Slim Gym

Written by Marlena Sauceda Category: Health & Fitness Issue: June 2013
Group Free

Small, boutique gyms’ personalized fitness programs offer a haute alternative to same-same training routines.

Going to a crowded gym and doing the same basic workout every time can get bone-crushingly dull. So Jenny Cushing decided to try something else, namely a Systeme Dynamique workout class in Los Angeles designed by celebrity trainer Sebastien Lagree. She fell in love with the program and ultimately joined forces with pal Rachel Forman to bring Lagree’s workout to the Valley at their own gym, The Body Lab.

The signature Pilates-based workout weds strength conditioning and cardio in 50-minute sessions designed to work the entire body. Cushing and Forman also use a Lagree-designed machine called the Megaformer. With more features than a traditional Pilates machine, the Megaformer allows for a safe but extra-thorough workout, Forman says. “It’s low impact, but you get such a great workout every time.”

Just as critically, the Body Lab limits class sizes to 11 people, creating a personal environment where everybody has access to one-on-one training. “Within three to four weeks I saw noticeable changes, and that’s pretty much what we’ve heard from people who take the classes,” Forman says.

Multiple Valley locations.

Other Boutique Fitness Programs
Oasis Personal Training and Group Fitness Center
Personal trainers lead boot camp groups through a fun and challenging workout odyssey that includes spin cycling, kick boxing, resistance training and floor exercises. With one-hour classes offered 11 times a week, it’s easy to fit this workout into your schedule. 7816 N. 12th St., Phoenix, 602-288-8925,

Zone Athletic Performance
For people with serious calorie-burning needs, Zone has a proven track record. Their one-hour ZoneFit class is a nonstop crucible of activity and motion, and their state-of-the-art equipment and challenging coaches are pro-caliber. Depending on the time of year, you might even catch a glimpse of a pro or two, as Zone specializes in off-season training for athletes. 15820 N. 84th St., Scottsdale, 480-998-9663,

De La Fit Fitness Boutique
Gravity never wins at De La Fit. Their Gravity Strength, Gravity Pilates and TRX Suspension Training classes all use body weight resistance to strengthen and tone your muscles. De La Fit allows a maximum of six people in each class, making for one of the most personalized – but not strictly personal – workout experiences in the Valley. 7342 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, 480-272-6019,