At OC Fitness Boot Camp, exercise isn’t just about summoning an instant endorphin rush or fitting into a smaller pair of jeans a few weeks down the line. It’s about helping people live longer, healthier lives. Held at scenic parks and beaches, workouts help participants cultivate a love of fitness that endures when life throws them a curveball or a water balloon filled with chocolate pudding. Here, participants of all fitness levels cheer one another toward goals during strength-building exercises such as burpees, squats, push-ups, and sit-up variations. In addition to torching calories, running and jumping drills fill the group with energy, like a pep rally led by anthropomorphic lightning bolts. A seasoned instructor oversees each camper, doling out exercise demos, technique tips, and a hearty dose of motivation.
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 trainers at Precision Fitness believe that achieving wellbeing is a deeply individual process. For this reason, they work only with small groups of students, avoiding the intimidating bustle that’s common at most gyms and instead facilitating focused, nonjudgmental sessions. The intimate setting allows them to create exercise regimens for patrons of all walks of life, from those with little gym experience to seasoned athletes or brides-to-be. Their programs typically involve a mix of cardiovascular and weight training, as well as nutrition tips for healthier long-term diets that don't just advise patrons to eat two apples a day. Though they embrace a private atmosphere during lessons, group activities outside of the gym, such as bowling outings and dinner parties, encourage a sense of community among their clients.
The Training Room’s owner and chief personal trainer can empathize with his out-of-shape clients, because just a few years ago, he tipped the scales at 300 pounds. It took two years of religious gym workouts to shed a paltry 40 of those, and he found the slow pace frustrating. But when he started high-intensity interval training, 40 more pounds fell off within three months. The form of exercise focuses on short spurts of energy, interspersed with rest, that’s specifically designed to burn maximum calories and boost metabolism in minimum time.
Equipment: _ 13 platforms, 11 men's weight-lighting bars, 4 women's weight-lifting bars, 8 training bars, jerk blocks, uesaka barbells, and 5,005 pounds of Uesaka bumper plates._
Students should bring: Bottle of water and a towel
Average class length: 60-90 minutes
Number of Staff: 1–5
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
San Gabriel Valley Badminton Club caters to racket-bearers with 18 badminton and five table-tennis courts. The well-lit badminton courts are housed in a large warehouse-like structure, providing players with ample room to knock the shuttlecock high into the air. SGVBC allows guests to bring as many friends as they'd like, so large groups can take turns or simultaneously increase heart rates and fool pores into opening up and letting out their sweat juices. Courts are indoors, ensuring players will be protected from bad weather and low-flying crop dusters.