Tru Fit Bootcamp’s owner Ditanyon Demps helps clients build strength and shed pounds through a simple strategy—he confuses muscles. When muscles adapt to a certain exercise, they burn fewer calories while completing it, making rote routines less effective over time. Instead of boring the muscles and their owners with repetitive workouts, he draws on nine disciplines of exercise to construct a new routine for his classes each day. He sets students into motion power lifting, stretching, and performing Pilates, among other exercise modalities, all while fostering a positive atmosphere focused on camaraderie. On any given day, students might work in teams to carry one another across a field in gurneys, or individually hop through hoops and swing kettlebells until they finally start ringing.
Cristina's not the type of personal trainer who will yell at you. Instead, she greets all new clients with a big smile and a supportive attitude. "If you come here," she says in the video on her homepage, "I will never judge you on how you look or what you can do. I really don't care! Because I'm going to get you wherever you want to be." Cristina—who, by the way, speaks eight languages and is qualified to work with students who have various conditions such as arthritis—keeps her Pilates and swimming classes small to maximize personal attention. Classes include swimming lessons for all ages, Pilates, yoga, ball, and stretch and tone. Whether leading a group class or a one-on-one program, Cristina makes sure her clients have a good time. "We have a lot of fun here," Cristina says, "and it's a very loving and caring environment, with a lot of beautiful individuals."
When Andromeda Stevens and Kelli Altounian founded Pilates Sports Center, they set out to create a studio that eschewed run-of-the-mill Pilates routines. To achieve this, they gathered a team of experienced fitness and Juilliard-trained dance instructors who teach a variety of inventive fitness classes, including Burn at the Barre, which uses a ballet barre and light weights to tone muscle, and Stretch & Stamina, which blends cardiovascular and endurance-training routines. In addition to offering reflexology, chiropractic, and physical-therapy treatments, Pilates Sports Center is home to a teacher-training program that nurtures aspiring Pilates and Burn at the Barre instructors.
True to its name, Bikram Yoga Encino specializes in one thing: challenging 90-minute, 26-pose Bikram yoga classes. Suitable for beginners and seasoned yogis alike, each class flows through 26 different asanas—from Eagle to Cobra to Cuddly Baby Penguin—that are designed to systematically move oxygenated blood to every part of your body. As students progress in the practice, muscle tone, healthy weight, and a sense of well-being naturally follow.
Pilates Plus has brought the SPX fitness class's high-intensity blend of traditional Pilates and modern weight training to media outlets from the TV Guide channel to Shape magazine. At each 40- to 55-minute group session, Pilates pros show students how to cultivate strength, stamina, and prize-winning roses with a ProFormer machine, which works upper- and lower-body muscles through a system of springs and pulleys. Although old-school routines such as pushups and lunges tone the body, support from the ProFormer machine keeps pressure off the joints and spine so elbows don't go on strike in the middle of putting a warthog in a headlock. The Pilates component of the workout lengthens and enhances posture while keeping heart rates up and burning calories.
The dedicated squad of friendly, flexible female tutors at Urban Lily Yoga tends to each budding rubber-body with support, compassion, and personal attention, helping students exceed their goals and sprout healthy habits. Nearly 60 classes per week are held in Urban Lily Yoga’s clean, intimate studio, with styles running the gamut from the classic Vinyasa flow to off-the-bended-path disciplines such as Iyengar, restorative, and prenatal. Over the course of five classes ($15 per class), you’ll discover a full-body dexterity known only to crazy straws and the most limber of scarecrows. Mats are available to rent at $1 per class. Urban Lily Yoga’s classes are designed for students of all abilities, allowing newcomers and nuanced practitioners alike to harness the power of the art’s principles at a comfortable and supported pace.