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Reebok CrossFit
The Tire Flip, one of CrossFit's zanier exercises, builds total body strength

We?ve spent the past few months ogling the lean-muscled gym rats lined up for the new CrossFit conditioning classes but have been too intimidated to jump in.

Now we?ve found Reebok CrossFit LAB, an airy new gym on Melrose, where CrossFit basics are taught in a friendly, high-energy atmosphere. It?s the latest place to learn the hardcore circuit training that yields a strong physique with perfect posture. The practice has spread to scores of gyms in L.A.; you?ve surely heard the devotees and their insider lingo, like ?the box? (what they call the gym) and WOD (?Workout of the Day?).

At Reebok CrossFit LAB, the petite, sassy Yumi Lee led a dozen of us beginners through 45 minutes of various types of squats with a medicine ball and a weight-lifting bar, and gave us encouraging pointers on push-ups and pull-ups. So far, so good. Toward the end of the class, she commanded a fast-paced circuit of 5 push-ups, 10 sit-ups and 15 squats continuously for 12 minutes. Let?s just say time stood still. 

Yoga, endurance training and personal training in a private studio are also available at the LAB, but we're fixated on the CrossFit classes. Single visits cost $25 and monthly membership is $250; the introductory six-session Foundations series is only $100. Plus, your first class is free--no wonder, since our pleasantly sore quadriceps and aching core muscles after only one class left us hooked.

Reebok CrossFit LAB, 8466 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; 323-413-2024 or

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