Before Hayden Panettiere starred as a cheerleader with superpowers in NBC's Heroes, she had to train for the role. Her training grounds: West Coast Rush Cheerleading. Helmed by Carlos and Jennifer Onofre, the center taps into the owners' combined 35 years of cheerleading experience to instill students with the agility and athletic prowess needed for the demanding sport. Classes range from beginning tumbling, which focuses on the basics?such as round-offs, back walkovers, and front handsprings?to flight school, which zeroes in on flexibility and growing the wings that all championship cheerleaders possess.
At We Rock The Spectrum Kid's Gym-Northridge, kids can curl up inside a hammock cocoon, spin on a tire swing, or jump on the trampoline. They can zoom along a low-hanging zipline, pedal a colorful kid-sized stationary bike, or cook an imaginary meal in a tiny kitchen. They can paint, play with beads, or weave lanyards. Whether they are there for Break Time childcare or open play, kids can take advantage of the whole gym and its colorful array of activities.
Surrounded by craggy peaks, three men in bright-red helmets stand in the midst of wilderness, surveying the mountains around them as their group of hikers break for a snack on the rocky ground. This interface with the majesty of nature is all in a day's work for this trio of adventurers—Paul Mangasarian and Jakob and Daniel Laggner. Still, their passion for open-air exploration grows with each expedition they lead. Paul, Jakob, and Daniel cofounded Treks and Tracks with the dream of orchestrating excursions into nature that combine ancient means of travel—such as sailing, horseback riding, and hitchhiking on a centaur—with modern sports ranging from surfing to rock climbing. Though they focus on introducing novice outdoorsfolk to unspoiled wilderness around the world, Treks and Tracks' cofounders also strive to leave the awe-inspiring surroundings they visit as pristine as they found them by rigorously upholding practices of environmental stewardship on each expedition.
65-year-old Judith Harris hadn't worked out a day in her life. In her testimonial on CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle's website, she says, "It was with absolute fear that I entered a gym for the first time, knowing I needed help, but not having any idea what to expect." Jessyca Slaymaker, the center's owner and head trainer, worked with her to devise a personalized fitness regimen, then helped her build the confidence to push herself past her preconceived fitness barriers. Today, Judith is down to 5% body fat and can curl a 15-pound dumbbell. "What I am learning from [Jessyca] has impacted my life beyond the gym," she says. "I give her the highest recommendation."
This is just one of the success stories from CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle, where experienced teachers and trainers forge fit bodies in the seasoned and inexperienced alike. For parents with small children, Jessyca and her certified staff host Mommy & Me yoga sessions and the Tiny Jammers music class, which keeps little ones engaged with creative music activities while parents work out. Jessyca calls on her prenatal fitness certification to lead Baby Bump Bootcamp, which keeps expectant mothers healthy and helps stave off the common aches and pains of pregnancy. Naturally, CardioBody Fitness & Lifestyle also offers a host of classic fitness classes, leading students through everything from restorative yoga to medicine ball workouts. Morning Mix Flow vinyasa yoga classes help detox the body with vigorous poses and breath work as ballet barre sessions harness the lengthening and strengthening powers of traditional ballet techniques.
BOLDFITNESS owner Jeff Archibald offers functional fitness regimens such as weightlifting, core training and body-weight exercises. Jeff helps clients of all ages and abilities get in shape, reach their full athletic potential, recover from injuries, or train for sporting events. With scenic workouts along the Santa Monica Mountains, Jeff may take clients walking, hiking, running, and mountain or road biking. Shorter workouts may take clients to unconventional locales such as the 4th Street Stairs in Santa Monica, an ideal setting for full-body conditioning. But Jeff doesn't eschew traditional fitness facilities entirely—he regularly works with individuals in homes, at a health club, and at an indoor rock climbing venue. But at some point between reps, he'll likely suggest a trip outdoors for cardio training.
Inside Top Out Climbing Center's 11,500-square-foot facility, the walls are lined with both multicolored handholds and the climbers using them to scurry up. Those handholds are arranged in several configurations to challenge climbers of varying skill levels. Scalers can improve skill levels during 90-minute introduction-to-climbing classes that cover basic movements, safety, and proper gear usage. To entice bouldering enthusiasts, there's also a 100-foot steep wall, a 20-foot-high top-out wall, and a 15-foot-high freestanding boulder. All bouldering zones are outfitted with foam landing areas for safety.