More and More L.A. Gyms Are Adapting to the Pandemic by Moving Outdoors

A sampling of al fresco fitness offerings at local gyms and studios

As many fitness enthusiasts are looking to get back to their pre-pandemic workout routines, outdoor gym offerings are expanding–and upgrading. From pilates on a rooftop with a view of the Hollywood Hills, to an outdoor workout space with room for a post-sweat cocktail, here’s a sampling how some Los Angeles gyms have adapted to al fresco fitness.

Los Angeles Athletic Club

This downtown club is celebrating its 140th anniversary in 2020–but not quite in the way they may have originally planned. The facility has recently unveiled 26,000 square feet of outdoor gym space, converting parking areas and an open-air rooftop into workout spaces, an outdoor spa and salon area, and even a beach-themed bar featuring food and drink service and DJs. Even the private club’s beloved shoe shine man, Marco, will return with his own outdoor area for dress shoe and sneaker cleaning. 431 West 7th St., downtown.


Equinox, the embattled health club chain targeted with a 2019 boycott campaign for ties to Trump mega-donor Stephen Ross, is set to open its very first fully outdoor club in L.A. on September 21. The facility, dubbed Equinox in the Wild, is spread out across a 27,000-square-foot rooftop space. Stations include strength training, tented cardio areas, and other dedicated spaces. Upgraded Equinox touches are present throughout, including rubber flooring tiles and surround-sound speakers. In the Wild is available to “All Access” and “Destination” members at the Century City location, but not currently included for single-club members at the chain’s other locations. 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City.

Sanctuary Fitness

Both the DTLA and Pasadena locations of Sanctuary Fitness are offering outdoor sessions of their popular High-intensity interval training, boxing, and yoga classes. The studio’s health protocols including marking out individual, distanced workout areas for each patron, and requiring instructors to give only touch-free, verbal cues, rather than making any hands-on adjustments. For those who are still not comfortable with working out around other people, Sanctuary is supplementing its outdoor gym schedule with a program of virtual classes available to stream on demand.  718 Jackson St., Arts District; 182 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. 

Speir Pilates

This West Hollywood studio has brought its equipment up to the rooftop, where multiple classes are offered each day. Classes are being kept small, just five participants at a time, many of them personally taught by studio founder and Andrea Speir. Currently, the Santa Monica sister location is not able to offer outdoor sessions.  8350 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood.

Row House

This rowing machine-centered group workout studio is offering outdoor gym services at multiple locations across the region. In addition to small classes and distanced machines, Row House has instituted contactless booking and check-in procedures, sanitization of all equipment between users, and an “In Good Health” verification protocol for all participants. 18127 Chatsworth St., Granada Hills; 505 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica; 6451 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., Long Beach.

RELATED: An L.A.-Area Gym is Offering Workout Pods for COVID-Fearing Fitness Enthusiasts

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