Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
The Sweat Shoppe has but one specialty: indoor cycling. With such a narrow niche, the certified spinning instructors are able to focus solely on helping patrons of all fitness levels pedal their way to stronger, leaner physiques. Inside the no-frills, no-fuss studio, exposed air ducts and heating pipes emit detoxifying temperatures during Sweat Cycle classes, where students are given the extra challenge of working through 75- to 80-degree heat while not melting one's handlebars. Those who aren't quite ready for the heat can spin their way to greater fitness in the Classic Cycle class, where temperatures are kept in the comfortable upper 60s.
Made in LA founder Andrea Lawent “never heard ‘change’ and ‘comfortable’ in the same sentence.” While she encourages students at Made in LA to work at their own pace, she won’t accept them to give anything less than 100% of themselves and at least 20% of their imaginary friends. A veteran of the dance and fitness industries, she opened the doors of her Hollywood Blvd. fitness and rehabilitation studio—which is equipped with 35 spinning bikes and a 2,500 square foot private training gym—in 2008. Since then, Made in LA has been featured in Rolling Stone magazine and has attracted a host of celebrity clientele including Carmen Electra and Laura Prepon.
Alongside a seasoned squad of fitness gurus, Lawent provides students with a wide variety of offerings that include her famous rock-and-roll themed spinning classes, boot camps, yoga classes, and personal training sessions. Students of any ability level perch on one of 35 spin bikes or take advantage of a 2,500 square foot private training gym
Heal One World empowers people with the knowledge and techniques to help themselves. Through classes, the organization teaches people skills and natural, noninvasive treatments they can use to ameliorate illness and injury and prevent further ailments from arising. Most of these classes impart self-help techniques and are therefore not covered by insurance, so the organization provides them on a sliding scale. Its programs range from yoga and tai chi to acupuncture and Feldenkrais treatments, drawing from ancient, time-tested practices that have often been cast to the wayside by Western culture. Heal One World also maintains a database of care providers who help people from low-income backgrounds attain stability of mind and body.
Yet beyond the individual, Heal One World focuses on strengthening the community. On weekends, it organizes vegan potlucks and film screenings on green opportunities and charity projects, and every May it holds a film, music, and arts festival in order to raise awareness of pressing environmental issues and include the community in artistic endeavors.
Head coach and founder of LA BeachFit Adam Thurtell believes that while CrossFit is an excellent workout, there are things that could be better. He set out to improve on CrossFit, and the result was LA BeachFit: an effective fusion of boot-camp-style training and CrossFit that he believes will appeal to more of his clients. Each one of Adam's outdoor small-group fitness sessions is different, incorporating strength training, cardio, and drills to burn calories and build lean muscle rapidly. Trainees shed fat as they train together in these laid-back yet challenging exercise sessions.
Created by dancer and choreographer Carrie Rezabek, Pure Barre utilizes the ballet barre to dissolve fat and tone muscles throughout the body. In group classes, upbeat music ushers participants along as they perform intense, concentrated movements, which manifests a fit physical transformations as well as mental results similar to those garnered in zen practices such as yoga, meditation, and eating ice cream in a dark room.