Kevin Allen earned his personal training certification in 1989, but he didn’t stop there. Instead, he layered more expertise and experience onto his resume with every passing year, finally founding Namaste Personal Training to share his wealth of fitness knowledge with as many clients as possible. Now the gym has been named Oakland magazine's best gym in the East Bay in 2012 and 2013, a title Allen and his team of four trainers uphold by addressing patrons’ individual fitness goals in one-on-one personal training sessions, or obliterating bucket loads of calories in group fitness classes. They also tailor introductory fitness courses exclusively to beginners, lowering class size, shortening duration, and eliminating exercises that involve flaming jump ropes.
Gym Class Fitness founder and personal trainer Jessica Gereau shares the life skills and slimming techniques learned during her own inspiring weight-loss journey, which left her 60 pounds lighter. During personal-training sessions, instructors focus on accountability—they'll call if students skip class—to cut coach potatoes into shapely french fries. The gym's wall-to-wall mirrors reflect images of treadmills, free weights, and aerobic equipment that facilitate group exercise classes and save students the hassle of hauling in their own Stairmasters. The establishment also hosts run meetups every weekend, where joggers follow a certified coach to explore the East Bay landscape while tracking mileage, oxygen consumption, and times to improve performance.
30 Day-Bootcamp enlists an array of dynamic exercises to blast calories, sculpt muscles, and bolster confidence with women’s fitness and self-defense classes. During fitness and weight-loss boot-camp sessions, instructors guide clients through 45-minute circuits that combine light strength training, plyometrics, cardio exercises, Pilates, and intense cheeseburger slandering to build endurance and foster trimmer, healthier bodies. The training center also imparts self-defense strategies, ranging from the exercise-oriented cardio kickboxing to the more in-depth assailant vanquishing taught in krav maga tactical self-defense sessions. Classes are conducted indoors and outdoors across multiple Bay Area locations, and clients can also enlist in personal training sessions for one-on-one instruction.
UrbanKick's agile trainers push bodies to their full potential with outdoor fitness training, indoor or outdoor one-on-one personal sessions, and 15-week UrbanRun marathon training. On the shores of Oakland's Lake Merritt, small groups of athletes support each other as they cross-train through intensive programs, running through reps of cardio, resistance, and flexibility training without the intimidating flaming hoops used in traditional boot camps. Marathon training in Danville and Walnut Creek divides groups into their proper fitness levels for weekly training runs led by experienced pacers who work to gradually build sprinters' endurance and speed. Trainers welcome exercisers of all fitness levels at all times of year, and supply all gear needed for their instruction.
Body Mechanix’s talented personal trainers, including a nationally ranked strongman and a Harvard grad, didn’t get buff all by their lonesome. Believing that encouragement and camaraderie make as much difference as weight and reps, they cook up ever-changing routines through collaboration with their fellow fitness gurus, a practice that allows them to share ideas and show off their ability to bench-press other bodybuilders. Individual lessons send clients sprinting across indoor stretches of turf or hiking heart rates with cardio and weight machines, whereas group classes help them sweat off inches with fast-paced boot-camp exercises or teach them how to jab out aggression with circuit boxing.
As an LGBTQ gym, The Perfect Sidekick aims to create a safe, welcoming environment where anyone can feel comfortable striving to meet their personal fitness goals. The intimately sized space emphasizes a sense of community between the members and the dedicated trainers, who provide encouragement and support while pushing visitors to challenge themselves.
Instead of unwieldy machines, the gym stocks kettlebells, resistance bands, and free weights for guests seeking to strengthen and tone their muscles. The trainers also lead small group classes that provide a bit more focused guidance, including cardio-intensive interval training, Vinyasa-style yoga, and lengthy jogs around the subterranean particle accelerator.