Best of the East Bay 2016: Fitness
A Friday night EDM workout class; a favorite personal trainer.
Personal Trainer: Bill Daniels
Perennial Winner Bill Daniels’ clients aren’t famous, but you might recognize them on the street: They’re the people with ripped biceps, powerful quads, and smiles of satisfaction. Daniels, who trains through Renaissance ClubSport in Walnut Creek, offers personal attention in his one-on-one sessions, but his five-at-a-time training sessions have him correcting individual form while keeping the momentum at full throttle. Nutrition education focused on real food over supplements or cookie-cutter diets keeps clients coming back—some for more than 10 years. 2805 Jones Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 938-8700, renaissanceclubsport.com. —Lou Fancher
CrossFit Box: CrossFit Danville
The New Kid The strength and conditioning program at CrossFit Danville is scaled to fit everyone who enters the studio, from a grandma slinging dumbbells to yoga-performing professional athletes. The best way to get fit for life is to partake in a highly orchestrated jumble of real-world activities, according to owners Joseph Dodson and Dusty Sulon, the latter of which competes in the professional CrossFit circuit. The knowledgeable and motivating staff goes all out, offering nutritional advice, including periodic detox challenges. 3470 Fostoria Way, Ste. B, Danville, (925) 973-0192, cfdanville.com. —L.F.
Zumba: Our Studio
The Marcelino sisters, Emely and Thayna, put their hearts and souls into every aspect of their Concord exercise studio, Our Studio. The co-owners’ energy and passion for Zumba keeps members coming back day after day—the reasonable $7 drop-in price also helps—and their talent for teaching makes classes accessible to all levels. 2041 East St., Concord, (925) 305-3598, ourstudioconcord.com. —Katie Henry
Gym/Sports Club: Renaissance ClubSport Walnut Creek
There’s no slacking off when you’ve got a heart rate monitor strapped to your body—at least, that’s the idea behind MyZone at Renaissance ClubSport in Walnut Creek. Just strap on the belt that links to the heart rate monitoring system ($99 for members), and you’ll get live feedback: Information will be streamed in real-time to monitors throughout the gym. In addition to tracking your effort within the gym, the monitor can be taken outside, where you can track your progress via a phone app. 2805 Jones Rd., Walnut Creek, (925) 938-8700, renaissanceclubsport.com. —Kristen Haney
Rock Climbing Gym: Diablo Rock Gym
For $30, beginners 14 and older can take an intro to climbing class, then stay for the day to test their skills on the massive slab walls and steep overhangs of this climbing gym in Concord. Those who have been around the mountain a few times won’t be disappointed—difficulty levels at Diablo Rock Gym range from beginner to experienced, and the staff frequently changes courses to keep things interesting. 1220 Diamond Way, Ste. 140, Concord, (925) 602-1000, touchstoneclimbing.com. —Caitlin McCulloch
Yoga Studio: Yoga Fusion
This San Ramon studio offers everything from Sunday Restorative Healing to Yoga Ball Therapy to Prenatal Yoga. Get the kiddos as young as four involved with Yoga for Kids, which encompasses art, music, nature-themed poses, and storytelling. Are you a new yogi? A one-month membership for just $29 is a great way to get started. 2217 N. San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon, (925) 378-2530, theyogafusion.com. —C.M.
Spin Class: Cycle Scape
This locally owned Walnut Creek cycling boutique features two “life-size” screens, which allow riders to take a virtual ride through Tuscany or race the big boys in the Tour de France. To get your groove on, join Beats Ride, a rhythmic class with party scenes and bumpin’ music. For weights enthusiasts, Blast60 combines a 30-minute cycle with another half hour of bike-free, full-body exercise, while the condensed Power30 gets you in and out on your lunch break. 1657 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 464-1005, cyclescapefitness.com. —C.M.
Pilates: Absolute Center
This Lafayette studio offers everything from TRX to yoga, but Pilates takes the main stage. Go for the more familiar options of mat and reformer classes—or try something different, such as Primal Pilates. As you move like an animal, your body will reexperience early motor development stages, improving your ease and power. Your inner lioness will thank you. 3658 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, (925) 299-9642, iloveabsolute.com. —C.M.
Boot Camp: Push Ups 2 Pin Ups
Reader’s Quote “I love the special culture within the boot camp,” says Annie Muto of Benicia. “It’s not a club that operates based on intimidation of a super competitive nature. Everyone wants each other to succeed.” Locations in Brentwood, Concord, and Pleasanton, p2ptransformationcenter.com.
Barre Class: The Bar Method
Big Number: 49
Number of mixed-level classes the Walnut Creek studio offers each week. Locations in Berkeley, Oakland, San Ramon, and Walnut Creek, barmethod.com. —K.H.
Long Story Short: Friday Night Pump
EDM Workout: StudioFlex
Editor Pick My boyfriend and I are in our midtwenties, but we aren’t big into the weekend party scene. Still, we felt like club-hoppers as electronic dance music accompanied our Friday night Back, Bis, Abs class at StudioFlex, a small studio offering group sessions and private training in Pleasant Hill.
Kicking off at 6 p.m., the class packed what felt like a full night out on the town into a 60-minute sweat session. The trainers, like workout DJs pumping us up, had us squatting, bicep curling, side crunching, and mountain climbing, in sets of three, as Calvin Harris and David Guetta boomed in the background.
We took the party—and the music—outside with a few parking lot sprints, and concluded the class with some deep stretching. The next day, we were sore but not hungover, which is how I like to start my weekend. 1610 Oak Park Blvd., Pleasant Hill, (925) 393-5979, flextrainingclub.com. —Rachelle Cihonski