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Gym Time: Where To Work Out This Season


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Crossfit Newport Mesa
375 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

What is a typical CrossFit workout? Well they are ever changing day-to-day. “We always have different workouts called WOD or the Workout of the Day posted online, and there are five different versions. Members can create on their own, ” Owner Carter Grant explains. “They can decrease or increase weight or repetitions depending on their skill level, and at the end of the workout, they can track their progress on the online leader board to see where they are ranking against fellow members.” They also compete in various CrossFit competitions; an example would be the Legendary Competitor Competition where CrossFit Newport Mesa took first, second and third for males and first in females among many other awards. The gym also is a huge supporter of Cystic Fibrosis and competes in Hike the Halo every year. This year, they clenched first place. CrossFit Newport Mesa also has a five-to-one coach-to-member ratio as safety is something that is extremely important to them. “Safety, scalability and community are the three most important things on my list as these are the foundation of this gym, ” Carter firmly explains. “No one works out in this gym without a coach; that is something I am firm about. The last thing I want is one of the members to get hurt.” Another very important component to CrossFit Newport Mesa is community. “It’s the members’ gym; the members are the true owners here, ” Carter proudly says about the members working out around him. It is clear that he is proud of not only the gym he has, but also the people he has around him. As he says this, the gym mascot, his black lab Ryatt, jumps by his side, which he gracefully lifts into his arms and gives a huge bear hug. It is obvious that there is a ton of love in this building along with the hard work and sweat that comes from this all-star workout. Gym


RA gym

Ra Yoga
3077 Bristol St. Suite A
Costa Mesa, California 92626
714.708.3060 |

Breathe in and relax as you enter the calm serenity at Ra Yoga in Costa Mesa. The staff is calm and incredibly kind—not to mention extremely relaxed. Unlike most of the rest of Orange County, I have never entered a yoga studio. I get a chuckle out of owners Bobby Kittleman and Jenny Vende Hei as I sheepishly slip my very loud cheetah print shoes off. After walking the halls, I realize that much of the décor is lovingly homemade at Ra Yoga, even the wood floors were placed with love in mind. The balance throughout the studio is very noticeable, and this is one of the reasons they were selected as our winner for Most Balanced; everything feels thoughtfully connected and very serene. “Yoga is a clear connection to your spirit. It allows you to have a beautiful body, but it also allows you to unlock your potential, work longer, and inspires you to live your dreams” explains Vande Hei. “Ra opened its doors in 2011, but prior to that, I was in a car accident and was told to go to yoga to deal with both my accident as well as my stressful job—I fell in love and didn’t look back, ” glows Kittleman as he explains why he chased his passion. “After that, I left my job and opened Ra with Jenny.” At Ra, they bring community to a new level. “Our people love their jobs, our front desk receptionist loves it here so much that she actually had her wedding here back in October; she also did my makeup for this photo shoot. She lives and breathes Ra Yoga, we just love that, ” beams Vende Hei. Ra also has a nutrition program that includes raw food diets and juices. They have community outreach and workshops; they even have yoga for the hearing challenged, which is conducted in American Sign Language. The most original aspect, though, is their teacher training. It is essentially a personal trainer for yoga. You get your own yoga trainer that develops a specific program just for you. When it comes to yoga, Ra really mixes both yin and yang styles to make a balanced workout for everyone, and you’ll find your inner peace in the meantime. Gym


