Sweat drenched, out of breath and high on endorphins. If you experience none of these when you workout, it’s time to amp up your exercise routine. You won’t get the body you’ve always wanted by doing the same workout you’ve always done; muscles don’t respond to predictability. Combining a healthy challenge with willpower and a necessary dose of fun will get things moving in the right direction.
Sounds like a good time, right? For some fresh ideas, check out these options. They can help you reach the fitness and health levels of your wildest dreams.
Ultimate Conditioning at Crunch Gym
8000 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
When it comes to group fitness classes, it’s the instructor who has the power to catapult it to the next level. In this case, the class in question is Ultimate Conditioning and the trainer is the incredible Tanja Djelevic. She injects unmatched energy into each class, inspiring clients to work hard, kick their own backsides and revel in the process. Endurance and muscular strength will be tested with a combination of high intensity interval training (HIIT), dynamic strength training, plyometrics and functional training.
This is a full-body workout that accomplishes more than seems humanly possible in a 60-minute time period. Students leave from this sweat party elated and ready to take over the world. Ultimate Conditioning with Tanja takes place at Crunch Gym (West Hollywood) every Wednesday at noon. For those who are not members, first-time visitors can try their first class out for free. Call the club to request a complimentary guest pass in advance and arrive early, as this is a popular class that fills fast.
STACKED at Equinox
STACKED hits the body with “a healthy dose of multi-joint movements, core conditioning and a body weight challenge for a complete high density training session to torch calories, drench your T-shirt and leave you feeling lean and accomplished.” This class format (offered in 30- and 45- minute lengths) is a new approach to interval training that literally stacks movement patterns and exercises with five to six targeted movement complexes done for 30 seconds each. Each stack progresses and offers variations to challenge participants to reach their own personal edge.
From a brand that is constantly on the cutting edge, this format utilizes SandBells during training. It’s an innovative new piece of fitness equipment that is loosely filled with sand to create dynamic shift and instability, adding an additional challenge when used to catch, grip and move. Those who crave high intensity workouts (Tabata, Metcon3, etc.) see STACKED as a new challenge that paves the way to continued results. Classes are open to Equinox members only. Check out the group fitness class schedule for days/times STACKED is available at the club nearest you.
340 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
For a yoga class that turns up the heat in your practice, Moksha is the environmentally responsible studio that delivers just that. Said to be the warmest hot yoga studio around (varying between 95 and 105 degrees), the 60- and 90-minute classes available offer cardiovascular sequences that help students stretch, strengthen, tone and master the discipline needed to literally keep the mind calm under fire.
There are so many qualities that make Moksha stand out from other hot yoga studios. Namely, teachers inject their own variety into each class, so the experience never feels repetitive or stale. You’ll also notice downward dog flows that focus on the upper body and therapeutic hip openers to treat pain are found in these classes.
The Moksha Flow class offers a fun and challenging sequence that is linked together using vinyasa flows. An emphasis is placed on synergy between breath and movement in this fast paced, constantly moving format. The result is a fantastic cardiovascular and upper body workout, in addition to the mastery of the mind in challenging circumstances inside and outside of the studio. Beginners are welcome but may want to take a standard Moksha series first.
Brick Sport Performance Training
7811 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
This “box” makes CrossFit more broadly appealing to seasoned athletes that love the intense challenge of this widely popular format but are looking to mix things up. In addition to what you’d expect from a CrossFit gym, they offer programs that encourage a balanced fitness regimen, such as SpeedX (for cardio training) and yoga (for flexibility). Whereas some CrossFit gyms can have the tendency to feel cliquey, Brick coaches, staff and community emphasize an inclusive environment that makes everyone from the beginner to the professional athlete feel equally welcome and supported. Cardio Muay Thai offers double-duty benefits for those interested in learning self-defense skills while getting a workout that shakes you to the core. In a 60-minute class, speed and technique is emphasized through striking and kicking work on the bag coupled with non-stop physical and cardio conditioning.
Krav Maga Worldwide
11400 W Olympic Blvd, Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Krav Maga is the official self-defense system of the Israeli Defense Forces. It’s a simple, effective system that focuses on instinctive movements, practical techniques and realistic training situations. In addition to Krav Maga instruction, Krav Maga Worldwide (KMW) offers a wide array of other self-defense, fitness and fighting instruction formats for those looking to expand their expertise and the physical benefits that go along with this kind of training. Many clients regard this facility as one of the best places to learn how to fight, since it’s one of few that offer a safe environment and a solid foundation taught by professional fighters.
The Intro To Fight Class is the first step for beginners to learn the basics of fighting on a 12-week cycle. From there, students can hone in on stand-up and ground fighting skills through classes such as MMA, ground fighting, boxing and others. The next advancement option is the Krav Maga Fight Program, where clients go to test, develop and improve fighting skills through partner drills and sparring.
Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. Check out her other articles on CBS L.A. She also covers fitness on Examiner. Follow her on Twitter.