So on reflection the last 14 days of sweaty pursuits have been glorious. I came to LA to sweat, enjoy and learn what the fitness community has to offer and how it differs from London.
With the exception of two epic occasions in England’s capital I hadn’t experienced a boutique fitness class, which, offered more then just honoring the exercise for the sake of the sweat but also doubled as social outlet.
Personally I have been stuck in a bit of a rut with my training and the industry itself. I am a social person but my business circumstance dictates unsocial hours and there is only so much of my own company I can endure when at work.
It was time for me to mix things up. I wanted to see if, what is often referred to as the capital of the fitness industry, Los Angeles could reboot my motivation to exercise.
During my time in LA I learnt was that there is a huge emphasis on social fitness something that this PT hadn’t experienced from the other side of the microphone. Being coached alongside other inspired individuals was a complete breath of fresh air. Motivations to sweat and push past new and different physical barriers did more then just raise the heart rate; it brought a smile to my face and I felt restored.
It was when I was running along Santa Monica beach toward the peer, the ferrice wheel covered in bright neon lights, at sundown, with my bare feet in the pacific and the warm Californian air filling my lungs that I knew that I had made the right decision to travel over to the west cast. It was that moment that made my trip all the worthwhile.
Exhilarating joy consumed me, weight lifted from my shoulders and it was that breathlessness that re-inspired my love for the industry and my own personal fitness journey. I owe that to the Electric Flight Crew a fitness community collective who ‘work hard and play hard’. An incredible team of talented trainers turn out weekly to inspire the EFC members to Health, Happiness and Fellowship.
My top three sweats were with Electric Flight Crew, Training Mate and The Orange Theory. Each boasted phenomenal trainers and with thoroughly considered exercise routines. All three boutique classes are clearly a cut above the average gym class.
The hilarity and energy from the Training Mate classes meant you were only able to leave the gym with a smile. You literally didn’t have a choice but to leave with ‘I am high on life’ written across your face and body.
The intensity and competition of The Orange Theory class was on another level. Professionalism, skill and an outstanding set up transported me into ‘the zone’. I slapped on my game face about 5 seconds into the warm up after I was told there was a timed distance row. Ha, game on – legs had just about recovered and I was determined to leave my mark. Pulled a 6.13 2k and folded into a heap on the floor. Disaster – I still had 20 minutes worth of fartlek sprints and compound circuit to complete, snapped out of it realized this is what I live for. Strapped on a pair and got it done. The heart rate monitor tracked my kcals burt, 920 in total; its fair to say I earnt my maple syrup pancakes, bacon and egg hash that morning.
Malibu. What a place!!! Organic Farmers market followed by an afternoon of surf lessons on Zuma beach, wow! The peace of mind gained from sitting on the board between appropriate sized waves was amazing. You can see why so many people fall in love with the sport. I am by no means Bodhi form Point Break but if you have seen the original and can remember his transition from stiff office clerk to chilled surfer with a fresh outlook on life, I can tell you, it would be very very easy to let the Malibu life absorb you.
I could talk at length about each of my sweat experiences but I will leave it there and finish with Los Angeles is a huge city with a fitness community that has thrived probably because of the entertainment industry married with its beautiful climate. The industry is still growing and there is a huge demand for new and enticing exercise classes. London is no different (only we have four days of sunshine a year, the reverse of LA where it rains for 4 days per year) and is calling me home. I hope I can bring the ameriCAN attitude back with me and help inspire my clients, class members and industry friends to continue to sweat and stretch their limits and grow in mind, body and spirit.
Thank you to all the amazing people in Cali that contributed to my stay. Huge love,