Getting in shape in the new year tops many a list of resolutions, and there’s no shortage of options for working out in the Conejo Valley. With new gyms and specialty fitness programs sprouting up to join local favorite workout spots, finding a routine to fit any style is a walk in the park.
Intense-Level Group Fitness
Along Thousand Oaks Boulevard, fitness enthusiasts are checking out Burn 60, where the tagline is “group fitness, personal victories.”
“There’s one trainer per class, but he or she will find a way to connect with you, correct your form or modify the workout according to your level,” says Kristy Catchpole, vice president of operations of the fitness chain. She says the gym experience is personalized from start to finish.
“We know your name, the last time you were here, or if you had previous injuries or illnesses,” she says.
Classes typically run 60 minutes long, with more intense classes lasting 20 or 45 minutes. The workouts, including treadmill and targeted floor exercises using weights, bands and kettle bells, appeal to a wide range of ages and fitness levels.
“It’s fresh everyday—the workout, the music, everything,” says Catchpole. “You can come in here knowing you get the best workout you can get that day. We call it ‘contagious motivation and palpable energy.’”
Also capitalizing on group motivation and energy is Drenched Fitness in Westlake Village. Classes are led by a personal trainer who pumps up the group with various fast-paced cardio workouts and strengthening equipment.
“You can go at your own pace,” says Studio Manager Samantha Baumann. “But be ready to warm up, sprint, recover and go at it again.”
Martial Arts & Self-Defense
For those wanting to step it up a notch, there’s Title Boxing in Newbury Park.
“Boxing is unique in a way because when you throw a punch, it not only engages every single part of your body but your brain as well,” says Lisa Oliver, general manager. “It requires intense mental focus, forcing your body to do things it is not used to doing.” The punches, the core work and the footwork are based on real boxing principles and taught by real boxers.
“We are not just mimicking boxing moves,” says Oliver. “We are training in exactly the same way boxers would train for a fight.”
Oliver says “every single person on the planet” can try boxing. And the list of benefits is a mile long, including calorie and fat burn in the least amount of time through high-intensity interval training.
Newbies can choose from approximately 35 classes each week, including PD Fighters, a specialized program for members with Parkinson’s disease, and Silver Sluggers, for more mature members looking for a less intense pace.
“The life-altering benefits of boxing are long—stress relief, empowerment, confidence, courage,” says Oliver. “What are you waiting for?”
Krav Maga is a type of self-defense developed by the Israeli military. It incorporates realistic fighting techniques from other martial arts disciplines.
“If you want to learn how to defend yourself while achieving tip-top form, Krav Maga is for you,” says Mark Cox, owner of America’s Best Krav Maga, which has studios in Simi Valley and Chatsworth. Its third location, in Moorpark, is slated to open in early 2016. Adults as well as kids can benefit from the program.
“We attract stay-at-home moms, college kids, professionals in the security business, families, you name it,” says Cox.
New students receive Krav Maga shirts instead of the traditional karate uniforms expected of martial arts studios. Students also earn colored belts and move up after they master a level.
For people who prefer optimal, holistic health as a top priority with fitness benefits automatically built-in, there’s Hot Yoga 1000 in Newbury Park. Classes are held in an awe-inspiring environmentally-controlled room with the temperature set at 105 degrees, with 38 to 40 percent humidity.
“We use the heat to bring out the health benefits our practice provides,” says Owner Kevin Mattison. “Bikram Yoga–also known as hot yoga–has been known to heal insomnia, type II diabetes, hypertension, psoriasis and PTSD and also helps with weight loss and detoxification from foreign substances like prescription drugs, alcohol, narcotics and caffeine.”
“Bikram Yoga has a wide appeal—men, women, older teens of various athletic abilities,” says Mattison, a yogi for the past eight years. For 90 minutes, Mattison and his Bikram-trained instructors take aspiring yogis and yoginis through gentle and deep poses, beginning with a 50-minute warm-up.
“We like to call it a ‘health optimization practice’ versus ‘a fitness practice,’” he says. “We help our students make wise food choices that coincide with the practice. We advocate being omnivores or the avoidance of processed or boxed food basically.”
There is inner strength in yoga, according to Mattison, as one learns how to overcome self-limiting thoughts.
“You become the leader of yourself,” he says.
Another non-cardio workout gaining traction in the community is Studio Barre in Newbury Park.
“It’s not a dance class, contrary to what many people think,” says Owner and Lead Instructor Cindi Garabedian. “The workouts are composed of small isometric moves that focus on building core strength and improving posture. We only use the barre for balance. The workouts are a nice complement to sports that use large muscles like running, swimming, etc.,” she says.
Expect to be continuously challenged though. There’s brand-new choreography every quarter, according to Garabedian.
“We will always challenge you,” she says, of the 37 classes that are taught seven days a week. The barrre workouts can easily be tailored for clients with bad backs, weak knees, surgeries and various movement or health-related issues.
Fitness guru Sebastien Lagree was on to something when he developed the Megaformer machines.
“It’s the reimagined Pilates reformer machine,” says Chiropractor Kristin Beierle, who leads Megaformer classes seven days a week at BodyRestoration Chiropractic in Newbury Park.
The workouts are customizable, according to Beierle, who adjusts the spring tensions herself on the 10-foot-long, 250-pound contraption that is the Megaformer. Men and women from 16 to 70 years old of various athletic abilities are drawn to the workouts and the promise of long, lean muscles.
One to Watch
Opening mid-January is the 96,000-square-foot Sports Academy, a new world-class sports training and wellness campus in Newbury Park designed to elevate the performance of athletes of all ages. Facilitated by premier coaches, trainers and practitioners, Sports Academy provides the tools, inspiration and guidance necessary for every athlete to excel in a welcoming, professional and supportive atmosphere. Through state-of-the-art technology, sports science, rehabilitation and development of mental acuity, Sports Academy’s customized programs are designed to guide athletes toward excellence in everything they do, no matter how challenging.
Ask about introductory and New Year specials, and tell them you read about it in CVL.