March 24, 2023

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1. LA Fitness
Multiple locations,
LA Fitness is back in the Best of Orange County rankings, and this year the readers showed it even more love, naming it the top fitness center. LA Fitness’ slogan calls it “one place for all the ways you work out” and with everything that this major gym chain has to offer, it’s not a big stretch to call it that.
The Irvine-based company has been around since 1984 and has more than 700 clubs in the U.S. and Canada. LA Fitness attributes its growth to understanding and meeting the needs of each community it serves. The locations offer everything from group classes such as cycling, yoga, Zumba, kickbox cardio, aqua fit, Pilates and more to personal training, basketball, racquetball, weight room and heated pools.
Seniors have the opportunity to work on their strength and increase their energy while being led by instructors in Senior Fit and SilverSneakers classes. Meanwhile, parents can burn off some calories while their little ones spend time at the Kids Club with background-checked babysitters.
Club members can schedule a complimentary fitness assessment to check their current fitness level and body composition and get a personalized timeline to achieve their fitness goals as well as an overview of the gym equipment and a quick workout with a trainer.
— Magda Liszewska
2. 24 Hour Fitness
Multiple locations,
24 Hour Fitness has been in the industry for more than 35 years with a commitment to “create a happier, healthier world through fitness.” One of the major gym chains in the U.S., the company operates nearly 300 clubs in 11 states nationwide. In Orange County alone, it feels like there’s a club in almost every shopping center, which makes it convenient for members to get a workout in wherever they are.
The clubs offer a variety of cardio, strength, cycle, dance, mind-body and active aging classes as well as options for virtual training and classes. Personal training, basketball, weight room, cardio machines and swimming pools and sauna round up the options for members.
Not every location has all the amenities and not every type of membership allows full access to everything 24 Hour Fitness has to offer, but chances are you can find a combination to accommodate your fitness needs.
3. Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County
1 Federation Way, Irvine, 949-435-3400,
It’s no surprise to see Merage Jewish Community Center of Orange County back in the top three best fitness centers. Located in a 220,000-square foot facility, “The J” truly is a place where just about anyone can find something to do regardless of age, fitness level or faith (no, you don’t have to be Jewish to join).
During the pandemic lockdown, Merage moved fitness equipment and classes outdoors, which proved to be such a hit, they are keeping a hybrid indoor/outdoor model.
“We expanded and spent a significant amount of time just really talking to our members and finding out what they wanted outside, what they wanted inside and how to best meet their needs,” Director of Marketing and Communications Char Williams-Cavitt said.
Aside from fitness classes, equipment, pool, the J offers activities for kids so the whole family can participate. They also have day passes if you’re not ready to commit to joining long-term.
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