Beach volleyball and walks on the Promenade are far from the only ways to get exercise, work for that Olympian physique, or just blow off steam in Los Angeles. For those seeking the latest fitness trend or tired of the same old workout spot, here are some of the area’s newest, most innovative programs and sweat sanctums:
At the newly revamped Bunker in Beverly Hills, enhanced floors and mood lighting set to bass-heavy beats pumping from speakers create a “night-club vibe” perfect for getting in the mood to work up a sweat. The underground paparazzi-proof spot has a one-client-at-a-time philosophy. Members enjoy exclusive amenities such as biometric measurements and videogames built into the machines. With experience training celebrity clients such as Nicole Scherzinger, Mary J. Blige, Sylvester Stallone and Ben Affleck, owner Adam Ernster believes that getting in shape is “just like a wedding or a movie role; you don’t have a lot of time and you want to make the most of it.” Rather than a core workout, he promotes a fitness routine using all major muscle groups that incorporates full-time movement and rotation. “All your body cares about is survival,” Ernster says. “If you want quick results, now’s the time to spice it up.”
The Bunker: 465 N. Roxbury Drive, Beverly Hills 310-860-0909
The Lifestyle by Scott Crawford
It seems safe to say that The Lifestyle by Scott Crawford, a new fitness program at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, has the only workout that includes shopping or a trip to the museum. Crawford’s program features cultural excursions alongside physical exercises and spiritual activities like meditation, which Crawford has organized into half- and full-day wellness retreats. “I really dug deep to think about how all the flows would go, how [the activities] would mix and match,” says Crawford, whose SOMA Get Fit program offers similar retreats and activities in Santa Barbara. A full-day Lifestyle retreat might include a hike or horseback ride, then tai chi, then a museum visit, with visits to the hotel spa and restaurants in between. And for guests whose schedules do not accommodate a full retreat, a variety of those 60- and 90-minute component activities are offered individually.
The Lifestyle by Scott Crawford: Offered at Hotel Bel-Air, 701 Stone Canyon Road, Los Angeles 310-472-1211; the Beverly Hills Hotel, 9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills 310-276-2251
New Barre Workouts
Two Southern California locations are raising the barre for fitness -- the ballet barre, that is -- and offering workouts designed to sculpt a lean “dancer’s body.” The Dailey Method, a 12-year-old barre program and one of the West Coast’s firsts, opened a Venice studio in June, offering yoga- and core conditioning-focused barre workouts. The Dailey Method’s program focuses on improving posture as well as conditioning, says co-owner Tenaya Cardoso, and the new Abbot Kinney location sells organic juices and locally made fitness wear. “The goal of our class goes beyond the class. We really want to create a healthy life fitness balance,” Cardoso says. In Pasadena, Rock It Workouts gym, opened last year, introduced a new barre class called “Barre Fly” in March. Rock It’s “Barre Fly” class, alternatively, has participants work out -- as in all of Rock It’s programs -- to beats from live DJs.
The Dailey Method: 1327 1/2 B Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice (entrance on Electric Avenue) 310-396-1500; Rock It Workouts: 54 W. Green Street, Pasadena 626-657-2224
Expanding its CrossFit brand with a recent launch in Brentwood (May 15) and soon-to-be arriving downtown Los Angeles spot (slated for September), Brick offers personalized workouts to everyone from elite athletes and business execs. The facility sets itself apart with unique activities like agility and speed training in a Hunger Games-inspired routine. In addition, it features time-based regimes such as the Tabata method, which uses 20-second bursts of intense workout followed by 10 seconds of rest. Led by certified trainers including senior head coach and managing owner Jarett Perelmutter, classes include yoga, Muay Thai cardio kickboxing and Olympic lifting. Perelmutter feels strongly about well-rounded workouts. One thing he cautions on is holding yoga poses for too long: “Static holds in hyper extended positions can cause tears in ligaments and muscles without really knowing it.” He encourages members to push through their comfort zones, bypassing any illusions of glamour to attain a pinnacle of fitness. “Old-school vanity mirrors are a thing of the past,” says Perelmutter. “Find an intense threshold and learn how to teeter on that threshold.” While classes vary from one-day passes for $22 to 100-day class passes at $1200, full membership packages ranging from one week at $70 to monthly at $175. Registered members have unlimited access to classes.
Brick: Three locations- 7811 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood 323-315-0700; 11755 Wilshire Blvd, Brentwood 424-269-2800; 334 S. Main St. Los Angeles 90013 213-223-6233