The workout gurus of Sweat City Fitness, formerly known as Performance Science Training Institute, found their approach to exercise in what they call the Cardio Resistance Core system. Every workout addresses each area—building cardio endurance, enhancing strength with resistance exercises, or tightening the abdomen with core work. However, each portion of the regimen can be approached in myriad ways, creating great variety within workouts that still lead cohesively toward concrete goals, such as the ability to smash a block of concrete.
An airy, hardwood-floored studio sets a serene scene for Pilates classes with Kathy Moses. The instructor boasts 11 years of Pilates experience, which she calls upon while leading both group and private lessons. Her specialty is reformer classes, which, like dead-lifting a typewriter, use a machine to assist with fitness. Kathy helps foster an upbeat environment at the studio, leading students through core-strengthening exercises while maintaining a positive attitude.
The Gym@Hayden is a loft-like, 5,500-square-foot fitness facility staffed with certified fitness professionals who are determined to help their clients feel supported along their fitness journey. Offering kickboxing, circuit-training, and boot-camp group classes, along with cardio and strength-training equipment, The Gym@Hayden strives to be a laid-back place that helps its clients get in, work out hard, and get on with their lives.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Thanks to Los Angeles School of Gymnastics, more than one million families have found themselves more flexible, more physically fit, and healthier since 1975. In the decades since opening their doors, the school has developed more and more programs to cater to diverse community members. Even their trampolines and padded floors welcome everyone from toddlers to adults and beginners to professional-level competitors capable of cartwheeling for miles.
As for the teaching staff, the school's coaches come from across the world (14 different countries in total), and each has completed multiple certification courses, including those from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. That experience guides them in each one of their gymnastics programs, whether it's a class for parents and their toddlers, an adult parkour class, or a gymnastics camp for kids with special needs.
At the end of a fruitful career that led her from the Cincinnati Ballet to the Sacramento Ballet, Jennifer Williams funneled her dance savvy into creating the barre-inspired exercise system taught at Pop Physique, a 2013 CityVoter finalist for Best Gym. Her fleet of handpicked and personally trained instructors pairs graceful ballet moves with other low-impact exercises in order to chisel cores without injuring muscles. Deep stretches further preserve tendons and leave each student more relaxed than a tortoise moseying past a state patrolman with a radar gun. Sessions run multiple times a day, seven days a week at an expanding network of SoCal locations. The roomy studios are lined with sprung dance floors and design accents that lend each location a distinct personality and a chance to forget its past as a storage room for defective food processors.