Poway Pilates owner and head instructor Jennifer Richards and her team of Pilates Method Association-certified staff chisel their clients into shape using the Stott Pilates technique. The style, which blends principles of sports medicine with physical therapy and modern fitness, works to strengthen specific joints at the same time as the whole body—creating long, lean muscles and improving overall stability.
Inside the 1,600-square foot studio, walls painted in soothing earth tones provide a pleasant contrast from rows and racks of sweat-inducing Stott Pilates gear. Private and group sessions guide guests through core-strengthening Pilates mat and reformer exercises, during which instructors use verbal cues to tell participants when to change positions. Other sessions combine the basics with boot-camp, barre, and kettlebell workouts.
While protecting the beauty of their clients, Spa Willamina also protects their skin and the environment by using pure, plant-based, natural products. Willow Light, the owner, puts her 20 years of healing experience to work in the spa, which features towering plants, an exposed-brick fireplace, and hardwood floors that can be pried up and thrown into the fireplace if necessary. Willow’s staff is a small army of aestheticians and massage therapists who have skills as diverse as certified diet counseling and herbalism. Inside various tranquil spaces—including a shower room, foot-soaking room, and nap room—they work to exfoliate body surfaces, knead out tension, and remove unwanted hair with soft strip and Cirepil Blue hard wax.
Jason Dunbar, owner of CrossFit Poway, has been a CrossFit trainer since 2004, and he took part in some of the renowned workout method's first certification sessions in Santa Cruz. Each one-hour workout is different from the last, challenging muscles to get stronger and faster through high-intensity functional movements such as dumbbell lifts, jumping squats, and anvil juggling. Dunbar also specializes in coaching children and teens during CrossFit Kids classes. In 2011, his gym helped to build a stronger community by hosting a 31 Heroes event to raise money for the families of military personnel killed in active duty.
A quick look at Lisa Lorraine Taylor's lengthy resume reveals a life-long dedication to healthy living. The fitness expert has written articles for various publications, has a bachelor's degree in holistic nutrition, and holds more than a dozen certifications, including ACE certification as a personal trainer and a lifestyle and weight-management consultant. At Taylor Made Fitness, Ms. Taylor draws on this expertise as well as a non-intimidating, friendly training style during results-driven private and small group sessions, which are designed to help both experienced and new-to-exercise patrons meet their fitness goals by shaping and strengthening the whole body. Making good on the gym's cleverly quirky name, she can also design custom nutrition programs to further help her clients lose weight both in-studio and outdoors.
Burning calories and enhancing coordination, the music-fueled workouts of Fit in 60 can be tailored to suit new exercisers, injured athletes, and moms-to-be. Fit in 60's founder discovered firsthand how focused, floor-based isometrics could sculpt muscles as long and flexible as a dachshund doing a gymnastics routine. However, these exercises didn't always raise the heart rate enough to provide a cardiovascular workout. Disappointed, she began to experiment. Lo and behold, when the moves were flipped upright, she could pair them with dance elements, which solved the heart-rate problem and added a dose of excitement.