We put 3 of L.A.’s toughest workouts to the sweat test


Angelenos are notoriously fickle about their workouts; always chasing the next insane challenge to crush.

But more burpees aren’t necessarily the answer.

Here are our picks for three workouts – all under an hour – that will bring the challenge without feeling like a chore.

Heard of those hot new workouts done atop a vibrational plate? Yeah, we tried it >>



Toughest L.A. workouts: Lagree Fitness

Sometimes you just need a new toy to get more engaged in your workout, and Sebastien Lagree’s new Supraformer is one heck of a fitness toy.

Part mechanical bull, part next-generation Pilates reformer, the Supra takes traditional strength training up a notch, forcing users to engage their stabilizer muscles to stay on the machine through a series of tough combination exercises, all while an instructor uses an app to tilt the machine not only up and down but also left and right.

“You are always working your core,” Lagree says.

There’s no traditional cardio here, but when you transition from one super-slow exercise to another without break, such as lunges with arm curls to four-count spider kicks, it doesn’t take long to get your heart rate up — and keep it there.

By the end of the initial leg segment, I was out of breath and my thighs were shaking like Jell-o. A word of caution: There were a couple of times when my muscles were so fatigued that I thought I might fall off the machine. That’s why classes are only 25 minutes, Lagree says.


In his initial test group, few people made it past the 33-minute mark. Longer isn’t always better, Lagree says, and most clients here love getting out the door in a half-hour.

Location: Lagree Fitness Studio, 375 N. La Cienega Blvd., Suite 1, Los Angeles. Cost: Single class $18 ($15 for first-time students), $99 monthly.


Toughest L.A. workouts: Training Mates

Only in L.A. would there be a fitness franchise built around Aussies, bad jokes and short shorts. But that’s exactly what you’ll get at Luke Milton’s two Training Mate studios, along with one demanding circuit-training workout.

Started by Milton, a former professional rugby player in Australia, the idea is that a little laughter and camaraderie will get you through a tough interval training workout more effectively than screaming and barking orders. Milton and his trainers move you through the circuits, correcting occasionally on form, and dropping cheesy one-liners.


But make no mistake, the “Mighty Mate” class I took was no joke, with groups of four alternating between 45-second strength and cardio circuits using a variety of equipment such as indoor cycling bikes, kettlebells, row machines, dumbbells and Bosu balance trainers, followed by an ab session/comedy session with Milton trying out some of his best/worst raunchy rugby humor.

It’s the kind of fitness community where the instructors know your name and can be counted on to serve up high fives and substantial distraction from just how hard you’re working.

Locations: Training Mate studios, 12429 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, and 7825 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood. Cost: $20 to $25 a class depending on the package. First class is free.


This small studio in West Hollywood serves up a killer low-impact workout that it promises will “build you up, not break you down.”

“We see a ton of clients that have suffered injuries from CrossFit and other boot-camp classes,” said Taylor Gainor, who co-owns the studio with husband Justin Norris. “They love the fact that they can get their high-intensity fix at LIT with the low-impact benefits.” That means no running, jumping or weights, to ease the impact on bones and joints.


But it’s far from easy-does-it.

The 50-minute challenge at LIT is filled with Tabata-style sprints on water rowers, coupled with total body strength moves such as commando pushups, Spiderman crunches, TRX bodyweight moves and bear walks with rubber resistance loops. Once inside the dark studio, lighted up by the red lights of the rowers and pulsing with hip-hop, it’s easy to forget how many reps you’re doing.

The pace is nonstop, leaving most of the dozen in the class – myself included – breathless and so drenched in sweat, we’re practically sliding off our mats. Two instructors lead each class, so there’s always someone watching your form.

Location: LIT Method studios, 8347 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, with a new location planned for Santa Monica. Cost: $23-$28 per class depending on the package.


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