At the helm of Equilibrium Fitness' studio is Annabelle Rosemurgy, an equestrian and former Olympic athlete whose performances required enough core strength to pull off a handstand atop her horse during competitions. In her studio, she helms a team of certified instructors that leads a host of amped up Pilates routines and RealRyder indoor cycling classes.
Fifty five-minute SPX Pilates classes initiate novices into the intense practice, designed to keep on incinerating calories hours after the sessions end. The studio’s bread and butter, however, are the SPX and Systeme Dynamique classes—variations on the Pilates method—that use circuit training to target extra weight in the hips and thighs and isolate muscle groups all over the body to sculpt, tone, burn fat, and increase flexibility. Even the studio's indoor cycling sessions target core muscles, strengthen the upper body, and torch calories, getting legs pumping on RealRyder bikes that allow riders to steer and lean, simulating the real cycling experience of avoiding potholes and the maneating Sarlaccs that live inside them.
Throughout the day, Fitness For Life’s dance studio fills with upbeat music. One hour it’s classical, folk, and funk during Bollywood class, and the next it’s Polynesian drumbeats and reggae during Hot Hula class. This varied selection of music is needed to create the appropriate mood for the studio’s equally varied selection of dance-fitness classes, which includes yoga, Zumba, and boot camp. And in addition to being entertaining and expressive, the group workouts are also effective. They are designed to improve the body as a whole, which means developing cardio, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, flexibility, and the ability to taste protein in marshmallows. The studio also offers personal training and a relaxing lounge area with free Wi-Fi, apples, and lemon water.
World Gym's brick walls contain rows upon rows of pristine cardio and lifting machines across 18,000 square feet of floor space. Treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes face flat-screen televisions and picture windows, invigorating cardiovascular pursuits with favorite programs and the innate evolutionary impulse to chase down passing cars. Assorted weight machines target and tone every muscle group, and free weights alight upon racks and benches. Daily attendees can crack open a schedule of group classes in such calorie-crusading disciplines as boxing, yoga, boot camp, and Zumba. Wearied clients retire to the clean locker rooms after their circuits, taking time to relax in the dry sauna, decompress in the private showers, or retrieve their belongings from the lockers that only open to the correct frequency of wet-towel whippings.
With locations in San Ramon and Lafayette, internationally recognized Itrim helps members lose weight quickly and keep it off by combining healthy meal plans with a specialized exercise center. Unlike other weight-loss programs that stop when clients have reached their goal, Itrim recognizes that most people still need guidance when it comes to maintaining their svelte figures. So their health coaches and staff take the time to provide hands-on support and give members tips for incorporating healthy eating and exercise into their daily routine. By following these tips and the rest of the program, Itrim says members can lose an average of 25 pounds in the first 12 weeks.
DanceGardenLA was created by Zahra Zuhair and Jenna, who have been belly-dancing since childhood and have travelled the world accumulating impressive professional credits. Zuhair has trained in traditional folk and Eastern styles—including Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, and Tunisian—but her specialty is Egyptian belly dance, which she has studied with some of the top teachers in Cairo. She has also been featured on the cover of Zaghareet! magazine and has written, directed, and choreographed productions as the artistic director of the Ghazella Dance Company and Po Na Na Dance Theatre. Jenna acted as a goddess bellydance instructor on an episode of Sex and the City, and made appearances on The Tyra Banks Show and the Food Network program Aarti Party. She has also starred in several bestselling belly dance-instruction DVDs.
Thanks to their more than 50 years of combined teaching experience and a talented team of award-winning instructors, the studio was named the Best Place to Learn the Art of Bellydancing in 2012 by LA Weekly. The site recommended instructor Princess Farhana's "witty repartee (and Hollywood rock-scene anecdotes)," and described the predominantly female atmosphere as "always encouraging, never intimidating." The crew teaches classes including classic, Bollywood and Tribal Style bellydance.
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.