At Dream Body Boot Camp, which was voted San Diego A-List's best boot camp of 2012, trainer Matthew Johnson and his staff of specialized trainers help patrons to quickly sculpt physiques into top form during indoor and outdoor workouts that pair cardio moves with strength-boosting exercises. Instead of painting muscle ripples onto participants’ abs, each of Johnson’s instructors draws from a kinesiology degree or a national personal-training certification when designing a new 60-minute workout each day. Before their first class, students meet with Johnson to get acquainted and set their fitness goals, such as looking good in a bikini or ripping through a T-shirt to reveal their swimsuit with one powerful body flex. In the course of 10 minutes, he asks clients what they’d like to achieve in class and how they’ve pursued their goals in the past.
Once the talking ends, the training begins, and the motivational instructors put patrons to work hefting dumbbells, straining against Trx suspension gear, and flipping giant tires end over end. Johnson and his trainers leave long runs out of their workouts, opting instead for tire hopping, jumping rope, and other dynamic exercises to elevate heart rates.
Although many of The Bar Method's exercises take place at the ballet bar, the program is only partially inspired by the long, lean musculature of ballet dancers. Created by Burr Leonard, the workouts also incorporate the brief, fat-burning bursts of activity known as interval training and the muscle-shaping techniques of isometrics. Combine all this with the science of physical therapy, and you get The Bar Method: an intense yet safely designed approach to exercise meant to cinch the silhouette, increase muscle definition, and boost energy all day long. Sessions introduce beginners to basics, such as maintaining good form and refraining from breaking out into Swan Lake choreography.
The patter of gloves against heavy bags and the paced breathing of circling sparring partners fills The Boxing Club with energy. That's amplified by trainers, who lead classes in everything from cycling to kickboxing. There's muay thai, for example, an MMA fighting style that torches calories with flurries of flying elbows, knees, and fists, or jiu jitsu, which focuses more on grappling.
Martial arts are, in a way, just one more way of working towards physical fitness for many at the studio. Fitness goals are helped along by a full weight room, cardio area, and pilates studio. There's also a full locker room for cleaning up afterwards.
Peace Love and Yoga offers toasty hot yoga and hot Vinyasa flow sessions with fresh heat cycles as well as a cornucopia of corpus-conditioning nonyoga workouts. Drop-in classes offer a fun, nonjudgmental environment perfect for body benders of all experience levels and varying degrees of separation from Gumby. Room temperature offerings, such as feisty cardio hip-hop, free-spirited hula hooping, and spine-strengthening Pilates sessions, provide toning for the heat intolerant. The candle-lined studio, replete with warm off-white hues set against a darkened ceiling, instills calmness in students, and instructors help build the confidence and new muscles students need to remember the whereabouts of their car keys while in downward dog. The studio also offers complimentary towel and mat rental for first timers.
Carlsbad Wellness and Yoga's instructors instill stretching skills in beginner and higher-level courses, and licensed massage therapist Caylon relaxes backs through one-hour massages. Within a spacious studio, students bend limbs smoothly in daily classes that emphasize proper alignment, such as Yoga Foundation, Power & Flow, Hatha yoga, and mat Pilates. Beginner classes teach neophytes basic forms, and advanced levels incorporate inversions, modifications, and moves only possible after twisting one's body inside out. Alternatively, deft fingers help disperse back-bound tension in a soothing massage, which dissolves stressful memories of the workplace or last weekend's reality-show marathon.