Working out in Laguna
Shed 2011 by finding the perfect way to work out right here in town.- By Kelly Shannon and LBM Staff | Photos by Jody Tiongco
Getting and staying fit are not just New Year’s resolutions, but goals to strive for year-round. If you’re the proud owner of a gym membership you don’t use or let expire, then you’re well aware of what you don’t want. To get exercising and stay exercising, you need a workout routine that’s convenient, challenging and at least a little bit fun. Luckily for Laguna Beach residents, the options in town are virtually endless—whether you want personal training, rockin’ group classes, yoga, pilates, state-of-the-art equipment or anything in between. Here, you’ll find a quick guide to help you find a workout love match locally.
A common misconception is that road biking and spin class are similar. In fact, they are two very different workouts. At Rhythm Spin, you work out to the beat of the music while maximizing calorie burn and strengthening your cardio shape.
“I feel like I get the best calorie blast from spin class,” says Laguna native Dennis Johnson. Luckily, spin classes tend to be a little less serious and a little more fun than a traditional workout. The hour-long classes at Rhythm Spin speed by with the instructors playing energetic music and diversifying the rides. “I used to wonder if I could do a spin class because it always looked so intense, but I’m glad I tried it because now I go as often as I can. It’s for sure challenging, but it’s actually a fun time,” Dennis says. (1100 S. Coast Hwy., Ste. 209a; 949-494-4554; rhythmspinriders.com)
The Social Worker-Outer: Laguna Health Club
The team at Laguna Health Club has been working out Laguna Beach for more than 45 years. It’s the oldest gym in town and prides itself on its charm and friendly demeanor. “It’s really designed as a local gym,” says owner Doug Schulein. “Most of our members have belonged here for around 20 years.” With the intimacy of the set space, the members really get a chance to know each other. “It’s very common for our members to get coffee together after working out,” Doug adds. The club consists mainly of Cybex cardiovascular equipment, Precor Ellipticals, a weight room with dumbbells and some of the other essentials. The club does not offer classes; however, you’ll always have a friend to work out with when you get there. (870 Glenneyre St.; 949-494-9314; lagunahealthclub.com)
Mothers, students, artists and neighbors all frequent YogaWorks religiously. Offering Vinyasa flow, power yoga, Iyengar, Viniyoga and many other specific practices, YogaWorks is one of the most praised yoga centers in town. “I love going to YogaWorks because of the great teachers and wide variety of class options,” says Laguna resident Nicole Anderson. “In the last six years, I’ve started to do yoga and Pilates instead of working out at a gym and have become completely obsessed with Geo’s classes at YogaWorks. The best part of his class is that you can do it at any level of experience or at any stage in life,” adds Nicole, who was still going to YogaWorks a week before giving birth to her first child. (30818 Coast Hwy.; 949-415-0955; yogaworks.com)
Core Galore: Bodybar
Located in North Laguna, bodybar is a boutique fitness studio offering a variety of classes to whip anyone into shape this new year. “We offer an eclectic mix of classes that other larger gyms or studios in the area don’t offer,” explains owner Pippi Bruggeman. Classes include Pilates, barre, circuit weights, yoga, Pilates and spin, TRX suspension training and even youth classes. “When you walk into our studio, you’ll feel like you just walked into a charming beach cottage. The color scheme soothes your soul the second you check your shoes at the door,” Pippi says. (481 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-497-8333; bodybarlaguna.com)
Still not sure which workout is for you? Try a few on for size to find the perfect fit. With gyms as unique as the town itself, who needs 24-hour fitness? Here, you can have it 365 days a year, indoors and out.
Heat Wave: Bikram Yoga
It might be winter, but get ready to sweat. A demanding series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises, Bikram yoga stretches and strengthens each of your muscles, ligaments and joints in a heated 105-degree room. “The room is so hot, but the end result is worth it,” says Laguna resident Tessa Ghenender. “Everyone leaves class standing inches taller with glowing skin. It’s like getting a facial and working out at the same time.” (610 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-376-7077; bikramyogalaguna.com)
The Lagunatic: Art of Fitness
Featuring panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Art of Fitness is the only gym in Laguna linked to a state-of-the-art spa. “Being a resident here, I really wanted to showcase the artsy feel of Laguna,” says owner Marian Keegan. But walking in, you may recognize the faces from Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Orange County,” as the show’s newcomer, Fernanda Rocha, co-owns the gym.
