The 8 Toughest (but So Worth It) Workouts in Los Angeles

So many workouts, so little time—particularly when you live in what’s arguably the fittest place in the country. We’ve chosen the hardest spin, barre, hot yoga and tech-assisted exercise classes in the City of Angels. Just make sure to bring a change of athleisure for that post-workout smoothie, because these sessions are sure to leave you drenched.

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Lagree Fitness

At the start of this 25-minute class, you mount a piece of patented exercise equipment called a Supraformer (think an amped-up Pilates Reformer) and the instructor coaches you to push, pull and lift your limbs against the machine’s many attachments. (Oh, and the instructor dials the machines onto inclines to make moves even harder.) It’s not aerobic, but it is hard enough to leave your muscles shaking by the halfway point.

375 N. La Cienega Blvd., Ste. 1; 424-274-2899 or


A real Hollywood story: One dance instructor turned workout guru opened her backyard studio to Busy Phillips and other Hollywood types, who now regularly dissolve into sweaty puddles during the low-impact, high-intensity classes that include active stretching and mini-trampolines. Besides the toning, the best part is that the flow of the class is designed to energize—not deplete—its starry students.

Address available after booking a class; 314-704-4757 or

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Training Mate/Facebook

Training Mate

It may be a boot camp class, but it’s a supportive one where nobody yells at you. (They might crack you up with corny jokes, though.) This Australian import runs 45-minute classes that consist of four stations that last only 45 seconds each. Anyone can dominate with kettle bells, suspension bands, rowers and other tools for only 45 seconds, right?

Locations in West Hollywood and Studio City;

Corepower Yoga

In the Yoga Sculpt class, a room temperature of 90 degrees means you’re warmed up immediately—and you get even warmer as you’re instructed to flow through sun salutations and other basic yoga poses while toting 5- and 10-pound dumbbells. Squats, lunges and bicep curls even out the whole-body toning and muscle-building.

10 Los Angeles-area studios;

Lit Method

The husband-and-wife duo behind this rowing studio developed their low-impact regimen to give a demanding workout to clientele who were weary of getting injured in high-impact boot camps. You’ll be straining against wall-mounted resistance bands one minute, then rowing your heart out on water-wheel rowers the next, then bear-walking across the floor…for a full 50 minutes (so bring a towel).

8474 W. 3rd St. #214; 323-592-3103 or

Rise Nation

The special sauce here is the VersaClimber, an indoor climbing machine that you strap your feet into and climb like a ladder, moving your hands and feet upward with varying levels of assistance from the machine. Unlike circuit classes, you don’t move to other machines during the 30-minute class; an instructor directs you to climb faster, then slower, with longer and shorter strides, with and without arms. (Keeping all this going requires a surprising amount of ab control.) If you’re not drenched by the end of the class, you weren’t paying attention.

613 N. La Cienega Blvd., West Hollywood; 424-343-0082 or


Type-A clients and the people who love them flock to these super-challenging, super-sweaty classes that encourage you to watch your stats (resistance and speed) in real time on a “Torqboard” posted above the instructor’s head. Not only that, everyone who signs up to be on the board is ranked throughout the 45-, 60- and 90-minute classes, so the experience is just like you’re in the Tour de France. In our experience, the competition is as fierce as the cardio and core work.

Locations in Playa Vista, Santa Monica, West Hollywood and Larchmont;

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The Daily Method Venice Barre Studio/Facebook

The Dailey Method

Barre workouts are popping up all over town, and we like this one for its fierce emphasis on body positioning for maximum (and muscle fatigue-inducing) strength training. Developed by a kinesthesiologist (a science type who studies movement), this class looks easy to the casual bystander—why, you’re hardly moving at all! That’s because the micro-movement leg lifts, butt crunches and arm circles, when done correctly, are way more toning than any showy arm waves and kicks…i.e., a little goes a long way.

1327 1/2 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Suite B. (entrance on Electric Ave.), Venice; 310-396-1500 or

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dana dickey
Dana Dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...
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