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Find Your Form

It’s Time to Hit the Gym With These Four Fitness Fanatics

WRITTEN BY: JAKE PALUMBO | PHOTOGRAPHED BY: TASO PAPADAKIS

We’ve had the month of January to settle into the New Year. And with the month of February, we begin to reflect on our New Year’s resolutions. This year was going to be different. Your resolution to hit the gym with a devout sense of purpose and dedication was set in stone. Workouts in LA

Ok, so maybe you didn’t quite hit the ground running. But that’s no reason to beat yourself up. You’re only human and it’s never too late to get started. Lucky for you, you live in Los Angeles, the pioneering, trend-setting pulse of the health and fitness world. For better or worse, that fashion- forward Hollywood desire for a Baywatch booty makes LA home to some of the most outstanding and innovative gyms in the country. We’ve highlighted four exceptional owners and trainers whose revolutionary gyms are making waves in the Los Angeles fitness community. Although all four experts have proven to be distinctly innovative and unique in their own right, they all share the same burning passion for bringing out the best in their clients. Whether your goal is to shed those lingering holiday pounds or simply to find a challenging new way to stay fit, each one of these experts has something for you behind their doors.

We Run LA: Top 5 LA Trails

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PREVAIL LOS ANGELES

5957 W 3rd St,  Los Angeles, CA 90036 | 323.452.0101 www.prevaillosangeles.com

I walked right past Prevail the first time I went looking for it. I ended up dumbly standing on the corner of West 3rd Street in front of a Coffee Bean. The afternoon screenwriter crowd eyeballed me over their chai lattes through the window, probably wondering how a dumb tourist got so lost on the way to The Grove. I doubled back carefully, checking the numbers until I made sure I was at 5957 West 3rd. As I stood in front of the unmarked, whitewashed single story building, I remember thinking, this is totally what a boxing gym should look like. Workouts in LA

Inside, I found Milan Costich sitting on a white leather couch in the gym’s lobby, which looked more like the lobby of a chic hair salon than a gym. The polished hardwood floors gave way to whitewashed walls that looked as if a street artist with a penchant for symmetry and minimalism had doodled upon them in sharpie. Workouts in LA

In Prevail’s back room, a punching bag lined, industrial open space with rubberized floors and exposed brick, classes of 16 or less take place across three levels of difficulty: beginner, intermediate and advanced. In a single, rigorous 45-minute class, members are challenged with a combination of mobility, conditioning and boxing exercises that promise to burn nearly 750 calories per session. Milan is careful to create a supportive, inclusive environment for anyone who participates. It doesn’t matter if you’ve come to be introduced to the sport of boxing or are just looking for a fun and challenging new way to get in shape. Milan opened Prevail as an extension of his favorite form of self-expression and as a means to share that passion with as many people as possible. For anyone wondering if they have the eye of the tiger in them, Prevail might be the perfect place to find out.

CLASS LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS:

1. BEGINNER:

Introduces fundamental exercises and boxing techniques. The focus of this class is to develop a solid foundation for the Prevail workouts.

2. INTERMEDIATE:

Introduces new exercises to further develop conditioning, core strength, explosiveness and boxing technique. Participants will expand on a thorough knowledge of boxing technique and exercises.

3. ADVANCED:

Boxing drills that expand past technique and focus on strategy as well as strenuous conditioning. This class is designed for students who have been training with us consistently for 6+ months and is perfect for those interested in being more physically and mentally challenged.

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GROUNDWORK FITNESS

333 Pine Ave Long Beach, CA 90802 | 562.624.0900 www.groundworkfitness.com

At Groundwork Fitness, fitness starts from the ground up, literally. Many of the exercises owner and trainer Giovanna Ferraro incorporates into the programs she designs for her clients and group classes require little else besides the ground beneath your feet. As we sit down together, Giovanna explains that her preference for equipment-free exercises in her workout routines was inspired by her training as a firefighter where she had to bulk up quickly to carry all that heavy equipment. Workouts in LA

What makes Groundwork Fitness so unique and special comes from Giovanna’s inspiring determination to make sure her business is fully immersed within the community. Not only as an entity that participates in the community, but as one that gives back and creates a positive impact. One of the ways she does this is through her partnership with the non-profit Century Villages at Cabrillo. Groundwork Fitness helps tackle the issue of homelessness in Long Beach by hosting fundraisers and providing fitness classes and health and wellness workshops for the homeless population at the Villages who are in desperate need of a helping hand. Workouts in LA

