All Zumba instructors claim to create a party-like atmosphere, but Raquel Call delivers on the promise by taking her routines all the way into the club. During evening classes at Vice Ultra Lounge, the lights dim and the beats resonate as though Raquel and her students are kicking off nights on the town. Special events incorporate themes and costumes, such as retro leggings for an ‘80s bash or sweatpants designed by Betsy Ross for Independence Day. Raquel also pays homage to her Brazilian roots with Carnival celebrations and Brazilian Nights, where she showcases her background in samba while dancing to live South American music.
Amid all the gyrating, it's easy for her pupils to forget that they're burning calories. However, Raquel's testimonials and weight-loss stories speak to the benefits of her classes. Her expertise enables her to host master classes with established guest instructors, and earned her Diablo magazine's Best of the East Bay award for Best Zumba Class in 2012. By helming additional classes in yoga, samba, and Zumba Toning, she helps her guests pursue their fitness goals with a combination of poise and pizzazz.
Harnessing a minimum of 500 hours of Yoga Alliance training, YogaWorks's expert instructors build lean muscles with traditional Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Vinyasa flows enhanced by inspiring music, ambient candlelight, meditation, and props. Their fitness classes further the body-shaping results of yoga, strengthening core muscles with Pilates, increasing endurance and lean muscles with TRX classes, and building stamina with resistance-based SculptWorks. Instructors also host exotic yoga retreats, which marry the excitement of travel to far-away locales with the benefits of yoga to bestow students with the confident grace required to approach a foreign yoga mat without startling it.
Those in search of further training can access online videos by subscribing to myyogaworks.com, which offers a free, 14-day trial for new users. Students can search for videos by workout duration, skill level, and the targeted area of the body.
The fitness instructors, personal trainers, and nutritionists at ClubSport wield the foundations of total-body wellness: detailed knowledge and cutting-edge equipment. Group classes such as cardio kickboxing, cycling, and circuit training showcase routines for all fitness levels, seven days a week. Personal-training sessions, meanwhile, bring help exercisers develop their own fitness plans and face down the imaginary knight that guards every piece of weight-training equipment.
ClubSport also transforms bodies outside the fitness studio and weight room. A self-described resort-style aquatic center features several lap and exercise pools where swimmers can fine-tune their breaststrokes and favorite shark calls. At an on-site spa, massage therapists ease muscle tension with modalities ranging from hot stone and prenatal to trigger point and reflexology.
UFC Gym - Walnut Creek’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, UFC Gym- Walnut Creek sculpts six-packs with boxing and kickboxing classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
Between partner-based exercises and the inspirational commands of a certified personal trainer, community is a constant motivator during EmpowerFIT’s boot-camp classes. The savvy team of fitness gurus switch up the maneuvers of each daily class to help keep students engaged, and high- and low-impact variations of each move scale to the abilities of each student. The result is a full-body workout that relies on functional movements such as jumping, running, pushing, pulling, and bopping it.
Forma is still sparkling from the recent updates to its facility, which complements its class schedule with future-compliant equipment. Real Ryder bikes challenge core muscles to a bitter, spandex-laden duel with lateral movement during the spinning class. In TRX suspension classes, straps extend from the ceiling to lift your backside into the air, and a high-energy strength and core workout keeps it lifted all day long. Happy feet and yummy hips alike can shake off stress and stubborn ticks with a Latin-dance-inspired Zumba class. Forma can also banish flab from life-sized action figures with martial arts and Pilates classes. Stretch out beforehand with a one-on-one yoga session with an expert instructor, who will engage every muscle with flowing asanas or by proposing to them on the Jumbotron. Forma provides complimentary parking for up to two hours.