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Gillian Flynn and Shelby Stanger | Photo: Kirk Hensler | November 22, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving! Bring on the turkey! The mashed potatoes! The stuffing! The pie! Because the day after, we’ve got a serious game plan for how we’re going to whittle away the indulgences. The fiercest new workouts to put you back in fighting form? Read on.
1. Ever dream of being a Navy Seal but never had the follow-through or the chops? Now you can pay to play one at the ever-popular SealFit (sealfit.com) in Encinitas, run by—you guessed it—a former Navy Seal. It specializes in intense intervals, endurance and mental toughness. And the SealFit Academy offers weeks-long programs for those A-types aspiring to take on Ironmans, Ultra Runs and Adventure Races. No surprise that training equipment involves weighted vests, medicine balls and sand bags. Want more? SealFit also presents "challenges" with names like “Climb to Doom,” involving chin-ups, squats and an exercise called "skin the cats." We're calling it Operation Abs.
2. Orange is the new black in La Jolla when it comes to workouts, thanks to the nationally acclaimed Orange Theory (orangetheoryfitness.com), which recently arrived on Girard Avenue. The bright orange studio promises a new (and orange-clad) you in weeks, thanks to it's "heart-rate-based interval training." Translation: hopping from rowing machines to treadmills and suspension systems in 60-minute session that promise to burn 600 to 1,000 calories. Thumping music and mood lighting are said to enhance the energy levels. Bring it, sunshine.
3. “We think that yoga is a great foundation for finding balance in your life. But we also think that no matter how much meditating you do, sometimes you just want to punch something,” says Kirk Hensler, instructor and owner of Hale Holistic (haleholistic.com) in the East Village. The combo of yoga and kickboxing is unconventional, drawing a motley crowd of city dwellers from lawyers and doctors to artists and students who gear up for classes like the “Urban Warrior,” where students run around the Embarcadero then finish with yoga and strength training. “The crowd tends to be pretty smart and sarcastic,” says Hensler. Also smart? Workouts end with free shots of homemade organic green smoothies. Om, indeed.
4. When we first peeked our heads in at Fit Wall (fitwall.com), we frankly didn’t know what to make of the setup. Used to standard gym equipment, we thought the futuristic contraptions lining the walls in the La Jolla studio were some sort of magazine rack. (We kind of always have magazines on the brain.) Nope. Instead, those high-tech gizmos are the foundation for this high-intensity strength and cardio workout that’s drawing pro athletes like surfer Jamie Sterling and the slew of Charger players we’ve spotted walking down Girard Avenue. With blaring music in the background, a high ratio of trainers to students and a heart-rate monitor connected to a tablet that tracks every calorie burned as well as how hard you work, it’s impossible to cheat. Trust me. We’ve tried.
5. When we count our blessings at Thanksgiving, among them are always to live in gorgeous San Diego. PaddleFit (paddlefitpro.com) in Coronado adds a get-fit-in-the-great-outdoors corollary to that sentiment. Created by Kauai waterman Brody Welte (who now resides in Cardiff), the workout combines a series of high-intensity beach workouts (think sand drills and core exercises) with standup paddling at the brand new, 4,900-square-foot multimillion dollar renovated Coronado Boat House on San Diego Bay. You’ll spot surfers and recreational and competitive standup paddlers among your classmates, of course, but the watery workout is also gaining traction with professional football players and coaches like John Carney, who has taken his athletes to PaddleFit for crosstraining and fitness. Talk about chairmen of the board.