Although there aren't brain surgeons roaming around their rugged, warehouse-like space, CrossFit Synapse's owners delved into neuroscience when developing their gym's philosophy and name. More specifically, they drew inspiration from the section in the brain where electrical impulses guide the mind and body through their routines. The gym's staff of certified trainers strives to emulate these connections with an ever-rotating array of functional exercises, helping guests fortify both their body and their mind. During CrossFit Awesome classes, the intense, yet fun-loving team crafts challenging workouts, drawing from their repertoire of weightlifting moves, gymnastic techniques, and cardio drills. Although they design their sessions to push each student beyond their limits, they can scale the intensity of kettlebell swings and pull-ups to accommodate any fitness level. In addition to their signature course, they also offer personal-training sessions, yoga, and children's classes that aim to build the foundations for a healthy lifestyle and potential career in Olympic hopscotching at an early age.
Helping people reach their fitness goals isn’t necessarily easy, but NASM-certified personal trainer and Level-1 CrossFit trainer Serj Khajadourian has a solid script to follow. Every day, he uses CrossFit’s workout of the day to lead an intense, full-body training session composed of functional exercises that can be tailored to any fitness level. Any given class at CrossFit Lifestyle may find exercisers performing deadlifts, squats, push-ups, or box jumps, or flipping oversized tires end-over-end across the facility’s artificial turf. After working up a sweat, clients can unwind in a locker room stocked with complimentary towels, a steam room, a sauna, a jacuzzi, showers, and a nice, cold polar bear.
Six-foot obstacle walls tower over rows of barbells and bumper plates within Valley CrossFit's 15,000-square-foot facility. The gym strives to challenge all its members with diverse equipment, including seven climbing ropes, a 1,600-square-foot pro gymnastics floor, and a 48-foot-long pull-up and monkey-bar structure. Each CrossFit workout is designed to be challenging but can be scaled for participants of any fitness level, and the trainers constantly mix up class activities to keep bodies engaged. On any given day, members might find themselves swinging kettlebells, tossing medicine balls, or using rowing machines. Though group exercise is the core of the CrossFit program, coaches can also tailor the workouts even further during personal-training sessions.
At Golden State CrossFit, the rules are simple: check your ego at the door, go heavy, and clean up any sweat or protein powder you spill on the ground. Inside their shock-absorbing interior, a team of coaches—comprised of former dancers, Division I lacrosse players, and competitive power lifters—lead students who deadlift, squat, or clean and jerk brightly colored weights with perfect form. The instructors give personalized feedback during small-group workouts, and partner with a registered dietician who supplies nutritional advice.
Inside CrossFit Studio City, there's no one primping in the mirror. There's no one chatting on a cell phone, flipping through a magazine, or watching TV. That's because the gym shuns such distractions, allowing for the absolute concentration it takes to perform CrossFit's system of high-intensity, functional movements.
Each day, certified instructors have students slinging kettlebells, doing pull-ups, and climbing ropes. Their mix of exercises preps for all physical activities, including running marathons or running a cat rodeo. The next day, they change the routine to keep everyone's focus intact.
Though the instructors push participants to their limits, there's no intimidation factor—they want people to feel good about leaving exhausted. They keep a jovial mood during classes, motivating all students with positive reinforcement and encouraging classmates to do the same for each other. Since CrossFit is scalable to all fitness levels, everyone from firefighters to soccer moms and grandparents are welcome to join in.
As CrossFit Valencia’s head trainer, it helps that Ben de la Torre has both an ACE personal training certification and a CrossFit Level 1 certification. It also helps that he has an alarm clock, since the studio’s classes begin at 6 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends. Each day as the light dawns, Torre and his staff unveil the CrossFit workout of the day—an intense, full-body workout typically composed of functional movements such as swinging a kettlebell, flipping a tractor tire, or lifting one’s bodyweight during squats, pushups, and pull-ups.
Kevin Batmanyan lugs padded mats, weighted medicine balls, and thick, heavy ropes into the park. He’s greeted by an enthusiastic group of boot campers who stretch and warm up on the grass before Kevin starts their intense training session. He leads these small groups through challenging exercises that use plyometric exercises and intense bursts of cardio to build muscles and endurance. With a focus on team building and an abundance of natural energy, Kevin aims to make the sessions motivating and enjoyable.