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.
By combining CrossFit workouts and self-defense programs under the same roof, A4 Fitness hopes to provide a broad range of opportunities for clients seeking to bolster their overall wellbeing or master a new set of skills. Each CrossFit session combines elements of weight lifting, gymnastics, and high-intensity interval training. The ever-changing nature of the workouts challenges attendees to push their limits and improve their endurance, strength, and balance over time. Martial arts lessons, meanwhile, draw from an eclectic array of styles; visitors can learn to perform the knee and elbow strikes of muay thai, the nimble footwork of traditional boxing, or the practical self-defense techniques of anything from jiu jitsu to tae kwon do.
Above all else, the gym's staff members emphasize safety. To that end, they keep class sizes small—roughly one instructor for every six students—which ensures that they can continually monitor everyone's technique while providing corrections, suggestions, and celebratory bear hugs when needed.
Determined to make workout regimens engaging and accessible for visitors of all skill levels, the trainers at CrossFit SolCity lead classes fueled by ever-changing combinations of functional exercises that bolster strength, stamina, and cardiovascular health. These sessions can incorporate anything from power lifting and sprints to gymnastics and mobility training, although the instructors always emphasize the importance of using proper technique throughout each activity. To ensure that visitors can find a workout that challenges them—yet matches their skills and fitness goals—CrossFit SolCity offers a range of classes that sport distinct fitness goals as opposed to distinct astrological signs. The signature CrossFit sessions help people push their fitness boundaries within a safe, supportive environment, and the SolFit classes emphasize weight loss and metabolic conditioning by using lighter weights as well as bodyweight exercises throughout the high-intensity workouts.
Although the workouts at Valley Crossfit are designed to be challenging, they can be scaled for participants of any fitness level. Adding to the engagement, the trainers constantly mix up class activities. On any given day, members might find themselves swinging kettlebells, tossing medicine balls, or using rowing machines to reenact Titanic's riveting canoe-race scene. Although group exercise is the core of the CrossFit program, coaches can also tailor the workouts even further during personal-training sessions.
Valley stages the group and private workouts at its 15,000-square-foot facility in Van Nuys and its new 3,000-square-foot facility in Reseda. Highlights of the larger gym include 6-foot obstacle walls, seven climbing ropes, a 1,600-square-foot pro gymnastics floor, and a 48-foot-long pull-up and monkey-bar structure.
If this were the 1970s, Wilfit Sports Club's exercise machines would seem like something out of a Kubrickian sci-fi film, where every character always had rock hard abs. Sprinkled across a 22,000-square-foot facility, their treadmills and spinning machines come equipped with 19" touch-screens on which members customize their workouts. The screen entertains too, allowing users to surf the Web or pull up their favorite TV channels. But that's not to say there isn't ample human interaction and guidance at Wilfit. The trainers work with clients during one-on-one sessions to tackle fitness goals and develop structured nutritional plans. They also lead group exercise classes, including yoga, Pilates, and K-pop dance: a high-energy workout where participants groove to Korean pop music. The gym also provides clothing to members that they can borrow for their workouts.
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.