When it comes to fitness, certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist Brian Stevenson thinks outside the box—literally. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brian developed a taste for the great outdoors at a young age. That's why he's ditched cumbersome machines for mobile workout equipment that he can use anywhere, be it on the beach, in the park, or in the front yard of that girl you want to impress. Brian's one-on-one workout programs avoid repetition by drawing on everything from CrossFit to TRX suspension training, making the program ideal for sports condition, strength training, weight loss, and muscle rehab.
Founder Linda Taix has one mission: to help clients achieve the ultimate positive change in body, health, and spirit––without half- hearted crunches. Employing a team of certified personal trainers and former military personnel, Linda's civilian-style fitness boot camp was featured on Good Morning America. Linda modeled her six-week boot-camp sessions after a real military boot camp, with an enlistment phase to gauge fitness levels and one- hour classes that blend military exercise drills, resistance training, and plyometrics with cardio activities such as obstacle courses and double-dutch jump-rope contests against local youths.
Cutting out traditional boot-camp yelling and huffing, the team fosters a supportive and motivating environment for students of all skill levels. Furthermore, Extreme employs nutritionist and fourth-degree black belt Jake Nelson to guide clients with diet advice and personal consultations on how best to break a board with a honey-glazed ham.
Core Fusion Fitness models its facility after a day spa, from its chic aesthetic to its mix of private and shared spaces. Instead of manicure stations and private treatment rooms, however, there’s a room with Pilates machines, a space for stationary bikes, an open gym area with punching bags and a boxing ring, and a spacious studio with high ceilings to facilitate dumbbell juggling. Busying themselves in these areas are the facility’s fitness instructors, who schedule a multitude of group classes. They lead traditional yoga, Zumba, boot camp, and cycling along with more fight-focused sessions, such as kickboxing and muay thai.
Montebello Barnyard Zoo's animals are like rock stars, touring local homes and meeting places for one-on-one encounters and shows. Pony rides headline this traveling attraction, which also incorporates a petting zoo with various farm animals: goats, sheep, chickens, and even a llama.
The animals still spend the most time at their home venue, however. Here, fenced off areas contain larger animals such as cows and zebras, who always show up to work wearing the same black-and-white outfits. Bales of hay, wooden barrels, and a large, red barn create a rustic setting for picnics and birthday parties. Nearby, a merry-go-round spins endlessly and a truck?decorated to resemble a locomotive?pulls train cars on a tour of the grounds.
Each class at StudioFit is unique because each of the certified instructors choreographs an exercise routine set to a custom mix of heart-pumping music and lights. They welcome students of all fitness levels for spinning, cardio-kickboxing, and Zumba classes held within a spacious mirrored studio. In spinning classes, exercisers straddle stationary bikes as they pedal along to different resistances. In kickboxing, they make their ways through boxing techniques that fuel cardio workouts. In Zumba classes, dancers move to Latin-based rhythms and music, shaking their hips and performing cardiovascular dance moves more fun than the power-walking man.
DanceGardenLA was created by Zahra Zuhair and Jenna, who have been belly-dancing since childhood and have travelled the world accumulating impressive professional credits. Zuhair has trained in traditional folk and Eastern styles?including Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, and Tunisian?but her specialty is Egyptian belly dance, which she has studied with some of the top teachers in Cairo. She has also been featured on the cover of Zaghareet! magazine and has written, directed, and choreographed productions as the artistic director of the Ghazella Dance Company and Po Na Na Dance Theatre. Jenna acted as a goddess bellydance instructor on an episode of Sex and the City, and made appearances on The Tyra Banks Show and the Food Network program Aarti Party. She has also starred in several bestselling belly dance-instruction DVDs.
Thanks to their more than 50 years of combined teaching experience and a talented team of award-winning instructors, the studio was named the Best Place to Learn the Art of Bellydancing in 2012 by LA Weekly. The site recommended instructor Princess Farhana's "witty repartee (and Hollywood rock-scene anecdotes)," and described the predominantly female atmosphere as "always encouraging, never intimidating." The crew teaches classes including classic and tribal-style bellydance, Bollywood, and cutting-edge dance fitness such as Bellyquake and E5.