Erica Bowen, the founder of Shine Your Light Center, had a vision to promote individual beauty from the inside out. At Shine Your Light Center, she and a staff of professional instructors and artists lead classes in Purna yoga, a style of Hatha yoga that focuses on alignment, meditation, and nutrition. Certified massage therapists promote relaxation with massages, and dance and music teachers draw inspiration from Afro-Cuban roots to lead Brazilian dance, Rumba, and Salsa classes.
The certified personal trainers at Workout LA Bootcamp help clients lose weight and gain confidence during four-week bootcamp sessions. The varied outdoor workouts incorporate athletic drills, calisthenics, Pilates moves, and even yoga poses, all of which can be adapted to different fitness level. No matter where you start, exercises increase in intensity over the course of the session, so that regulars remain challenged throughout the four weeks. Other benefits of the program include increased strength and endurance, better posture, deeper relaxation, and the ability to outrun any bogeymen living under the hallway stairs.
Sweatfit LA’s co-owners, Brian Tucker and Sam Lopez, both hold personal-training certifications, which they use to create workouts that blend both exercise theory and fitness training. During personal-training sessions and small-group training classes, they design workouts that incorporate dynamic, stationary, and ballistic movements to maximize caloric expenditure and help clients achieve a sculpted body. The rest of the Sweatfit LA team rounds out a full menu of classes that includes cardio kickboxing, Zumba, yoga, and Pilates.
The workout gurus of Sweat City Fitness, formerly known as Performance Science Training Institute, found their approach to exercise in what they call the Cardio Resistance Core system. Every workout addresses each area—building cardio endurance, enhancing strength with resistance exercises, or tightening the abdomen with core work. However, each portion of the regimen can be approached in myriad ways, creating great variety within workouts that still lead cohesively toward concrete goals, such as the ability to smash a block of concrete.
Regardless of dress size or dance background, each woman who enters one of The Secret Pole Dance Studios becomes a part of a supportive community. At both the original Culver City studio and the brand new Hawthorne location, instructors dish out compliments as they guide women through choreographed fitness routines, empowering dancers to overcome inhibitions and let loose along the way. During the Pole Diva and Sensual Movement classes, instructors also encourage camaraderie, occasionally breaking participants into groups and have them perform for one another. Though it may seem intimidating, this opportunity to show off in front of a nurturing audience provides students with the opportunity to build self-esteem.
In addition to boosting mental fortitude, the studio's sensual fitness routines also build physical strength; pole-dancing classes sculpt arms and cores, and chair-dancing classes firm up glutes, quads, and newly emerged dorsal fins. Classes unfold in the studios or on location, but the fun doesn't necessarily end once the imaginary bell rings; groups of gals can even reserve the spaces for private dance parties.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.