There's a special kind of disappointment that sets in after abandoning yet another fad diet or strenuous workout program. Even after trying to succeed for days, or maybe even weeks, it's easy to become bored and frustrated with one-size-fits-all weight-loss plans. At Easy Fitness, David Varvaro and his team of trainers stop the cycle and instead follow a simple philosophy—do what makes you feel good. And for David, who lost 41 pounds himself before becoming a certified personal trainer, that means fun, motivating 30-minute workouts.
Merging strength and cardio training with elements of yoga and Pilates, the workouts are designed specifically for clients who are out of shape, new to fitness, or tired of trying and failing to lose weight. David and the team at Easy Fitness customize a program to meet anyone's individual needs, from overweight clients to those looking to simply tighten and tone. Because abs are shaped not only in the gym but also in the kitchen, they combine one-on-one or group training with easy-to-follow nutrition programming. Rather than counting carbs, calories, and fat, Their clients simply eat healthy and nutritious foods four to six times per day. They even learn how to fit sweet and savory indulgences into their meal plans, sans guilt trips or portion sizes suitable only for parakeets.
Iron Fitness's name and garage-like exterior might suggest that it holds a cavernous space full of musclemen and barbells. Instead, step through the doors and you'll find an intimate, boutique workout experience marked by 9,000 square feet of fitness machines and three studios with distinct identities.
Iron x PT specializes in personal training. During one-on-one fitness sessions, upbeat but tough-minded trainers analyze what clients need to do to reach their fitness goals, then motivate them to do it. Momentum, on the other hand, is all about the power of group fitness. Its instructors don't just follow workout trends—often, they set them, pioneering styles such as the hip-hop-based Groov3 and Pound, which celebrates percussive rhythms and prepares students for marathon meat-tenderizing sessions. Finally, the Elite studio connects gloved fists and with punching bags in a ring run by pro-level boxing instructors.
GROOV3 founder, Benjamin Allen, seems drawn to dance floors. At the school parties and bat mitzvahs of his youth, he was always showcasing his moves. Though he earned a degree in business and communication from Arizona State University, the call of the dance floor proved stronger than that of the corporate world. Soon after graduation, Benjamin moved to Los Angeles to devote fully himself to the art of the groove in numerous TV commercials, musicals, sitcoms, and stage performances. Benjamin shares his passion for dance with students at GROOV3 during non-competitive cardio-dance classes.
GROOV3's fleet of experienced instructors and live DJs attempt to build a community of like-minded dancers and share their commitment to fun-filled calorie burning in a relaxed atmosphere. Classes help students of all fitness levels kick-start their hearts and torch a few calories with energetic dance experiences that tone up muscles along the way.
For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
Fitness industry veteran Dulcinea Lee Hellings's goal is to bring a high-quality, effective exercise regimen to people who don't love big gyms or can't afford personal trainers. In 2004, she realized that mornings could be used for more than hitting the snooze button over and over for two hours, and founded Boot Camp "Morning Crunch!" to help fledgling exercisers whip into shape.
She designs her all-levels programs to be scream-free morning motivators⎯the first stop in her patrons' journey of daily accomplishments. The fast-paced, ever-changing circuit of strength and cardio exercises keeps bodies guessing and minds from becoming bored. Each of the boot camp's 12 outdoor locations has a different dedicated trainer who gets to know each student personally, remembering their names and memorizing any interesting freckle patterns. They complement their morning routines with a smattering of evening options for those who prefer to work out after the day's activities.
Since the first YogaWorks opened in Santa Monica in 1987, a network of experienced yoga instructors have taught the ancient practice within the bright glow of a relaxing studio space. MyYogaWorks.com extends that network even further, allowing students to attend yoga classes within the comfort of their own homes or on the go via hundreds of streaming videos. It works like this: using their personal yoga props?including mats, blocks, straps, or blankets?students load up one of the instructors' videos on a desktop computer, smartphone, tablet, or laptop and settle in for a private yoga session catered entirely to their needs. There are classes for everyone?from beginners to aspiring teachers?and lessons range from 5 to 90 minutes long, which helps integrate a renewing exercise for body and soul into even the busiest schedules.