I've been a runner for more than 30 years, but I'm something of a serial monogamist when it comes to fitness classes. (At the moment, I'm hooked on Ken Tietjen's classes at my neighborhood Pilates studio, Whole Body Fitness.)
Physique 57, 320 N. Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills www.physique57.com
Aura: Pristine little gym, lots of beige and blond wood. Showers and changing rooms. Posh but friendly.
Effort: Be ready to sweat and feel depleted, thanks to precise small moves.
Style: The beginner barre workout uses stretch bands, a playground ball and weights in addition to the barre for 57 minutes of hard work. There were eight of us in a mirrored room, under the direction of Sarah Pfeifer, who gently corrected and pleasantly pushed us to "inflame" our muscles. No serious experience or coordination was necessary. There were lots of ballet- and Pilates-type moves, with stretching incorporated throughout. And despite the address, the students brought a variety of bodies to class. Wear socks.
Cost: $31 per class, with savings for buying multiple classes. Complimentary two-hour parking.