Golden State CrossFit welcomes would-be clients to drop in and take a free introductory class before deciding whether to sign up for the cross-disciplinary training sessions. The core curriculum offers strength and conditioning training similar to that used by top athletes, but with tweaks to better suit the average fitness enthusiasts. In this spacious, no-frills gym on Ventura Boulevard, certified coaches teach hour-long group classes that include a warm-up, skill development segment, a special high-intensity workout of the day and a period of individual or group stretching. Participants range from buff guys looking to stay lean, toned women with a love for working out, and an array of adults trying to stay focused on their fitness goals. Golden State CrossFit is open Monday through Saturday, and offers discounted membership packages for long-term members.
When Darren Levine received his first Krav Maga black belt in 1984, he wasn't the first man to have worn that particular piece of fabric. The belt originally belonged to the man presenting it to him: Imi Lichtenfeld, the creator of Krav Maga. Darren had had the good fortune of learning the self-defense technique from Imi himself, and eventually became one of Imi's most trusted practitioners, developing training programs for more than 5,000 law enforcement and military personnel throughout the U.S.
In 1998, just one year after his beloved mentor passed away, Darren founded Krav Maga Worldwide to meet growing demand from curious civilians. The hand-to-hand technique is focused on reacting to realistic attacks, and teachers use scenarios inspired by everything from military combat, to late-night walks alone, to heated matches of Whac-A-Mole. Darren and his team lead various programs tailored for law enforcement and military members, women, fitness buffs, and even children, and they also offer certification programs for those looking to become instructors.
The Gym LA is a newly opened, 7,000-square-foot workout facility in West Los Angeles with a full range of cardio and strength-training equipment, machines with private TV screens, and complimentary towel service. Certified personal trainers offer one-on-one training, and friendly, experienced instructors teach small group classes, including Les Mills, Zumba, yoga, and spinning.
At Muscle Under, boxers pound heavy bags and Cybex weights clink as Pilates classes strengthen and tone clients. Helmed by Australian head trainer Steve Thornberry, the 3,200 square foot facility boasts a fleet of name brand exercise equipment from Precor, Bodymaster, and Tectrix, as well as a dedicated Pilates area with multiple reformers. All trainers study and learn under Steve, and help craft unique fitness programs suited to the goals of each new client.
The no-frills, brick warehouse exterior of Robot Fight and Fitness matches the both the interior and the ethos of this West Los Angeles dojo, which specializes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai instruction. Teachers at Robot include a BJJ black belt and a national Muay Thai champion, giving the instructors practical experience in nearly every aspect of the disciplines. For those not interested in the self-defense side of Robot Fight and Fitness, the gym has developed “RoboFit,” a catch-all exercise class that combines strength training with bodyweight exercises in different combinations. Don’t expect fancy equipment, though; it’s much more likely that the workout of the day will involve a sledgehammer than a StairMaster.
The body-sculpting TRX suspension system provides a full-body workout that has been used by professional athletes and members of the armed forces, yet is still easily accessible for men and women of virtually any fitness level. At TRX Santa Monica, the instructors lead specialized classes seven days a week, helping students develop everything from muscle tone and flexibility to agility and cardiovascular health. Additionally, the staff offers circuit training as well as high-intensity kickboxing sessions, which collectively provide a balanced approach that promotes overall fitness for the entire body.