The friendly, certified trainers at South Bay Fit Camp use a wide variety of games, activities, and exercises during their upbeat fitness classes. These group workouts are infinitely more fun than childhood recesses spent running from feral tire-swings. Classes meet outdoors regardless of the weather, so dress limbs in easy to peel layers, slather on sunscreen, and bring water-friendly clothing. Each workout challenges exercisers of all fitness levels, and South Bay Fit Camp's smaller classes make sure no one is left behind in the woods and eaten by bears dressed as Richard Simmons. In addition to basic boot-camp classes, South Bay also offers bridal fit camp for brides and grooms as well as mommy fit camp for new and soon-to-be mothers.
First-time campers kick off with a comprehensive, one-on-one consultation with a certified fitness consultant. Then, during each session, boot-bodies can expect varied total-body workouts heightened by exercise formats such as resistance training, jump roping, kickboxing, Pilates, partner drills, short-distance running, and encyclopedia ripping-in-half. At the end of four weeks, goals are assessed and firm, silent, head nods of confidence are exchanged. Long Beach Boot Camp requires that all campers bring the following equipment to each session: exercise mat, set of hand weights, resistance band, and water bottle.
The instructors at Studio H Conditioning can attest to the power and efficacy of Pilates. As dancers, Heidi Debrincat, Maggie Phillips, and Randyn Spear have an intimate understand of the limitations of their own bodies, and each have found Pilates an integral part of not only maintaining their flexibility, but also preventing future injuries. The instructors lead group classes and offer private sessions that help students chisel strong cores, enhance posture, and build better lung capacity than a professional basketball inflator.
Gabriel Hall, owner of Yoga World Studios, discovered yoga at the age of 19 while pursuing his degree in philosophy. Dr. Allen Arnette—already the clinical director of the Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Department—began studying yoga as a way of researching the role mental well-being plays in healing physical ailments. Katherine Ostrout studied dance science at Cal State Long Beach and turned to Pilates after a ballet injury laid her low. These three weave their diverse backgrounds into the rich tapestry of talent made up by Yoga World’s team of yogis.
Having studied extensively in particular schools of yoga, instructors bring their individual training into the studio, focusing on disciplines that range from the physically challenging to mentally reflective, and include Iyengar, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, and Anusara. In addition to their regular yoga lessons, the Yoga World team also leads mat-Pilates classes, workshops, and private instruction. They use the art of yoga for healing in one-on-one sessions of Thai yoga therapy, which blends shiatsu massage with acupressure, or they coordinate beachside retreats full of yoga, surfing, and yoga-surfing.
Head coaches Nick and Julz Heaney draw from their experiences as professional wakeboarders to unveil the mysteries of the sport for students of any skill level. The two-part private lessons take place back to back on the same day, first on land and then on water, for about one and a half to two hours of hydro-taming instruction, though students can stay for up to four hours. During the land portion, an orientation covers boat and safety basics and sea-shanty harmonizing. Students also practice turning on heel and toe in order to develop the muscle memory needed to control the board on the water. Once the wake mavens deem their apprentices worthy of buoyancy, the lessons take to the water, where either a Pro 09 MasterCraft X-Star speedboat or a team of harnessed dolphins awaits.
Leah Marsh discovered Pilates in college, but she never though it's where her career path would end up. After working at a luxury magazine and then for an eco-fashion designer, however, she found her way back to Pilates and opened a studio in her hometown of Long Beach. Marsh now operates two Pilates X studios, each of which hosts a diverse array of Pilates, yoga, and cardio classes. For all of their differences, these classes share an emphasis on toning muscles with Pilates techniques. Marsh has even put to use her background in eco-conscious fashion, stocking her studios with boutique sportswear and encouraging her students to only deadlift renewable trees.