She’s been an athlete since high school, but it wasn’t until Abbie Feibush moved from New Jersey to San Francisco that she, as she puts it on her web site, got “bitten by the endurance bug.” It was a combination of joining a running club and trying to expend the energy of her young Weimaraner that did it. And after completing her first marathon, Abbie was hooked. She ran another, completed a few triathlons, and then went on to finish seven ironman competitions. All this, while maintaining a full-time job in sales.
In 2011, Abbie left that desk job for good to open her own fitness enterprise, AbFitTraining. As a certified personal trainer, she now leads individuals and small groups through customized programs and boot camp sessions amid the stunning backdrop of local parks. Best yet, the workouts never get old. Abbie’s constantly changing regime of cardio and strength training exercises helps clients of all fitness levels achieve their goals—be it to lose weight, run a marathon, or spin around 100 times without feeling the slightest bit dizzy.
Today they’re playfully dubbed “The Boot Camp Guys,” but Jaron Eliopoulos and Jeffrey Sears were merely students of kinesiology when they met in 2005. After bonding over a shared passion for fitness, the two began to move toward their current nickname by leading boot camp on the side of personal-training jobs. But when their camp spread to two cities and more than 100 patrons, the amount it takes to overthrow a tyrannical couch potato, Jaron and Jeff could ignore their calling no more and LiveFit Boot Camp was born.
Accountability is the glue that holds campers together at the sessions, which are held at parks all over the region. Jeff and Jaron dream up a new workout each day and turn it over to trainers who not only encourage the clients that attend, but also check in with no-shows to make sure they’re staying on track. Through combinations of sprinting, suspension training, kettlebell moves, and other exercises, the routines keep muscles guessing and attendees engaged.
What happens when a nightclub owner and yoga instructor partner up in a business venture? They create yoga workshops that incorporate heart-pumping bass and dubstep beats spun by the likes of FreQNasty and Rara Avis, in addition to traditional hatha and vinyasa lessons. Tim Dale and Tara Dale helm Yoga Tree, a studio that offers a wide variety of classes and yoga styles so that practitioners can find the style that best fits their practice, and instructors can lead classes in the specialty that speaks to them. And since opening their first studio in 1999, the duo has expanded their business to include six more locations throughout the Bay area to meet the demand for the Yoga Tree experience.
Teacher training courses are also available for those interested in leading their own classes. Students can opt for a 200- or 500-hour program, or elective classes that focus on Tantric yoga, handstands, and holistic Yoga Nidra. Yoga Tree also sells yoga-related products in their store, such as yoga attire, mats, books, and DVDs.
With five locations throughout the Bay Area, including two in San Francisco, Fitness SF caters to the needs of fitness enthusiasts and casual exercisers from Marin to Oakland. Each center brims with muscle-toning and pulse-raising equipment, allowing visitors a wide choice of activities, from pumping free weights to using ellipticals equipped with personal viewing screens.
Although personal trainers are on hand to help refine technique and design individualized exercise regimens, the gyms' classes encourage guests to work out in a more communal setting. Yoga and Zumba appear on every class schedule, but instructors at each location incorporate their own additional sessions, such as cardio kickboxing, Bollywood dance, and Pilates mat.
All Five locations stay open until as late as midnight on select weekdays, which leaves plenty of time for a post-workout cooldown in the locker rooms.
Frequently named Best Pilates Studio by the Pacific Sun, Fit First Pilates stretches and conditions frames in a variety of creative Pilates classes. Certified instructors lead small groups of no more than four humans through tailored regimens such as Pre-Ski Pilates, which preps snowsurfers for long days leaping over moguls, and Equestrian Pilates, which strengthens the muscles used most often in outrunning thoroughbreds. Disco-lates infuses workouts with groovy tunes, while Kettl-ates adds Russian kettlebell training into the exercise mix. Newly minted mothers can shed pregnancy pounds and tone their rocking arms during the Mommyilates sessions. Students of all fitness and experience levels are welcome, and Fit First happily adapts workouts to suit the goals and capabilities of their clients. Check out the schedule for dates, times, instructors, and available classes.