The individual attention of personal training and the camaraderie of team workouts converge at The Edge, a 3,000-square-foot kettlebell gym inside Personally Fit’s workout studio. Here, certified personal trainers lead three types of functional fitness classes that use tools such as weighted sleds and suspension-training harnesses to increase strength, burn calories, and gear up for Santa’s annual reindeer tryouts. During the studio’s signature kettlebell classes, students sculpt limbs and cores using cast-iron weights shaped like small cannonballs. To help to prevent injuries and reap each motion’s benefits, a Russian Kettlebell–certified instructor stresses proper form throughout the workout. The earth’s gravitational pull powers TRX classes, which help up to 10 students to master body-weight exercises using suspension-training straps. Since each movement can be tailored to a variety of skill sets, these workouts suit the needs of new exercisers and seasoned athletes alike. Built around a circuit of cardio and strength stations, boot camps boost fitness levels with sandbags and battling ropes, not piggyback rides from Richard Simmons.
Melissa was a casual gym-goer for most of her life, until one day a fitness instructor suggested that she should consider teaching fitness classes. It took her a year to switch careers, moving from teaching elementary school to teaching group fitness classes. All the while, she was scooping up certifications in anything she could get her hands on, including a National Academy of Sport Medicine certification as a personal trainer. Armed with six certifications and a massage therapist license, Melissa— one of the top endurance athletes in Ventura county— decided to open her own gym, where she could share her love for fitness with others. Rocksteady Fitness was born with the belief that exercise could be, and should be, fun. To that end, Melissa helps whip clients into superb shape by teaching group fitness classes such as kettle-bell training, Pilates, Zumba, yoga, and boot camps.
The painful experience of watching his father endure several heart attacks, and eventually a heart transplant, left its mark on John Latham, but the effect wasn’t entirely negative. His father’s struggles convinced John, at the young age of 12, that fitness and nutrition are the route to a long, healthy life. Since then, he’s trained more than 40,000 clients. He complements personal training with nutritional consultations to boost weight loss, and he also leads group fitness classes.
Oxnard Athletic Club feels like a private neighborhood gym, yet has many amenities one might find in a larger, big-box fitness center. Inside the club, clients have access to an indoor heated pool, and thanks to a selection of cardio machines, such as ellipticals, bicycles, and treadmills, exercisers never need to wait in line to work out. A separate free-weight and strength-training area ensures weightlifters can execute proper form in a comfortable space.
Elizabeth Gutierrez loves doing and teaching Zumba because it’s a fun way to work out. Certified in Zumba Fitness, she leads classes set to the tunes of motivational music as her pupils gyrate their hips and perform dance combinations that help them burn calories and trim waistlines. She is also certified in Zumba Toning, a modified version of the class that uses Zumba Toning sticks and enhanced rhythms to help sculpt bodies and build strength.