Though Encore Crossfit’s certified trainers come from diverse athletic backgrounds—Fernanda Magaña is a personal trainer and weightlifter, and Cristobal Chavez is a professional gymnast and martial artist—they have one thing in common: a passion for the CrossFit program's blend of varied, functional movements. Workouts change from day to day, but often incorporate running, jumping, pressing objects over the head, deadlifting, and rowing—all deemed "functional" exercises because they focus on movements that the body does naturally. In their expansive fitness center, barbells, pull-up bars, kettlebells, and plyo boxes take the place of typical gym staples such as cardio machines and cardboard cutouts of Mr. T. Each workout of the day (WOD) is scalable to suit any level of fitness, and instructors further help their clients reach fitness goals with nutrition guidance.
Though Eddie Bravo initially moved to LA to pursue his career in the music industry, he soon found himself on a series of other paths. The musician, comedy writer, and author first began training in brazilian jujitsu simply as a means to stay in shape. After honing his skills training and competing, he popularized a style of jujitsu in which fighters grapple opponents without wearing the traditional gi, bringing a series of new movements and holds to the combat art. His vision has now led to the development of more than 20 worldwide schools under the umbrella of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. He and his fellow instructors lead students through the practical self-defense techniques, which are akin to wrestling, only with the goal of making opponents submit instead of pinning them and then gently lulling them to sleep with bedtime stories.
The trainers at Crossfit Tierra say, "Our specialty is not specializing." And they're right—that's the beauty of the CrossFit system. It takes elements of Olympic lifting, gymnastics, cardio, and resistance training and wraps them into one package. That results in inclusiveness, allowing anyone of any skill level and with any fitness goal to participate in CrossFit. The trainers keep workouts accessible, offering beginners fundamental classes as well as women-only sessions. The exercise program preps students for every kind of physical activity imaginable, and is also scalable to each student's ability level. Workouts can include anything from flipping tractor tires to tossing medicine balls and performing lunges. The mix of constantly varied, high-intensity movements ensures every muscle group is worked.
Rhythmic Latin beats fill Body by Soul's 3,600-square-foot studio on Monday–Thursday evenings, with the underlying bass ordering the dance routines and toning exercises that comprise the studio's Zumba lessons. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. and with the last class starting at 7:30 p.m., with an additional class on Saturdays at 10 a.m., the schedule helps patrons get in shape in a fun, community-oriented environment free of the seeming endlessness of repetitions that can plague other workouts. By also incorporating specialty classes such as kickboxing and Extreme Core, the facility keeps workouts fresh to present participants with ways to get in shape that are more enjoyable and realistic than asking a paper clip for advice.
Kwan Aguirre's resume boasts victories and world records set in weight lifting competitions from 1998 to present day. But in his day-to-day life, Kwan is much more concerned with the goals and personal victories of those training under him. As the trainer and creator of Kwansystem Strength & Conditioning, he leads CrossFit-style workouts that combine lifting, gymnastics, TRX resistance training, and more in order to challenge students and push them to perform at their personal best. The exercises are completely scalable to clients of all fitness levels, and the workouts change every day in order to continue to challenge participants and keep the gym's barbells from getting bored and leaving.
Licensed massage therapist Jessica Duckett calls upon her expertise in Swedish and deep-tissue modalities to meet each client's physical or mental needs. During sessions lasting anywhere from 30–90 minutes, Duckett unlaces knotted muscles using fluid Swedish strokes, deep penetrating kneads, or nimble cat's-cradle techniques. She undoes chronic or injury-related pain with targeted sports massage sessions, and restores a sense of tranquility with hot oil or stones. Duckett also packs an infrared body wrap in her relaxation arsenal, swathing clients in warm heat that speeds up metabolism and smoothes cellulite.