LA Boxing’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studio, which was cofounded by the legendary dancer himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
Heat floods the expansive Bikram Yoga Norwalk studio, loosening taut muscles as students of all levels perspire through static, strength-building poses. Certified instructors lead these students through the 26 poses that strengthen and stretch the body, modifying the trickier postures in order to accommodate beginners. The studio itself stays at a balmy 102?107 degrees with 40%?60% humidity in order to help facilitate deeper stretching, increase blood flow, and destroy stowaway snowmen.
The Edge's Revolution program is an eight-week body-change contest that fuses nutritional guidance, personal training, and weekly group exercise sessions. Trainers document your metamorphosis with before-and-after measurements and photos, and by meticulously chiseling fitness goals into stone. Start sculpting with one personal-training and Pilates session, then sweat in weekly group workouts that prevent plateaus by pushing boundaries like a gerrymandering student council president. An included nutrition guide with DVD joins body sculptors on fitness sojourns with eating tips to supplement gym work. Revolutionaries also get access to a community that spans from the gym to an online group, providing a resource for advice, support, and camaraderie.
Energetic instructors at Work It lead cardio, dance, and fitness classes seven days a week, cycling through yoga poses and spinning around poles in workouts that avoid gym monotony. Cadres of exercisers move to blood-pumping Latin–based choreography in cardio-heavy Zumba courses ($18/class), where alternating quick and slow tempos create a temporal distortion field previously accessible only to the funkiest physicists. Introductory pole-dancing courses ($25/class) let practitioners build strength and confidence as they twirl aerobically around metallic dance partners who never slip or insist on solo river-dancing routines.