example, adds speed ropes, stability balls, and body‐weight-training exercises to the regimen . Though the details may vary from class to class, one thing remains constant: the support of fellow exercisers and trainers, who happily supply complimentary towels and water.
By age 5, Richie Gaona had already learned trapeze and performed with his family, The Flying Gaonas. Over the next 45 years, his art would take him across the globe. During that time he soared with Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey, and as a stunt man his acrobatic skills were featured in films such as Back to the Future II and Van Helsing. Today he hopes to use those experiences, as well as his experience as trainer to Circus of the Stars, to help others defy gravity through trapeze, high wire, trampoline, and other three-ring activities. As he displayed on The Ellen Show, Richie prepares beginners with on-ground instruction before swinging them into maneuvers such as the knee-hang catch. During his flying trapeze classes, students swing on the trapeze while harnessed to safety lines, letting go to perform knee hang catches before trying to get back to the trapeze. Just as he has taught everyone from beginners to A-list celebrities, Richie helps students of all skill levels learn to fly majestically regardless of their previous experience.
The Dailey Method builds strength and flexibility through movements that engage entire physiques and focus on proper alignment, earning praise by publications such as InStyle magazine. Helmed by owners who trained under the eponymous founder of the method, Jill Dailey, certified instructors at the Calabasas studio lead 60-minute classes where students tighten up for bikini season or tone muscles to prep for the flexing portion of a job interview. A melding of yoga poses, core conditioning, and orthopedic exercises, the method tones muscles as instructors offer modifications to accommodate all skill levels. Moves on a ballet barre enhance balance and coordination, and floor work summons sweat with torso-tightening repetitions. Parents can drop their whippersnappers off in childcare, stash their jackets and inflatable muscle suits in lockers, and shower before heading home.
Under the guidance of Dancing with the Stars veteran Karina Smirnoff, Karina Smirnoff Dance Studio’s instructors school students in a variety of styles, including the cha cha, samba, foxtrot, and jive. Dancers can get moving with private lessons, whirling across the studio's hardwood floors during sessions tailored to their specific goals. After brushing up on their skills in private lessons, students can attend group classes in the style of their choice, whether bouncing through the Brazilian samba or whirling through majestic waltzes. Large mirrors line two walls of the sprawling, modern studio, letting dancers keep an eye on their reflection so it doesn't try to pull any moves on their partner.