The team of trainers at UPEC Fitness includes a former USC defensive back, the daughter of a Mr. California titleholder, and a high school athletics coach whose students have earned scholarships to prestigious institutions such as UCLA. Armed with diverse backgrounds and knowledge, they lead their students through a broad spectrum of programs ranging from personal training and boot camps to Zumba, aerobics classes, and sport-specific training for football, golf, volleyball, basketball, martial arts, and more.
Though now spread over the United States with 27 locations, Crunch gym started in a basement-level aerobics studio in New York City. Despite the humble location, the gym's founders aspired to foster a workout environment that would keep members exercising through entertainment, not shouting from drill-sergeant-like trainers. Their idea was to host fitness classes with offbeat touches, including hip-hop aerobics featuring a live rapper and coed action wrestling.
Twenty years later, Crunch gyms' fitness classes still stray from the beaten path. Body Web with TRX sessions suspend members from a pillar, where they complete gravity-defying maneuvers with help from strong resistance ropes. In Bosu Bootcamp, every exercise is completed on an apparatus that is part balance ball, part core board, and fully endorsed by circus seals nationwide.
In small classes limited to 12 students, the instructors of Body Rituals Studio support their exercisers as they crush challenges and recuperate from injuries in a variety of engaging class styles. Due to the small class sizes, students are given personalized attention, ensuring that beginners gain a solid foundation in proper form as they progress into body-bending machines. Advanced students are catered to as well in classes such as body sculpting, kickboxing, Zumba, and Pilates, with a schedule of morning and evening classes.
Inland Empire Boot Camp’s squad of experienced instructors eschews the ear-scarring screams of traditional boot camps in favor of rigorous motivation, individually tailoring every exercise to achieve sustainable results for students. Like the temperaments of salsa dancers, the boot camp’s intensity levels split into mild, medium, and hot categories to ensure every participant gets a vigorous but doable workout. The outdoor program mixes up activities for constantly shifting sessions, which divide time between exercises such as toning core muscles with planks and lunges and raising heart rates with jogging and calisthenics. Campers rotate through interval-based resistance and cardio training, aiming to stoke metabolic fires into searing calories. Inland Empire Boot Camp's schedule of both coed and women-only classes lets participants control their comfort levels, and the flexible schedule accommodates those who need extra time to get their werewolf or nongroggy daytime-werewolf symptoms under control. Inland Empire Boot Camp also offers grocery shopping classes, which escort students through the aisles, teaching them what to look for on food labels and how to decide between frozen or fresh, butter or margarine, and ketchup or catsup.
Football, track, kenpo karate, rugby, bodybuilding, and cycling all hold a spot on the résumé of Jack Simpson, Body Dynamics 2’s owner. He’s held his current title for more than three decades, and backed by a personal-trainer certification, he works toward weight loss and athletic excellence with his clients. Or if they’d rather workout in a group setting, clients can attend boot-camp classes that promise the same fat-busting brand of exercise.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a Californian mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play & Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children’s’ cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beck to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.