Early-morning light twinkles on the ocean’s surface and envelops Lee-Ann Watanabe and her troupe of dedicated boot campers on Ala Moana Beach. Watanabe gives the go-ahead and campers charge, leaving the turquoise waters behind them as they sprint the sandy expanse before them. This is a common scene at 2CW HI boot camp.
A former coach potato turned triathlete, Lee-Ann Watanabe knows what it takes to get in shape. Drawing on her supportive yet tough demeanor, she motivates groups through intense cardio and resistance training at the above-mentioned beach, in Kaka'ako Park, or within Studio X, earning her business features in Midweek and other local publications. Every workout, she changes up the routines—which draw heavily from functional exercises and plyometrics—to prevent muscles from becoming bored and absent-mindedly ingesting a whole box of Twinkies. Dedicated to helping exercisers of all experience levels, she scales her workouts to match individual goals, working to ensure all participants benefit equally.
It’s common to see TRX suspension bands wrapped around the palm trees on the beach near Ala Moana Boulevard. The site is home to SOHI Fitness’ outdoor boot camps, which are run by owner and ACE-certified personal trainer Megan Clark, who has a degree in kinesiology and is the only trainer in Hawaii able to certify military personnel as TRX instructors, and her team of experienced trainers. To keep their clients engaged during their indoor and outdoor boot camps, pyramid workouts, and personal-training sessions, they rely on the TRX suspension-training system’s array of exercises, as well as sports drills. These may include sandbag lifting, agility-ladder running, and plyometrics.
In more than 200 locations in 25 countries, the staff at My Gym aims to nurture children's physical and mental development through engaging classes. Each gym houses small-scale fitness equipment with soft construction that inspires kiddies to play safely. Instructors lead kids in song, dance, jump, and exercise classes, all structured to fine-tune motor skills, critical thinking, and self-esteem. Children as young as 6 weeks can giggle and crawl in My Gym classes, which also include options for kids up to 13 years old.
Beyond scheduled classes, the gyms also host play sessions that discard lesson plans and encourage youngsters to cut loose. Open play gives them free rein of the gym's playground equipment while under supervision. During Parents’ Night Out events, the attentive staff watches over kids while parents enjoy a night of grown-up conversation or a chance to hone their Marco Polo skills for future family bouts.
For Yoga Loft Hawaii’s founder, Lisa Sochocki, yoga isn’t just a way to stretch and strengthen the body. It’s a tried-and-true method of ridding the mind of clutter such as worries, anger, and unsolved calculus problems. Without such distractions, students can listen to the wisdom their hearts contain. To build classes that pursue this goal, Lisa and her team of instructors draw upon 400 hours of teacher training and more than a decade of posing practice. Vibrant Vinyasa flow sessions explore sun salutations, arm balances, and backbends amid soothing turquoise walls and a soundtrack of vibrant music. Here, yogis of all levels learn to link poses with deep, relaxing breaths, forming a strong foundation for challenging classes such as power Vinyasa. Yin routines highlight yoga’s power to calm through lengthy poses that flex the body’s connective tissue and unblock its energy pathways. The loft also hosts classes that teach kids aged 4–6 how to melt stress and potty-mouthed snow angels during classes filled with playful poses and relaxation techniques.
As one of CrossFit’s first proponents on the island, Bryant Powers was just happy to find some friends to work out with. After discovering fellow CrossFit buffs online, Bryant began hosting group workouts in Kapiolani Park with his friends Craig and Hollis. Although only two people attended that first class, the trio kept hosting classes, shuttling between the park and Bryant’s garage, until they had a large enough following to open their own gym. Several years later, CrossFit Oahu now operates five locations spread across the island and cultivates a community devoted to results-oriented fitness. Incoming students work their way up to intense WODs with instruction in Olympic lifts and proper form. Passionate instructors help busy working professionals burn fat and build muscle, or ramp up workouts in preparation for CrossFit competitions. Members also cross-train in MMA striking, mountain climbing, or extreme rolodexing.
As heat bounces off the vibrant orange walls of Bikram Yoga Mililani, a Bikram-certified instructor leads students of all levels through 26 postures that work together to systematically stretch and strengthen every part of the body. The 105-degree heat and 40% humidity work together to loosen up stiff muscles, allowing guests to sink deeper into poses, sweat out toxins, and sweat off misguided clown face paint. After class, students can snack on fresh orange slices or cool off on the outdoor patio while daring the greenery to forward-bend from their roots.