Though the CrossFit exercise technique has steamrolled the nation, CrossFit Madre is family place through and through. It's an amalgamation of Peter Sandford's background in hapkido and weight conditioning and his wife Rocki's masters degree in public health and nutrition from UCLA. During intimate group classes, the instructors lead students in workouts that range from high-energy cardio and bar work to kettlebell weight training. This personalized combination of techniques helps clients set individual goals to tone physiques and promote endurance.
Next Level Training's spacious, naturally lit facility meets a wide spectrum of fitness needs, from improving strength and agility to losing weight. The gym boasts a roster of workout stations that includes free weights, machines, and TRX equipment. In a separate area, a 1,000-square foot space hosts boot camps led by Next Level Training's motivational instructors.
Joy DiPalma struggled with weight problems in her youth, but overcoming them, launched her 12-year career of personal training, competitive sports, and psychological study. By successfully changing her own life, she gained an intimate understanding of what it takes to break one's barriers and lead a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically, and she decided she wanted to help others change their own lives. So she founded Core Conditioning CrossFit, blending her knowledge of motivational science and nutrition with the intense exercise of CrossFit and the beauty of the outdoors.
Joy draws on many schools of exercise to construct her workouts, integrating cardiovascular training with strength building and flexibility drills with stability coaching. Workouts and postworkout naps are held in Pan Pacific Park, where the early morning sun offers warmth, light, and the promise of a new day.
Cross Training 360’s more than 15 fitness classes build long, lean muscles instead of bulky mass while burning up to 1,200 calories per session. Each one-hour class, such as Piloxing—a mix of Pilates and boxing—features cross training for well-rounded conditioning while reducing boredom as well as injury risk. Besides classes such as TRX Glide and hip-hop dance, Cross Training 360 offers a 90-day weight-loss-oriented boot camp.
Kevin Batmanyan lugs padded mats, weighted medicine balls, and thick, heavy ropes into the park. He’s greeted by an enthusiastic group of boot campers who stretch and warm up on the grass before Kevin starts their intense training session. He leads these small groups through challenging exercises that use plyometric exercises and intense bursts of cardio to build muscles and endurance. With a focus on team building and an abundance of natural energy, Kevin aims to make the sessions motivating and enjoyable.
Inside CrossFit Studio City, there's no one primping in the mirror. There's no one chatting on a cell phone, flipping through a magazine, or watching TV. That's because the gym shuns such distractions, allowing for the absolute concentration it takes to perform CrossFit's system of high-intensity, functional movements.
Each day, certified instructors have students slinging kettlebells, doing pull-ups, and climbing ropes. Their mix of exercises preps for all physical activities, including running marathons or running a cat rodeo. The next day, they change the routine to keep everyone's focus intact.
Though the instructors push participants to their limits, there's no intimidation factor—they want people to feel good about leaving exhausted. They keep a jovial mood during classes, motivating all students with positive reinforcement and encouraging classmates to do the same for each other. Since CrossFit is scalable to all fitness levels, everyone from firefighters to soccer moms and grandparents are welcome to join in.