I'll freely admit that I'm not always “up” on what's new in fitness.
In fact, the other day as I was preparing to run my first 5K, the shoe salesman had to explain to me what the difference was between “stability shoes” and “barefoot running shoes.” I thought barefoot running meant that you run barefoot. Apparently not.
So I may be a little bit clueless about what's new in fitness, but I always know what's new in San Diego. And there's a particular fitness club that's opening up in Oceanside, breaking onto the scene with all SORTS of newness. They're bringing in the latest and greatest in active enhancements and technology, rethinking the art of the workout from the ground up. The hipster in me is fascinated with the trendiness of it all, and the fit person buried (deep, deep) within me wants to coat myself in spandex and go romp around in their sand.
Oh, yes. There's sand involved. And not just for the cool factor. We'll get to that in a minute.
What's New in Fitness…In San Diego
Baja Body Athletic Club asked me to work with them to spread the word about the scene over at their new fitness club, and I was impressed more than anything by the knowledge and enthusiasm of the owner. I know that at the end of the day, the owner is the person who carries these programs through. Their energy can make or break the entire atmosphere and experience. Jonathan Graves has spent years developing a surf fitness club in Baja, Mexico, after a life steeped in competitive athletics and study about how the body works. He has multiple Bachelor's degrees in exercise science and psychology as well as a Master's degree in psychology with a focus on exercise experience and he is a Certified Health Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine.
This isn't your average trainer, guys.
Jonathan got into sand training with a focus on ergonomics after he began experiencing joint pain that limited his physical activity. He sought to make his physical performance match his mental drive with the simple desire to remain active and healthy throughout his life. I'd say above all else, longevity is what's new in fitness trends nowadays: I love how people are finally starting to think long-term about their personal care.
It's this mentality and this experience that he brings to every single person at his fitness club, catering to their unique abilities and body. He changes up every routine to allow for more complicated and intense movements for experienced athletes without isolating the “everyday” user. I personally stepped in to one of his classes and while I was woefully out of shape, I didn't feel any of the usual guilt or inadequacy that often follows. He was encouraging and kind, making a point to acknowledge each person's effort.
Getting to the heart of the matter, Jonathan combines science and psychology motivation with a truly unique offering: the option for every member of his club to use a heart monitor to gauge their activities in the club and elsewhere. It calculates each person's exertion level based on their personal data to remove objectivity and add a gaming element. It's easier to maintain motivation when there is a program constantly tracking relative successes.
Back to the sand. My (much more athletically-inclined) friends tell me that this is what's new in fitness in the world of elite athletics. It's been present in professional training rooms and workout spaces, but this is the very first time that an Olympic-grade sand training room is available to the public in the United States via a club membership. It's extremely soft and dusts right off with a quick brush-off or blast of air with handy nearby nozzles after a workout. Most importantly, it's easier on joints than hard flooring and allows for a more intense and enduring workout.
On top of that, they're setting up aerial yoga classes.
I'm just starting to get into yoga, but they had me at “aerial.” Everything is more interesting above-ground. Truly.
I don't know what the heck these straps are called, but they're also awesome. They let people work every muscle in their body without limitation. No more excuses about being unable to do push-ups because of strain on the floor. They also help customize the workout for each person by working with their own body weight.
Of course, Baja Body also offers top-of-the-line treadmills and exercise equipment, including punching bags, weights, bars, etc. What's most interesting, however, is what's outside of the club: Jonathan and his wife, Nicole, offer Baja Body members custom surfing excursions, yoga retreats and fitness experiences at their Surfit Baja location in Cerritos Beach and Todos Santos.
Do you belong to a club that gets you active? What's new in fitness for you?