At OC Fitness Boot Camp, exercise isn’t just about summoning an instant endorphin rush or fitting into a smaller pair of jeans a few weeks down the line. It’s about helping people live longer, healthier lives. Held at scenic parks and beaches, workouts help participants cultivate a love of fitness that endures when life throws them a curveball or a water balloon filled with chocolate pudding. Here, participants of all fitness levels cheer one another toward goals during strength-building exercises such as burpees, squats, push-ups, and sit-up variations. In addition to torching calories, running and jumping drills fill the group with energy, like a pep rally led by anthropomorphic lightning bolts. A seasoned instructor oversees each camper, doling out exercise demos, technique tips, and a hearty dose of motivation.
At CrossFit West Whittier, students complete pushups in midair. That's because they're gripping two Olympic rings, sacrificing the ground's stability for a more challenging body-weight exercise. After their circuit is complete, they might move on to medicine-ball throws or squats—the regimen is always unpredictable. Such is the credo of CrossFit, which combines weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio to address all aspects of physical fitness. Though its dumbbells and pull-up racks may seem intimidating, the coaches help direct students of all abilities through the varied routines, acquainting them with every piece of the stripped-down gym's equipment. Their emphasis on assistance and camaraderie guides free community workouts on Saturday mornings as well as open-gym sessions on Wednesdays—freeform meet-ups that allow students to practice their techniques without adhering to class constraints or crushing an apple to give to the teacher.
As the owner and primary trainer of Heat Personal Fitness, Antonius draws on an impressive background to whip clients into shape. The certified personal trainer got his start in the navy, where he served as a cook, diver, and surface warfare expert, all while studying various martial arts, including jiujitsu, muay thai, and judo. Today, he incorporates what he knows best—fitness and people—into intense cardio and strength classes at Heat. Peppered with elements of kickboxing and boxing, his outdoor boot-camp classes present a constantly changing regime of calisthenics, body-weight exercises, and kettlebell work, followed up with a bit of yoga. Antonius also offers an indoor women’s only class, playfully dubbed Hottyz and centered on sculpting muscles with help from the TRX suspension trainers, free weights, and step aerobics.
The Training Room?s owner and chief personal trainer can empathize with his out-of-shape clients, because just a few years ago, he tipped the scales at 300 pounds. It took two years of religious gym workouts to shed a paltry 40 of those, and he found the slow pace frustrating. But when he started high-intensity interval training, 40 more pounds fell off within three months. The form of exercise focuses on short spurts of energy, interspersed with rest, that?s specifically designed to burn maximum calories and boost metabolism in minimum time.
Equipment: _ 13 platforms, 11 men's weight-lighting bars, 4 women's weight-lifting bars, 8 training bars, jerk blocks, uesaka barbells, and 5,005 pounds of Uesaka bumper plates._
Students should bring: Bottle of water and a towel
Average class length: 60-90 minutes
Number of Staff: 1?5
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Greenleaf Yoga Studio exemplifies the many varied ways students can practice yoga. While newer students or those with limited mobility build strength with the help of bolsters and blocks during restorative classes, more advanced practitioners can practice arm balances and inversions during Level 2 classes. Additionally, students can focus on synchronizing their breath with postures during Ashtanga yoga, or crunch cores during sessions that focus on postures specially designed to tone the midsection.