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.
You won’t find any treadmills or ellipticals at Bear Flag CrossFit, just 4,000 square feet of iron bars, weights, rowing machines, gymnastics rings, and kettlebells. Beneath an American flag and a California flag, CrossFit-certified trainers Eric Schubring and Will Hurst lead squads of athletes through each Workout of the Day (WOD). WODs never repeat and incorporate exercises such as Olympic weightlifting, body-weight exercises, heaving kettlebells, and rowing—all of which are based on CrossFit’s dogma of varied, functional fitness.
At CrossFit Structured, it doesn’t matter where you finish as long as you finish with integrity. Trainers adopt this philosophy during each class, which covers a new workout of the day, or WOD, every day. WODs involve constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensities to help burn calories and fat and boost the body’s metabolism. Though exercises often vary, it’s not uncommon to see CrossFit Structured’s warriors performing weight lifts, running, or testing their body’s limits with exercises such as squats, pushups, pull-ups, and sit-ups.
The experienced coaches at Chalk Fitness want to make sure their clients get results quickly with their fast-paced, challenging group fitness classes. There are no rows of expensive machines in this indoor/outdoor gym—members do pushups outside, heft kettlebells, and work with resistance bands to achieve measurable workout goals.
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.