A reader recommended Sandy Campanella's classes to me, praising her for a couple of the things that make fitness classes great: Campanella, she says, can watch everyone and make corrections throughout class. And the students occasionally meet at a restaurant serving healthful food to share tips and get acquainted.
SC Fitness offers a variety of classes, including Zumba, and Campanella, a lifelong dancer and mother of three, teaches regularly, which for her means doing nearly all the work the students are doing.
SC Fitness, 5101 Lankershim Blvd, 2nd Floor, North Hollywood, sandycampyfitness.com
Aura: SC Fitness operates out of a second-floor gym with a wall of mirrors, and my class was about a dozen women. It felt no-nonsense; everyone was there for a purpose. "We pay a lot of attention to form," Campanella said at the start of the Body Sculpt class I took one morning before work. She meant it. Dozens of times during the next hour, she made slight corrections to students' posture or movement. It's remarkable the difference lowering a shoulder or tipping the hips properly makes.
"I'm also a student. It's a lifelong process," she said.
Effort: This was one of those classes that could fool you into thinking it wouldn't be too hard. Using weights, resistance bands and stability balls to isolate muscle groups, Campanella took us nonstop through a routine that taxed pretty much every muscle group. If one or two repetitions didn't seem like much, just wait till you're 20 or so in. Accommodations are made for varied abilities.
Style: Kind and supportive but not babying by any stretch. There's little chitchat; fitness is treated like serious business.
Cost: First class is $8; single classes are $13 to $17; various packages also available.
If you have suggestions for classes, please let me know by email or Twitter, @mmacvean.