When it comes to fitness, certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist Brian Stevenson thinks outside the box—literally. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brian developed a taste for the great outdoors at a young age. That's why he's ditched cumbersome machines for mobile workout equipment that he can use anywhere, be it on the beach, in the park, or in the front yard of that girl you want to impress. Brian's one-on-one workout programs avoid repetition by drawing on everything from CrossFit to TRX suspension training, making the program ideal for sports condition, strength training, weight loss, and muscle rehab.
Founder Linda Taix has one mission: to help clients achieve the ultimate positive change in body, health, and spirit––without half- hearted crunches. Employing a team of certified personal trainers and former military personnel, Linda's civilian-style fitness boot camp was featured on Good Morning America. Linda modeled her six-week boot-camp sessions after a real military boot camp, with an enlistment phase to gauge fitness levels and one- hour classes that blend military exercise drills, resistance training, and plyometrics with cardio activities such as obstacle courses and double-dutch jump-rope contests against local youths.
Cutting out traditional boot-camp yelling and huffing, the team fosters a supportive and motivating environment for students of all skill levels. Furthermore, Extreme employs nutritionist and fourth-degree black belt Jake Nelson to guide clients with diet advice and personal consultations on how best to break a board with a honey-glazed ham.
Core Fusion Fitness models its facility after a day spa, from its chic aesthetic to its mix of private and shared spaces. Instead of manicure stations and private treatment rooms, however, there’s a room with Pilates machines, a space for stationary bikes, an open gym area with punching bags and a boxing ring, and a spacious studio with high ceilings to facilitate dumbbell juggling. Busying themselves in these areas are the facility’s fitness instructors, who schedule a multitude of group classes. They lead traditional yoga, Zumba, boot camp, and cycling along with more fight-focused sessions, such as kickboxing and muay thai.
SUDA Fit's sleek, modern facility sets the stage for a fusion of cardio, agility, strength-training, and functional fitness techniques. Trainers lead personal training sessions and group workouts that utilize interval training to elevate clients' heart rates and maximize the physical results. The facility has a full spread of resistance bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, and other equipment, as well as a spread of supplements that can help clients get ready before their workouts or recover post-training.
DanceGardenLA was created by Zahra Zuhair and Jenna, who have been belly-dancing since childhood and have travelled the world accumulating impressive professional credits. Zuhair has trained in traditional folk and Eastern styles?including Lebanese, Turkish, Moroccan, and Tunisian?but her specialty is Egyptian belly dance, which she has studied with some of the top teachers in Cairo. She has also been featured on the cover of Zaghareet! magazine and has written, directed, and choreographed productions as the artistic director of the Ghazella Dance Company and Po Na Na Dance Theatre. Jenna acted as a goddess bellydance instructor on an episode of Sex and the City, and made appearances on The Tyra Banks Show and the Food Network program Aarti Party. She has also starred in several bestselling belly dance-instruction DVDs.
Thanks to their more than 50 years of combined teaching experience and a talented team of award-winning instructors, the studio was named the Best Place to Learn the Art of Bellydancing in 2012 by LA Weekly. The site recommended instructor Princess Farhana's "witty repartee (and Hollywood rock-scene anecdotes)," and described the predominantly female atmosphere as "always encouraging, never intimidating." The crew teaches classes including classic and tribal-style bellydance, Bollywood, and cutting-edge dance fitness such as Bellyquake and E5.
Blaine Eastcott's love of the outdoors is rooted in fond childhood memories of family camping trips. On one such trip, Blaine's teenage self impulsively climbed a 100-foot rock only to soon find himself struck by panic high up on the rock face. He was paralyzed by fear, until a surge of adrenaline gave him the courage needed to scramble the final 10 feet up. This ordeal spurred him to take rock-climbing classes?and eventually led to his current position as the president of Rockreation. His three adrenaline-inducing arenas challenge climbers of all skill levels with more than 28,500 total square feet of climbing terrain, composed of jagged cliffs, bouldering nooks, and craggy archways. The faux-mountain range mimics the conditions of real rocks with indentions, overhangs, and eagle's nests.
The gyms devote one-third of their space to a bouldering area, which blends into a top-rope course fraught with varying angles, and a large lead area with an overhanging arch. Across these angles, passionate instructors with extensive outdoors experience?and a background in conversational mountain goat?guide students through the Fight Gravity program. The three-class series focuses on belaying basics, and progresses through technique instruction and bouldering. They also lead seasonal kids' camps where tiny humans can explore the routes, or plunge on a big swing and zipline. The gyms also have a separate area with machines, traditional weights, and cardio equipment for members who want to not only climb rocks, but also lift heavy ones above their heads.