In a spinning class, the goal is simple: pedal as much as you can. This an easy goal to achieve at PEDAL Spin, thanks to classes that combine energizing music and visuals to make riding a stationary bike even more fun than the real thing. Different instructors inject their own personalities into their classes, ensuring that no two workouts are quite the same. But regardless of who's leading them, spinning classes always boost the heart rate, build strength in the core and legs, and provide an excuse to break out the ol' riding hat.
When you walk into Mirror Image Fitness, you might wonder if you've accidentally wandered into a swanky living room. A far cry from the typical big-box gym atmosphere, the intimate fitness club welcomes guests with soft lamplight and a stone fireplace. The walls are decorated with framed artwork and black-and-white damask wallpaper, which, along with rich wood furniture, lends the space a cozy, home-like vibe. Walking in, you might find a DJ spinning tunes or a throng of members relaxing on the white leather sofas in the lounge area before a class or a personal-training session. Potted trees and plants flank the sun-drenched cardio machines, making the workout feel like a peaceful jog along a nature trail or through David Attenborough’s limousine.
The club is the brainchild of Derek Norman, who learned about discipline and motivation while going through training camp with the San Diego Chargers. Norman's fitness philosophy promotes the unique needs and goals of each member as well as the skills of his trainers, whose specialties range from yoga to boxing.
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.
A triathlete since 2004, Brandon Hament knows cycling's physical rigors and benefits firsthand. At The Cycle Annex - the indoor cycling facility Brandon has run since 2007 - his crew of instructors imbue beginners with pedal-pumping confidence at introductory sessions during which pupils first familiarize themselves with their bike before hopping on and burning calories. For cycling students of all levels, Brandon's team lead more intensive workouts such as the Ultimate 90, a combination of core and strength training that segues into an hour of riding. An abdominal workout on yoga mats follows cycling during AB 20 sessions, while interval cycling gives way to running and stretching during brick workouts. In between exercises, guests can hydrate with complementary gulps of The Cycle Annex's oxygenated, filtered water.
Crunch caters to exercisers of all interests and fitness levels, cramming each state-of-the-art fitness facility with name-brand equipment and a welcoming, nonjudgmental attitude. Members have the opportunity to pay for access to each club's diverse syllabi of classes, organized into categories such as action sports, chill outs, and dance rhythms. DIESEL classes incorporate interval training with cardio interval bursts for a total-body workout. Fat Burning Pilates combines cardio- and Pilates-based toning to help cut out cellulite. Aerobics with an Attitude sends students in a free-spirited dance workout without any rules or judgment. Crunch also offers personal-training sessions that begin with a physical assessment and include a comprehensive body-composition analysis. One-on-one drills foster the seeds of self-improvement, as this level of personal attention allows the experts to forge an engaging workout as well as a custom nutrition plan for each exerciser.
Even if clients can't make it to the gym, Crunch Live turns any living room or office into a workout space with an online video library of over 35 workouts. Students sweat and move along at home to easy-to-follow exercise routines led by energetic trainers as they tone targeted muscle groups and burn fat with courses in yoga, core strength, workouts for athletes, or Pilates.
Fitness guru and founder of Burbank Athletic Club Greg Bedrossian knows what it means to beat the odds. Born with a hole in his heart, he was advised throughout his life to avoid strenuous exercise. But instead of giving up, Greg dug into deep personal reserves of will and became a personal trainer, eventually opening Burbank Athletic Club.
Today, his CPR- and AED-certified trainers have picked up on his knack for bypassing perceived physical limitations. Through their fitness classes and training programs, the staff strives to help their students embody the same grit and determination in shaping their own bodies. The high-intensity classes—including cardio kickboxing and a boxing-Pilates fusion known as Piloxing—ramp up the difficulty as time goes on. Vinyasa, flow, and other forms of yoga are available as well, led by experienced yogis. These are contrasted by low-impact, high-intensity spinning classes, which work the body but also the mind, as clients must recognize that no matter how hard they pedal, in the end they go nowhere. Classes are often supplemented with individual workouts in a vast gym filled with weight machines, free weights, and cardio machines.