Physique 57 is not your typical bar workout. In a mere 57 minutes (hence the name) each class uses the body’s own weight as resistance to fatigue, then stretch the muscles, using dynamic repetitions. This creates strength, endurance, and my favorite, a beautiful booty. Physique 57 offers a variety of classes from Beginner Barre (which is by no means a light workout) to Physique Cardio, which intensely works out not only the core and limbs, but the heart as well. They even have stretch classes; a nice meditative relief after pushing the body to the extreme. Physique 57 has studios in New York, The Hamptons, Dubui, and now, Beverly Hills. They also offer on line workouts and DVDs, for those who can’t make it to the studio. For information on classes or to shop on line, visit their website at: www.physique57.com
Move over Zumba, there’s a new girl in town. JAM is a form of fitness dance created by celebrity trainer, Neda Soderqvist. Each 90 minute class packs in a plethora of moves ranging from hip hop to Bollywood, adding in a sprinkling of Pilates and fat burning drills that will tone and sculpt your body in a high energy atmosphere. This is not the workout for the weak. JAM will leave you sweaty and sore, but the fun and excitement you feel from each class makes it worth the while. JAM is being taught in locations throughout Southern California, and will soon be expanding to locations throughout the United States. For more information, visit the website at, www.juicyathleticmoves.com.
The classes at Pilates Platinum are conducted on state of the art megaformers, which take the principle of reformer Pilates to a high octane level. Each class is an aggressive tactic that conditions each muscle area in only 55 minutes. The music is pulsing, the bodies are sweating, this is truly a tough workout. After my first class, I couldn’t get out of bed the next day, but the results were worth it. They also offer spin classes and what’s called the 30/30, which is 30 minutes of Pilates and 30 minutes of spin. Heather Dorak is the guru behind this grueling workout and has opened studios all across the southland. To find a class or to sign up online, go to their website at www.pilatesplatinum.com.
“Make the ocean your gym” with Phins Water Sports Club where you can burn up to 800 calories an hour rowing in picturesque Marina del Rey. Rowing tones all the major muscle groups, yet it at Phins, it feels more like a temporary vacation away from the everyday than a workout. Once you become a member, there are no monthly dues, you pay as you go, and Phins provides all the equipment for you, including stand up paddleboards. The serenity of the ocean and the stillness of basking sea lions, makes for the most ideal of settings for a vigorous workout that’s more fun than work. To learn more about Phins, visit their website at www.phinsclub.com.
The philosophy behind Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga is “working hard sensitively.” It’s about “feeling good, not just looking good.” When you enter into one of Kest’s studios, you enter into a domain not just of hard work, but of healing. Each of his teachers has a finely tuned approach to the fundamentals of yoga, amping it up to a challenging level. All are fantastic in their own right. I’m partial though to Rudy, an ex marine with a militant bite softened by his southern charm. Kest’s power yoga is taught in studios around the world. To take a class from Brian (or Rudy), visit him in one of his Santa Monica studios, but be sure to get there early to secure a spot, since his classes fill quickly. To find out class locations and times, visit the website at, www.poweryoga.com.
California is blessed with some of the most beautiful vistas in the world, many of which are right here in LA. To get away from the routine of the gym and experience Mother Nature at her best, hit the trails, where you can witness an exquisite array of flora and fauna right in your very own back yard. In Hollywood, hike with the celebs at Runyon Canyon, or find secret waterfalls in the hills of Malibu. Hiking can be a high intensity workout or a relaxing stroll, depending on the trail you choose. Always be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring plenty of provisions, especially water. For a guide on local LA hiking trails, visit the website, www.localhikes.com.