I’m sure that every city has their local gym hot spots that get super busy, are popular to go to, and can be guaranteed to see someone you know at…in LA it’s like that too, except on crack and with cameras. In LA, no one cares so much about your status updates about how much you can lift, if it’s leg day, or how great you feel working out…no no, it’s all about WHERE you are working out, who you see, who saw you, and if you have photos to verify that you were there.
That’s because working out in LA isn’t just something that we do for our health…it’s a social event and part of the LA lifestyle. You’re not cool if you don’t work out. There are three major trendy ways to work out in LA, and chances are that if you live here, you’ve done at least one of them.
Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel at Runyon Canyon…with a dog of course
Duh. Runyon is like the ultimate trendy workout stereotype of Hollywood. Everyone is constantly asking if anyone wants to go “hiking”, which translates to getting dressed up in your cutest Lululemon attire, doing your hair and makeup, and walking to the top of Runyon Canyon while gossiping, then taking a stereotypical Runyon selfie at the top, because it’s not like you haven’t seen the ridiculously amazing view of the city multiple times already.
Tourists like to go to Runyon for the view of the Hollywood sign and the city, but locals like to go for a fun excuse to “work out” while socializing, and can be seen there all day every day, typically clad with a friend or two, tiny dogs, and the occasional celebrity. Runyon also offers free yoga every day (which I’m a huge fan of), which usually has 20-30 people attending around 2pm when I go, further emphasizing the extreme flexibility of work schedules here. And yes. I check in when I go, and will be there at 5:20pm.
Gerard Butler Leaving Equinox on Sunset Blvd.
2. Equinox on Sunset
This place is just flat out ridiculous. It’s the movie star of gyms, mostly because it’s usually full of movie stars and the who’s who of Hollywood itself. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone actually break a sweat there, and now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ugly person there either. I’m pretty sure that’s part of the membership application criteria…no one ugly allowed. Speaking of membership, it’s only $250 a month. No wonder why people go religiously.
I don’t have a membership, mostly because I don’t work out much, and also because the few times I’ve been dragged there as a guest, I’ve had a severe anxiety attack. The first time I ever went was when I was just visiting LA and had no idea how anything worked here. The guy I was dating was a sociopathic, failed actor turned “screenwriter”, who’s claim to fame was “looking famous”, and naturally obsessed with attention. He’d get up at 5am everyday, spend 2 hours in the bathroom getting ready, then leave at 7am on the dot, always wearing the same black v-neck, black gym pants (that were too short), Nike gym bag, and aviators, as if he were expecting to be direct casted for a feature film at Equinox or something (to be fair, an agent did approach me once). He forced me to go to yoga there one day, which had to be done in the dark in order to conceal the identities of celebrities in the class, and was beyond awkward because the guy kept “haaaaahhhh” loud breathing while he did his poses a little too perfectly. Talk about a turn off.
The second time I was dragged there by a friend who’s a CAA agent, and between the two of us, the amount of people that came up to say hi while we were walking on the treadmills was just stupid. First of all, if you see someone is working out, and clearly out of breath, why would you try to talk to them? That’s weird. And Annoying.
2. Spinning, Barre, and Hot Yoga
Fitness classes are for the extreme fitness fanatic, aka the majority of females in LA. I can’t tell you how many times a week I ask my friends if they want to go to happy hour and their response is “Can’t, I have spinning at 6:30”. Lame. I would love to have that sort of motivation, but that’s way too much energy expenditure for me. I once bought a Groupon for 10 Barre classes, thinking it would be fun to do a ballet work out, even bought the special Barre socks and everything…guess how many times I went? Once.
So while I’d like to brag that my LA workout trendiness is only as severe as being addicted to Runyon Yoga, I must also admit that when people ask me how I stay in shape, my first response is usually (and dead seriously), “um, I walk my dog a lot, and go to Runyon yoga sometimes”. Go me, how LA.
UPDATE: After writing this, I went “hiking” at Runyon with a friend, and after the grueling walk up the side of the mountain in the freezing cold 59 degree weather that froze my lungs, ears, and fingers, we got to the top to take some stereotypical selfies that everyone takes at Runyon. We then proceeded to Happy Hour sushi at Satai on Sunset.
“Woooooo we made it to the top, look at the view of the city, so cray, never seen it before.”
If you zoom in…I’m pointing to the Hollywood sign.
Alyssa is a self-made, full time travel blogger who loves adventure and typically travels the world solo. She's been to 53 countries and 6 continents so far, and believes she has mastered the art of chasing waterfalls, traveling solo, wine drinking, and making budget-traveling look good. Curious to know how she started this career? Check out the About section above!