Inside CrossFit Laguna Niguel, there's cheering, clapping, and yelling. There's also grunting, sweating, and the clamor of weights as they hit the floor. It's all part of an environment that sets exercisers up to succeed—as long as they're willing to charge into every session full-bore. Here, Workouts of the Day challenge muscles with CrossFit's always varied, always intense lineup of movements. Some of those movements are based in gymnastics, some in weightlifting. No matter the day's game plan, the facility's coaches remain nearby to infuse workouts with extra doses of motivation and direction.
As a certified clinical nutritionist and AFAA-certified personal trainer with 30 years of experience beneath her belt, Nannette Aviles has seen it all. She struggled with yo-yo dieting and an eating disorder that brought her to the brink of despair on one Christmas Eve—but she reached out for help and eventually learned to truly take care of herself with a balanced diet and exercise. At her fitness and nutrition facility, she now helps other women do the same.
Rather than focusing on only one aspect of fitness, Nannette merges hands-on boot-camp training with diet planning aimed at helping ladies shed fat and sculpt muscle. The plan empowers clients to avoid eating for comfort and to instead opt for nutrient-rich foods that boost energy and metabolism levels. Her over-the-phone food-coaching service further encourages women to embrace food and their bodies in safe, healthy ways, eschewing trendy diet and exercise fads such as edible shake weights. They were recently voted into the top five bootcamps on Orange County's Hot List.
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.
GlucoFitClub acts a hub for overweight people who want to lose weight, with diabetes, or with pre-diabetes, drawing together different companies, products, and resources to assist in health and education. It partners with YMCAs across the nation to encourage those with diabetes to remain active, as the disease is exasperated by conditions that include high body-mass index and hypertension. Members with diabetes may also receive a glucometer that can upload their fitness-test results and blood-glucose levels to an online database, helping them become more knowledgeable about their own condition. Access to nutrition and diabetes classes at the Y educates members and helps them make good health decisions.
HitPLAYyoga.com is an online library of “Yogacasts,” streaming audio yoga classes taught by certified instructors all over the world. Believing that everyone should be able to access the transformative powers of yoga at any time, the founders of hitPLAYyoga.com bring yoga classes to those who may not be able to access or afford a studio practice.
HitPLAYyoga.com also has its own Empowerment Fund—a portion of every member’s hitPLAYyoga.com dues are donated to the Africa Yoga Project and the Yoga Vedanta Kutir Orphanage, both of which bring yoga to underserved and stressed areas.
James Brown's yogic journey has taken him from the tobacco farms of Maryland to the California studio of acclaimed Ashtanga master and YogaWorks founder Maty Ezraty. Along the way, he helped scholars stay limber as American University's first Adjunct Professor of Yoga and served as a key contributor to YogaWorks' training manuals and teaching programs, now Director of Yoga Content for YogaWorks' teacher training worldwide. His patented curricula imbued more than 1,000 teachers from across the globe with the power necessary to lead classes to physical and spiritual fitness. Now, he brings his keen understanding of the intersections of ancient poses and contemporary culture to You and the Mat. The eco-conscious center’s hardwood-floored studio provides a space where yogis of all skill levels can stretch, bend, and strengthen their bodies during classes of seven days a week. From sunrise and prenatal yoga to yoga for fitness, each session on the schedule challenges students with intelligent instruction guided by one of 13 handpicked teachers.
While the studio is primarily known as an institute of yogic learning, it's also a haven for the visual and performing arts. An on-site gallery displays original work from local artists; past exhibits have included work from photographer Richard Seagraves, musician David Ryan Harris, and Robert Sturman.