IT ALL BEGINS HERE with EQX Newport Beach, Jeff's hometown.
I first came to Equinox Newport Beach in 2012, when I finally visited home after my first two years as a Wall Street lawyer. Even though I've come to split my time during visits with EQX Huntington Beach, Newport is still a favorite. It's classic Equinox, with the old logo, but spacious, super well-maintained and a solid workhouse all around.
With a bit more of the office worker crowd coming from the Google complex, the vibe here sometimes skews more business than Huntington. Nevertheless, this is the place Jeff goes to for a relaxed atmosphere, notwithstanding the occasional Real Housewife or Kobe Bryant sighting (teeeeeheeee). That extends from the weight rack to the studios. While you might not get the supercharged HIIT classes from the big cities, you'll also never really have to elbow anyone. Once, I negotiated half a credit agreement while hogging the weighted pulleys, and no one said anything even when opposing counsel started yelling at me through the Blackberry speaker.
Classes: I've found that in OC, classes skew really heavily female except for weekend drill classes. I'm frequently the only guy (or one of 2 or 3), eyeing my high school classmates doing bro-cercise while we curtsy-lunge. The clientele is unsurprisingly focused on toning/fat burning. However, instructors tend to know your name and will call you out, which can be a plus 🙂 #shame #shame #shame.
Stuff you might not see elsewhere:
- 4x4 is a set of 60-second rotations among cardio, lower/upper body and core; it's a bit like a lighter MetCon3. Main plus is you know you're guaranteed to get some kind of full-body workout.
- Tabata is taught very differently here. I happen to suck at it but Tracy Bauer's Monday noontime class is all about balance–Bosu and gym balls.
- Full Throttle is heavy on the sports drills. Tends to get packed with Joey O'Mara on weekends. I think it's actually a pretty good sub for whatever you might be thinking of doing in that time on the treadmill.
Instructors/Trainers: Overall, the OC instructors are a strong batch–I mean that literally, as I see them taking each other's classes regularly. This is a great place to catch both Kristins (Osbon is one of the best Firestarter instructors I've had in the country; Granillo is super solid at 4x4 and spin). Trainers are also on point; Tier X is offered here, including Furthermore poster boy Brenan Ghassemieh, and Webb Travis was a beast back in NYC at EQX Flatiron.
Dumb Thing(s) Jeff Has Done At This Location: Two weeks ago, I cut my finger open on a dumbbell 10 minutes in. I don't even know where to start with that one.
Extras: Shop is big, EarthBar is money (and staffed by the happiest people I've ever met a juice bar).
ProTip: 9:30 am Firestarter, no matter the instructor, tends to attract a small, dedicated crowd of 6-10. Having all the space you want to do those ice skaters is a gamechanger.
There's No Place Like Home
It might not have been my first, nor will it be the last, but it'll always be the first stop I make (after saying hi to the folks). See you at the pool.
Jeff's favorite things about EQX Newport Beach: 1. It's his hometown! 2. Friendliest group of trainers in a 45-mile radius. 3. Ample parking in the Google garage, even during peak hours! 4. There's a pool and a basketball court you can use year-round outside (take that, EQX Printing House). 5. Sunsets coming into the studio make evening MetCons so, so romantic. [#imstillsingle]