Each day, the trainers at CrossFit Sacramento challenge their members with a new workout, wringing sweat from every muscle with exercises based on high-intensity, functional movements. Other than a pair of Livestrong bikes and a few rowing machines, they've kept their black-and-yellow gym free of most traditional gym equipment. Here, gymnastics rings dangle from frames, climbing ropes hang from the ceiling, and rows of medicine balls and kettlebells line the walls. The instructors can modify the workouts to match almost any ability level, accommodating both hardcore fitness fanatics and those who haven't ever worked out. The challenging routines change frequently to keep minds from getting bored and fluttering out of skulls midworkout—for example, one day students might heave kettlebells and hop onto boxes, and the next they might climb ropes and blast through reps of push-ups.
When the clock strikes noon, most people start thinking about what’s for lunch. The instructors at Okunami Workplace Yoga, on the other hand, begin leading their students through a warm-up at the noon hour to prep them for an invigorating 50-minute yoga routine. They travel to highly populated office buildings throughout the Sacramento area on weekdays where they motivate businesspeople to launch into a midday workout to break up an otherwise sedentary day at the office. Instructor and owner Valerie Okunami’s passion for yoga shines through each class she leads, as she helps aspiring yogis of all ages and abilities lead more active and healthy lifestyles. In addition to traveling to their preset locations to lead public classes, she and her staff make special trips by request to office sites to lead private group lessons.
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 and 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.
At Practice Yoga, a nimble-limbed team of instructors marries ancient and modern techniques while emphasizing meditative focus and body awareness. During Hatha and Ashtanga classes, they dole out personal corrections and encourage students to break through their own perceived physical barriers, which is a much more realistic goal than breaking through someone else's very real shark-guarded barriers. To boost the flexibility and strength of more advanced and adventurous yogis, they turn to a precisely engineered, customizable yoga wall, which boasts numerous suspension straps and latches designed to help students ease back pain, carve out stronger cores, and bolster flexibility as they perform headstands and curl their way through crunches.
Hardwood floors, exposed brick, lofted ceilings, and paneled windows make Yoga Shala's practice room feel like a hip art gallery. Within this space, instructors help students sculpt stronger, more flexible bodies. Though the instructors welcome students of all experience and fitness levels to every class, they help students reach specific goals and shelves by teaching three yoga styles. Vinyasa classes, with their continuous series of flowing postures, provide a powerful and strengthening practice. Proceeding at a comparatively slower pace, Yin yoga focuses on stretching the body's connective tissues. Kundalini classes emphasize an equal balance of breathing, movement, meditation, and chanting.
A fitness expert for more than a decade, Terence Hendricks whips clients into shape during True Fitness Boot Camp?s outdoor sweat sessions. The sun shines and the birds chirp as Terence, who holds five personal training certifications, leads students of all fitness levels through a 60-minute strength and cardio regimen of push-ups, sprints, and lunges. Classes?held five days per week?work the entire body, especially when supplemented by Terence and staff?s nutritional guidance. For clients who want to measure their transformations, the True Fitness team can perform pre- and post-camp evaluations, which may include taking body measurements and seeing how long it takes you to move one tiny mountain.