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Find your fitness tribe: Six of L.A.'s best fitness social clubs

Posing School.
Posing School helps improve your social media fitness posts.
(Jesse DeYoung)

It’s no secret that many fitness-conscious Angelenos are more likely to hit the barre than the bar after work.

But while boutique fitness classes might help burn through the stress of a long day better than a beer, they’re no match for L.A.’s fitness social clubs that deliver the mood-boosting exercise you need, with sides of nature, competition and conversation.

Here’s a sample of some of the area’s best sweat socials:


Wanderlust's Find Your True Fork Dinner. Credit: Elli Lauren / Wanderlust Hollywood
Wanderlust's Find Your True Fork Dinner. Elli Lauren / Wanderlust Hollywood

How great would it be if your yoga studio had an organic café, space for hanging out with friends and cool weekly events from live music workouts to personal growth to comedy? That’s what’s you’ll find at Wanderlust Hollywood, the center founded a couple of years ago as a way to bring the community and culture of its eponymous festival to Angelenos 365 days a year. Consider it your yoga clubhouse, with more than 100 classes a week, as well as a place to grab dinner or work remotely, before catching the latest Mortified show, where people share the embarrassing diaries, lyrics and other art they created as kids. “A lot of other yoga studios, you just go and leave, there’s not a space to commune before or after class,” says Wanderlust Hollywood general manager Paula Tett. Here, you can buy classes or individual events, or spring for a $115 monthly membership that gets you unlimited classes and discounts on food and events. Wanderlust Hollywood, 1357 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles. wanderlusthollywood.com

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Daybreaker. Juliana Bernstein / Get Tiny
Daybreaker. Juliana Bernstein / Get Tiny

A monthly morning dance and yoga meetup that proves anytime is party time. Instead of hitting the gym, revelers meet up for yoga and live music at 5:30 a.m. that rolls into a dance party ending at 8:30, when others are on their morning commute. The parties have been held across the city at hotels, a boat and even a sausage restaurant in Venice. Cost: $35 for yoga and dance, or $20 to just dance. daybreaker.com

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Posing School.
Posing School. Jesse DeYoung

Workout while sharpening your selfie skills? We’re in. Hone your photography expertise and discover some of the city’s best spots for cool public art and architecture at Posing School. The monthly outing is made up of mostly twenty- and thirtysomething wannabe fitness influencers, but it’s open to everyone who wants to learn how to find the best poses and angles for Facebook or Instagram. All images from the run-walk-jog event are posted to Flickr to download, post and use. Cost: $30 per event. thelocalskill.com

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BlacklistLA Run Organization on National Running Day. June 7, 2017. Credit: Hans Meckler What start
BlacklistLA Run Organization on National Running Day. Hans Meckler

What started as a small group run to explore the city has turned into massive events, with as many as 250 runners converging in a different location each Monday at 10 p.m. The 3-mile runs, which cover a new neighborhood each month, are the brainchild of Erik Valiente, who in 2013 began running with a group of friends through different parts of the city at night. “It felt like we were a tourist in our city and I wanted to give that feeling to others,” he said. Since that time, the group of mostly 25- to 40-year-olds has expanded its free gatherings to include slightly longer runs at 8 p.m. Wednesday that start and end at specific Metro stations, such as the recent Chinatown run, as well as Thursday strength training sessions and marathon training on Saturdays. blacklistla.city

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Electric Flight Crew.
Electric Flight Crew. Electric Flight Crew.

The no-shower happy hour is just one of the draws of the exclusive Westside fitness social club Electric Flight Crew, started three years ago by Jonathan Patton and Josh Goldman. The group of 25- to 35-year-old professionals and entrepreneurs attends special weekly runs, sprint training and circuit-training workouts in locations from Redondo Beach to Santa Monica to West Hollywood. The workouts average 40 to 60 people per location and are typically followed by socializing at a local restaurant or monthly “residency.” There’s also a couple of group meetups each month at boutique fitness studios such as Orangetheory or Barry’s Bootcamp to complement the running. You do have to apply to join and pay a $40 monthly membership fee, but Patton says that no one has yet been turned away. electricflightcrew.com

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Sierra Club takes hikers to trails near and far. Here a group poses atop Mt. Lee in Griffith Park wh
Sierra Club takes hikers to trails near and far. Here a group poses atop Mt. Lee in Griffith Park where the Hollywood sign is located. Mary Forgione / Los Angeles Times

The Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club has been coordinating free weekly group hikes around the city for longer than most of us have lived here. Problem is, few millennials seem to know about them. A good starting place is Griffith Park. Every Tuesday and Thursday around 7 p.m., hikers of all levels gather by the merry-go-round in the park for a 2-hour hike to Mt. Hollywood or the Observatory, getting an amazing twinkling lights view of the city along the way. As beginner hikers gain experience, they can tackle other hikes in the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains as well as meet up for urban walks up secret staircases and for longer cross-city treks. The schedule of hikes and trips can be found on the Sierra Club’s calendar. angeles.sierraclub.org

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