1731 Santa Ana Ave.
Costa Mesa CA, 92627

Cyclists band together at this hot hangout. At Grit Cycle in Costa Mesa, there isn’t room for any whiners, that’s for sure. They get their roots from the classic western movie True Grit, featuring John Wayne. Even their logo is shaped like an eye patch from the movie. Owners Candice Collings-Loomis, Matt Bourne and Marisa Wayne are incredibly tied to their background. Marisa Wayne is actually the daughter of The Duke himself. Not only do they have a living member of the Wayne family on board, but they also support the John Wayne Cancer Foundation for which they were nominated for as a top charity in Orange County after only having their doors open for eight weeks! Grit is an extremely giving establishment; they have also raised money towards the Roundup River Ranch to send children with Cancer to camp. “We want to raise money and keep it within the community, ” Collings-Loomis declares. “This gym is for the people and the community. I love empowering people, whether it is getting someone to open a Grit or simply to come workout. It is more rewarding than money to me.” I made the silly mistake of asking how they keep things fresh and fun at Grit Cycle, little did I know that this gym is basically the neighborhood hotspot to not only workout at, but to also hang out at, making it a simple choice for Hottest Hangout. “We are the local Cheers, ” Collings-Loomis chuckles. “We only open gyms on corners or as freestanding buildings, and they must have a patio. After you are done working out, we want this to be your alternative to a happy hour. For the price of two martinis, you can have a super fun class; then, come hang out and have some fun with us.” Each class is only forty-five quick minutes of blood pumping, make-your-own pace, dance party on a bike. There is only one level class offered, so everyone from beginners to advanced cyclers can all be in one room in perfect harmony. The room is kept dark so no one is staring at you and you can dictate your own workout without feeling uncomfortable. Perhaps, Grit Yoga is the place for you. After its grand opening on October 13th, this studio is just as promising and fun as its big brother. What’s in store for the future? The sky is the limit. Collings-Loomis says they are looking for likeminded instructors willing to work with them and/or open other Grit Cycles to help spread their true grit. Gym

enerji gym

13011 Newport Ave Tustin CA, 92780

Happiness leads to great and powerful things, spiritually. At Enerji Barre in Tustin, they believe that full heartedly, as their mission statement is, “Life can and should be filled with joy.” This filters over into all of their classes as well. “We take the classes very seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously, ” Jackie Mae, Senior Barre Instructor, explains. “Enerji Barre is strictly a drama free zone, and it is also a lifestyle choice not just a ‘fitness thing.’ Everyone should pursue joy in every part of life and enjoy everything. That’s what we try to do here; we try to keep people having fun.” That’s enough to make anyone want to jump on the bandwagon in my eyes. The year 2011 was the genesis of this amazing facility and people don’t just go there, they want to be there, even during early morning classes. “Once, I was asked if I ever feel like skipping the morning classes just to go back to bed, and my answer was simply ‘no, I love to be here.’ I never want to miss a class. My clients always want to be here, too, ” says Mae triumphantly. For anyone that thinks barre is just a leisurely way to spend your hour working out, think again. It has been said that you see results almost instantly. You are not just changing your fat percentage with these workouts, but you are literally changing your body’s shape. They do offer barre extras as well. Limited yoga and knockout classes are also available for those who want to try out something a little different. As for the future, the plan is to, “keep connecting with people in any way possible, to continue to pursue joy and to stick to the idea the gym was built upon, ” says owner Adam Gentry. If you want to get happy and pursue joy, then Enerji Barre is the place for you!

ren gym

Renaissance Club Sport
50 Enterprise, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656

Luxury truly can be part of your future fitness routine. Like pairing peanut butter and jelly or sunshine and California, Renaissance Club Sport has combined a fitness center and a hotel. Renaissance Club Sportin Aliso Viejo is no ordinary fitness center. Walk in through the glass doors and you’ll find a cascade of colors and friendly staff members from every walk of life waiting to help you with a smile. Through the lobby, you’ll find not only a gym check-in, but also a hotel check-in as well as a full restaurant, waiting for you to sit and dine on healthy selections after you put in your grueling fitness regiment. A coffee shop is also available for protein shakes, snacks or just a small pick me up. If you walk past the restaurant, you’ll discover a beautiful view of the pool and the outdoor patio. People chat in the hallways pleasantly while walking to and from their workouts. There is a real sense of community here. “The reason I love working here is because it is not only a trainer’s playground, but because of the members. We have a tight community here, ” gloats Alley Miesch-Nie, an Elite trainer at the facility. Even though fifty percent of the people present are members and the other fifty percent are vacationers, people on retreats, people on business, etc., it really seems to be a tight knit family here. “We do it all here, ” exclaims Miesche-Nie with pride. “We have something for everyone; the pool, classes, cardio, spa, hotel, restaurant, we even have a registered dietician on site. You name it, we have it.” We do assessments of body compositions where you have an avatar of your own body and our dietician can give you a meal plan. Sounds like a real dream get away for those who are willing to get fit while getting some quality R&R.

