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.
At CrossFit West Whittier, students complete pushups in midair. That's because they're gripping two Olympic rings, sacrificing the ground's stability for a more challenging body-weight exercise. After their circuit is complete, they might move on to medicine-ball throws or squats—the regimen is always unpredictable. Such is the credo of CrossFit, which combines weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio to address all aspects of physical fitness. Though its dumbbells and pull-up racks may seem intimidating, the coaches help direct students of all abilities through the varied routines, acquainting them with every piece of the stripped-down gym's equipment. Their emphasis on assistance and camaraderie guides free community workouts on Saturday mornings as well as open-gym sessions on Wednesdays—freeform meet-ups that allow students to practice their techniques without adhering to class constraints or crushing an apple to give to the teacher.
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.
When CrossFit RIOT co-owner and head coach Derek Fay was younger, he was into powerlifting. Even though he wasn't being coached and knew his form wasn't great, he kept ramping up the weight—until he was diagnosed with herniated discs, leading to nearly two years in physical therapy. His back was so damaged that his doctors predicted he'd never lift weights again. But after he finished therapy, a friend introduced him to CrossFit sessions, where he was coached in safe lifting techniques and proper form. Today, he can dead lift more than 500 pounds.
But CrossFit RIOT isn't just for powerlifters. Derek and the other coaches strive to help members of all ability levels reach their fitness goals, from climbing stairs with greater ease to losing weight. Their high-intensity functional workouts can be scaled to be challenging—but not impossible—for everyone, and they emphasize executing good form, which helps to prevent injury.
The exercise routines change each day to keep bodies challenged and minds engaged. Throughout the one-hour workout of the day, they might lead students in swinging kettlebells one day and doing lunges and sprints the next. Classes are capped at 12 students, and the coaches are also available for personal-training and nutrition advice, such as choosing to snack on carrot sticks instead of butter sculptures.
Marcus Martinez, a seasoned MMA and UFC trainer, puts his strength-training and conditioning expertise to use at MBody Strength, where he leads a series of fitness classes. Classes in Marcus’s schedule include general self-defense, mixed martial arts, martial-arts conditioning, and Brazilian jujitsu.
Classes at CrossFit Live will whip you into shape with a workout program predicated on functional movements performed at a high level of intensity. The trainers make sure students work on every facet of fitness, from cardio and strength training to stamina, flexibility, power, speed, and agility.