(credit: Barre Lab)
Contrary to popular belief, fitness doesn’t have to be a dreaded obligation. The secret is discovering what makes the hard work feel like play, so you can reap the benefits of all that sweat equity and actually look forward to your workouts. Here are a few physique-building playgrounds that will have you excited for the fun workout ahead. You’ll never dread working out again!
4455 Van Nuys Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Dragonflies symbolize transformation, lightness, power, and grace, making it the perfect representation of what you can expect at this fresh, new state-of-the-art indoor cycling studio. Combining great instructors, music, and people for 45-minutes of inspiration, it serves as a jump-off point for positive change. So, no matter what kind of day you’re having, Dragonfly Cycling exists to be your salvation and a place to let loose and enjoy the process of metamorphosis.
13557 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Ventura Boulevard might not run along PCH, but that didn’t stop Sandbox Fitness from bringing beachside workouts to valley residents. Sand training is renowned for its superior benefits over training on hard surfaces. And let’s be real, it’s not everyday you’ll find a giant indoor sandbox specifically for this purpose. By design, sand training challenges bodies by activating infrequently used stabilizer muscles, efficiently spiking heart rates, and all the while staying gentle on the joints. One of the best workouts here is Tidal Turbulence, a high-intensity total body workout that combines work on the SURFSET (unstable surfboard) and TRX Suspension Training®. You’re sure to work up a good sweat, but the experience is such a blast, it’ll feel like a day at the beach.
646 Gibbons St.
Los Angeles, CA 90031
There’s an anomaly in the Arts District in Downtown, and it’s Barbell Brigade, a gym that is completely devoid of elitism, intimidation, and inflated egos that you might expect from a gym of this caliber. People are drawn here for Barbell Brigade’s magic formula that offers everything you love about lifting, minus the stuff you don’t. This supportive vibe brings back the fun in a legitimately serious strength sport. Driven mainly by word-of-mouth, they’ve established a thriving community within one short year in business. Powerlifting newbies are met with friendly faces and a welcoming environment that fosters the confidence and strength that lifting demands. That’s why it isn’t surprising when even the most unassuming of potential powerlifters become regulars. Everyone is joined together by a common thread in the pursuit to “dominate humbly.”
If you’ve ever been curious about lifting heavy, there’s no better place to learn than right here. In addition to an unmatched culture, late hours, and reasonable rates, there are all the proper big boy (and girl) toys you’ll need, like platforms, squat racks galore, specialty bars, bands, chains, prowler runs, and dumbbells up to 200 lbs. Call to inquire on day pass and membership rates.
Iron Boxing Gym
1919 Broadway St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
You might not be Manny Pacquiao, but at Iron, “you don’t have to be a pro to train like one.” Boxing training has the ability to simultaneously exhaust and exhilarate. Iron’s Signature Boxing Class has literally become a big hit with both men and women alike, due largely in part to the endlessly patient and energetic coaches that lead each class. Before the party gets started, hands are wrapped in preparation for 13 rounds of personal training style boxing and strength/conditioning work. The most elation is found when hitting the heavy bags and working one-on-one with the coaches on the focus mitts. These guys are pros at training novices to develop technique via gratifying punch combinations, defensive maneuvers, and speed/endurance drills. Even if you walked in on the worst day of your life, it’s a sure bet that you’ll walk out of your new happy place with a clear head. Give the gym a call to inquire about day passes, memberships, and class schedules.
The Stronghold Climbing Gym
650 S. Avenue 21
Los Angeles, CA 90031
The Stronghold is an independently owned/operated climbing gym that is also the largest, tallest, and easily the coolest of its kind in LA. They operate out of the former Edison Power Plant, a Historic-Cultural monument designed by John Parkinson, the architect responsible for several iconic buildings in LA (City Hall, Union Station, Los Angeles Coliseum). For those new to climbing, they offer introductory classes (gear included) to enable you to safely start climbing roped routes. Once you’re able to focus on the fun, it’s easy to spend all day trying out hundreds of professionally set climbing routes, some as high up as 55 feet. The terrain includes extensive lead-climbing, top-roping and bouldering options to suit all climbing preferences. And for those interested in sport-specific training equipment, they’ve got you covered with campus boards, a Super Moon Board, and a systems wall.