barre gym

234 E 17th St #116 Costa Mesa CA 92627

Barre classes are what this gym is dedicated to. What is the benefit of working out with a barre? It will not only whip you into shape sooner than you can say the words “Pure Barre, ” but it will keep you in shape, too. Does it sound too intense? No way, Owner Monica Grubin says. Everyone from the very in shape, the not so in shape, to barely pregnant, ready to pop pregnant, people with rods in their back, slipped disks, and all walks of life can readily enjoy these workouts and keep up with the classes, because it is all done at your own pace. “We offer packages to brides and their entire wedding parties, we have a teacher that is teaching up to the day before her (pregnancy) due date if you can believe it, we have all kinds of people enjoying our workouts here, ” Grubin smiles. They also have the backing of medical mogul Kaiser,  winning “Best Place to Get Fit.”  It is hard to ignore the allure when you see results in eight to 10 weeks with classes that focus so intensely on trouble spots. Classes such as Slenderize Your Outer Thighs, Lifted Seat and Bye Bye Inner Thighs are classes that sound fun but are also very intensive, targeted classes to blast away fat and actually change your body. Not only does this instantaneous change draw you in, but also the attitude Grubin brings to the gym is that simple touch of care that you really have to look hard to find anywhere else. “If we didn’t have to make a living, we’d all do this job for free, no questions asked. I love seeing people have a better sense of self after leaving the classes; I love our clients, ” Grubin states. This whole gym is founded on passion; Carrie Rezabek-Dorr opened the first Pure Barre in 2001 in the basement of an office building in Birminghham, Michigan. Eight years later, Grubin found that same passion from taking Rezabek-Dorr’s class in San Diego and opened her own gyms in both Costa Mesa and Mission Viejo. One thing I must say about the members, the staff, and Pure Barre in general is that the dedication here is endless; anyone who is lucky enough to experience this gym will likely catch this infectious passion because it is contagious. Gym

OC-Fitness-VS-Final-Extreme-Athletics gym

850 W 18th St
Costa Mesa CA 92627

Hang Ten,  dude! We all know that surfing is a killer workout, but what about surfing sans water? At Extreme Athletics that’s exactly what their specialty is. But how do you teach one to surf without involving water? “We teach people to workout on uneven surfaces, rotational, we teach them to be agile, we also focus on lower body and paddling, ” says Owner John Brown, coolly in his very surfer style. “We start with a fifteen minute flexibility drill, foam rolling with dynamic stretches, then forty-five minutes of muscle control to power, box jumps, squats, TRX, core and stability. We then end the workout with five to ten minutes of stretching. It truly is a full body workout. We pull all the best parts of all different types of gyms, ” John’s Partner and fellow owner, Paul Norris, chimes in. They have partnered with fellow surfer, Christain Saenz, who takes clients to the beach and puts their workouts to work in the water. “As much as we love surfing, we are not here to teach people how to surf, but to give people the tools to be healthy with surf techniques, ” Norris explains. “People love it. We have everyone in here from ten year olds, to weekend warriors, females, males, you name it, and they are here. The best part is, no one is doing what we are doing. There isn’t another gym out there doing surf training.” Back in 2012, both Brown and Norris ironically were sitting on their boards waiting on some waves when they thought of this amazing idea. “We wanted to be our own bosses, but we also wanted to follow our passion, ” Brown smiles. “This gym is my passion. I can’t miss a workout, it’s part of me now. I am literally livin’ the dream.” Doesn’t hurt to mention that Extreme Athletics has been featured on, Surf Wire, and was also the Official Athletic Training Partner of the US Open—I would say that “Livin’ the dream is an understatement. When asked to show off some of their surf moves for their photo shoot, let’s just say these surfer dudes are pretty ripped and completely modest about it as well! I guess we’ve discovered the reason why the ladies sign up for this gym. If you want to go on a surfin’ safari and get totally “shredded, ” then this is the workout for you. ym

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