“There’s a full fitness center, incredible classes, a full spa, local artwork, childcare, a beautiful spin studio and an upstairs patio outside where you can drink tea, relax or socialize,” Marian explains. Art of Fitness classes include yoga, Pilates, pole fitness, spin, Brazilian Booty, step, salsa and more. (1080 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-464-0202; artoffitnesslaguna.com)
The Individualist: The Well
Specializing in personal metabolic resistance training, The Well is a personal fitness studio committed to boosting metabolism for successful weight loss. “We are 100 percent dedicated to individualized fitness programs. We evaluate our clients and create an action plan to achieve their goals,” says owner Brian Wisely. You won’t find any fixed-motion equipment at The Well, “because it’s not nearly as beneficial, since fixed-motion assists your movements. Without fixed-motion equipment, one’s nervous system becomes more activated and gives you a metabolic boost,” Brian adds. The Well is an immaculately clean, state-of-the-art training studio, which features dedicated and caring trainers to help get you in tip-top shape this New Year. (610 N. Coast Hwy., Ste. 200; 949-715-0311; thewellfit.com)
Fitness Paradise: Sports: Performance Institute
Nestled in Laguna Canyon, the Sports Performance Institute is the largest gym in Laguna. “We provide fitness. It’s what we do,” says staff member and co-owner Silvio Delligatta. “Each of us here at SPI are degreed with an extensive background in fitness education and continuance. We know how to help our clients. And we get results.” The 6,000-square-foot facility includes top-of-the-line treadmills, rowing machines, recumbent bikes, Precor machines, free weights and tons more. The gym also offers an exclusive P.I.T. (Performance-Integrative Training) class, a full-body workout experience appropriate for everyone from beginners to elite athletes. Sports Performance Institute is both a general fitness gym and a sport performance institute, offering specialized triathlon training programs, baseball, basketball, cycling and soccer training programs. The facility also offers post-rehabilitation programs for elderly clients and anyone going through recovery after an accident or medical procedure. And as Silvio explains, Sports Performance Institute is home to an incredibly unique staff, composed of veteran trainers and athletes themselves, from baseball players and soccer stars to tri-athletes, paddleboarders and runners. SPI is a great place for indoor and outdoor exercise, as its members are exceptionally health-conscious. (2295 Laguna Canyon Rd.; 949-464-0860; sportperformance.com)
Green Sans Machine: Code Green Fitness
By implementing green business practices, Code Green Fitness is a Certified Green Business. “A majority of our equipment is recycled, and we don’t have commercial exercise equipment like most gyms and training facilities,” says trainer and founder Ryan Kollock. Code Green Fitness uses your body weight, resistance bands, BOSU balls, agility rings, dumb bells, kettle bells, the Bulgarian Bag and more. The studio specializes in individual weight-loss, pre- and post-natal training, muscle gain, corrective exercise, post rehab, core fitness, senior fitness and general fitness. Code Green Fitness offers a variety of services, including one-on-one personal training, semi-private training, small group training and boot camps every Saturday morning, which meet at 9:15 at Laguna Beach High. (1268 Glenneyre St.; 949-436-7348; codegreenfitness.com) LBM
More Great Places to Sweat
Aspiring Motion 332 Forest Ave. # 27; 949-376-9629; aspiringmotion.com
Breathe Wellness Spa 1999 S. Coast Hwy., Ste. E; 949-365-6360; breathelaguna.com
Code Pink 647 S. Coast Hwy.; 888-949-7465; codepinkbootcamp.com
Fusion Pilates and Yoga 305 N. Coast Hwy.; 949-715-4901 Laguna Yoga 1278 Glenneyre #240; 949-306-1062; lagunayoga.com
The Laughter Yoga Institute Gathers daily on the sand at the northernmost end of Main Beach: Pacific Coast Highway at Broadway/Route 133; 949-376-1939; lyinstitute.org
Time Defiance Fitness 312 Broadway St. #207; 949-376-4342; tdfit.com
White Lotus Yoga of Cho’s Academy Tae Kwon Do & Yoga; 1966 S. Coast Hwy.; 949-281-7517; chosacademy.com