SPECIALTY CLASSES:

MOMMY & ME CLASS: Every Tuesday at 9am

BREAKDANCING CLASS: Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7pm

WALKING CLUB: Every Monday and Wednesday at 11:30am or 12:00pm

YOGA & CHAIR MASSAGE CLASS: Varies each month (e-mail Gio at gio@ groundworkfitness. com for more details)

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HOUSE OF FITNESS

4130 Sepulveda Blvd Culver City, CA 90230 | 310.773.9484 www.houseoffitnessla.com

I walked into House of Fitness during the quiet afternoon lull, and there was a prevailing calm over the room. Punching bags hung silently from their chains. The gunmetal exercise racks were overhung with various ropes and bands like idle ships yet to set sail, and the gentle hum of the industrial fans provided a persistent baseline under the reticent music. “Any gym’s primary hours of operation are going to be in the early morning and evening, ” Thomas Plejer tells me matter-of-factly from behind the polished wooden desk of his office. He speaks with a calm, calculated confidence of a businessman who has certainly done his homework. And you can be sure he has. A career entrepreneur since starting his first successful business in high school, Tom understands the importance of strategic preparation more than most.

Everything in the immaculate facility has the polished sheen of being fresh from the package. The sparkling state-of-the-art equipment seems to glow with the allure of a brand new toy. The three story high ceilings, inviting lighting and modern décor create a contemporary upscale atmosphere that seems luxurious without being pretentious. The gym is complete with a fleet of a dozen bikes for cycling classes, a vitamin bar, and a shop that sells everything from fitness apparel to bath and body products. House of Fitness is fully equipped to be your one stop shop for physical fitness. With a risk-free 30-day trial, you’ve got nothing to lose by checking it out. Well, maybe just some fat.

NUTRITION PROGRAM:

1. 12 personal weekly meetings with one of our nutrition coaches

2. Coaching on how to make small behavioral changes that will make a massive difference in your long-term results

3. A weekly weigh-in to keep you on track

4. Very simple eye- opening homework each week. Don’t worry – it’s not too much!

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BRIK FITNESS

129 Palos Verdes Blvd, #106 Redondo Beach, CA 90277 | 310.373.2745 www.brikfitness.com

I suddenly found myself in the back corner of Brik Fitness, standing with both shoeless and sockless feet placed upon the cold metal platform of a machine that was steadily pumping an electric current through my body. In each hand, I gripped the machine’s outreaching mantis-like electrode arms, completing the circuit. Behind the screen in front of me, a computer busily calculated the frequency with which the current passed through the cells in my body. After a couple nerve-racking minutes, the machine, which looked like some NASA scale from 2050, spit out a complete analysis of my body composition with an indifferent beep. Does anybody reference “The Jetsons” anymore? A great billowing sigh of relief escaped from behind my chest when Brik Fitness owner and fitness coach Brian Nguyen assured me my readout was a perfectly healthy one. Unfortunately, he said, that’s not always the case with people who come into his gym for the first time. Their introduction to the InBody machine can sometimes be a nasty one. Lucky for them, they’ve come to the right place.

Brian Nguyen has had the career most personal trainers could only dream. After getting his start with UCLA Sports Medicine, working with the football and baseball teams, Brian landed a job with the Jacksonville Jaguars. From there, he made the jump to Hollywood as Mark Wahlberg’s personal trainer during the filming of the 2006 football film “Invincible.” Ever since, he has worked closely with Wahlberg as his trusted personal trainer. Although he boasted an impressive roster of celebrity clientele and an action-packed Hollywood schedule, Brian eventually decided to take his star-studded, studio- endorsed recipe for success off the road and into his own gym.

MAKE YOUR MOVE WITH THESE THREE CLASSES:

1. BURN BABY BURN: BURN THAT FAT AWAY! This circuit-style workout uses work- to-rest ratio to blast fat and improve endurance. Our high- energy class will have you burning fat up to 72 hours after you’re done training.

2. TOTAL BODY: Look like a lean, mean, total body machine! This workout helps build strength and increase lean mass, which helps lower body fat and sculpt problem areas. It is designed to help you perform whether you’re an athlete of life or sport.

3. CORE CONDITIONING: It’s time to wake up that core! This format combines the best elements of fat loss programming: mobility, core strength and stability, energy system training, and soft tissue work. This class allows you extra time to build a strong foundation in your core.