Accompanied by pounding music, a positively voltaic instructor, and atmospheric lighting, spinning pushes your legs, your abs, and your heart with zero joint impact and a low chance of boredom. In a fun, fast, group environment, you'll gain both the benefit of communal support and the anonymity of the herd—the same advantages enjoyed by the perpetually lithe dik dik pygmy antelope.
Next Level Training's spacious, naturally lit facility meets a wide spectrum of fitness needs, from improving strength and agility to losing weight. The gym boasts a roster of workout stations that includes free weights, machines, and TRX equipment. In a separate area, a 1,000-square foot space hosts boot camps led by Next Level Training's motivational instructors.
The motto at CrossFit Insurgent is "start together, finish together," emphasizing the health club's familial community spirit. CrossFit level-one certified head coaches Brian Franzen and Victor Chavez have empathy that matches their muscles, and embody a commitment to their clients that borders on fatherly. Combining Franzen's 18 years in the industry as a gold-medal winning wrestler and personal trainer and Chavez's expertise in mobility, movement, and firefighting, their CrossFit classes produce results while eschewing the mundane tropes of the typical gym experience. Instead of hosting hordes of ellipticals and complex weight machines, the workout space, affectionately known as "The Box," remains uncluttered as patrons use real weights and the machine known as "the human body" to whip into shape.
Inside CrossFit Studio City, there's no one primping in the mirror. There's no one chatting on a cell phone, flipping through a magazine, or watching TV. That's because the gym shuns such distractions, allowing for the absolute concentration it takes to perform CrossFit's system of high-intensity, functional movements.
Each day, certified instructors have students slinging kettlebells, doing pull-ups, and climbing ropes. Their mix of exercises preps for all physical activities, including running marathons or running a cat rodeo. The next day, they change the routine to keep everyone's focus intact.
Though the instructors push participants to their limits, there's no intimidation factor—they want people to feel good about leaving exhausted. They keep a jovial mood during classes, motivating all students with positive reinforcement and encouraging classmates to do the same for each other. Since CrossFit is scalable to all fitness levels, everyone from firefighters to soccer moms and grandparents are welcome to join in.
Although the workouts at Valley Crossfit are designed to be challenging, they can be scaled for participants of any fitness level. Adding to the engagement, the trainers constantly mix up class activities. On any given day, members might find themselves swinging kettlebells, tossing medicine balls, or using rowing machines to reenact Titanic's riveting canoe-race scene. Although group exercise is the core of the CrossFit program, coaches can also tailor the workouts even further during personal-training sessions.
Valley stages the group and private workouts at its 15,000-square-foot facility in Van Nuys and its new 3,000-square-foot facility in Reseda. Highlights of the larger gym include 6-foot obstacle walls, seven climbing ropes, a 1,600-square-foot pro gymnastics floor, and a 48-foot-long pull-up and monkey-bar structure.
Golden State CrossFit welcomes would-be clients to drop in and take a free introductory class before deciding whether to sign up for the cross-disciplinary training sessions. The core curriculum offers strength and conditioning training similar to that used by top athletes, but with tweaks to better suit the average fitness enthusiasts. In this spacious, no-frills gym on Ventura Boulevard, certified coaches teach hour-long group classes that include a warm-up, skill development segment, a special high-intensity workout of the day and a period of individual or group stretching. Participants range from buff guys looking to stay lean, toned women with a love for working out, and an array of adults trying to stay focused on their fitness goals. Golden State CrossFit is open Monday through Saturday, and offers discounted membership packages for long-term members.