Gyms in Birdland

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If you see people dangling from lampposts in San Diego parks, chances are that Kevin LaCourte is responsible. The certified personal trainer finds creative uses for the outdoor landscape and architecture during his group classes, commonly hooking TRX Suspension Trainers to railings and streetlights for resistance drills. He calls upon 16 years of experience in the fitness industry to help plan his unpredictable routines, which blend calisthenics, cardio intervals, functional exercises, and core work into holistic sweat sprees. This thorough approach has helped almost 2,000 clients shed weight and gain muscle, including the creative and editorial director of Living in Style magazine, Lisa DeMarco, who attended and chronicled a six-month FitCamp endeavor.

Kevin's program sprung from his desire to lead athletic workouts for those with little to no sports background. The classes, now held at five locations, are intensely challenging, although he never yells or embarrasses his students. He instead chooses to motivate participants through honesty, supportive words, and complimentary nutrition tips. He also adjusts his techniques to accommodate clients of all skill levels. Beginners can gain coordination and strength with simplified exercises, while more advanced students can ask Kevin for heavier medicine balls and aerobic bands with higher cement content.

2559 Escondido Ave
San Diego,
CA
US

Nationally certified personal trainer Diana Salom helms Dynamic Shape, where the experienced wellness and fitness coach leads personal-training and group sessions. During ongoing boot-camp classes, exercisers gather at Celestine Park to partake in a blend of toning, flexibility, and cardio exercises. She also offers training programs that help individuals achieve personal goals and corporate boot-camp programs geared toward employee fitness.

2549 Escondido Ave.
Serra Mesa,
CA
US

Before Chris Lumpkin founded Body by Discipline, the University of Montana football team recruited him to play quarterback. After a year, he transferred to New Mexico State University, where he continued to develop his athletic skills and won a fair share arm-wrestling contests against the school's mascot, Pistol Pete. Now, he helps others achieve their fitness goals with the help of a team of instructors. Students can improve reflexes and build strength in boxing or kickboxing classes or fine-tune the muscles during body-conditioning sessions. Personal-training classes provide one-on-one attention with an expert trainer.

2250 Cardinal Drive
San Diego,
CA
US

2230 East Jewett Street
San Diego,
CA
US

Before Art Stone was head of Total Woman Gym & Spa, he ran a chain of salons. His female clientele loved their custom cuts, but California had no shortage of stylists—what they really struggled to find was day-spa pampering and weight-loss assistance, all in one spot. Stone listened, and in 1965, created precisely the sanctuary they were looking for.

The Gym

  • The group fitness classes: Held in sunny studios, classes in disciplines such as power yoga, kickboxing, and Zumba help build muscle and burn calories.
  • The personal training sessions: Trainers jolt clients out of fitness plateaus with customized workouts, or one-on-one Pilates training that tones cores and builds lean muscle.
  • The equipment: Workout gear runs the gamut from circuit-training equipment to treadmills, ellipticals, and recumbent bikes.

The Spa

  • The massages: Massage therapists relax muscles with a variety of modalities, from the gentle strokes of Swedish massage to the spreading warmth of hot stones.
  • The beauty treatments: Aestheticians beautify bodies and faces with an eclectic mix of rejuvenating facials, cellulite-minimizing treatments, and waxing for unwanted stubble.
5448 Mission Center Rd
San Diego,
CA
US

Lava Sport & Fitness offers a wide variety of monthly fitness classes across its five locations, providing fitness aficionados and exercise newcomers a spacious, mutual home base. The monthlong unlimited access to one of Lava's five gyms (up to a $298 value) includes attendance to any available fitness classes. Check the list of locations to see which classes are offered near you, and then try your hand at an indoor cycling course, or your soon-to-be blurrily speedy leg at a kickboxing class. Lava also offers group instruction on jiu jitsu, Pilates, and yoga, as well as specifically targeted workouts such as the abs class or the butt and guts course.

4164 Convoy Street
San Diego,
CA
US