La Jolla’s options for a well-rounded workout
by Dave Schwab
Published - 02/07/14 - 04:01 PM | 4254 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
La Jolla Athletic Club and La Jolla Sports Club are two options if you’re looking for variety in your workout. Both offer indoor weights and machines, along with classes and cardio opportunities. 	DAVE SCHWAB
La Jolla Athletic Club and La Jolla Sports Club are two options if you’re looking for variety in your workout. Both offer indoor weights and machines, along with classes and cardio opportunities. DAVE SCHWAB
La Jolla is home to a wide range of cutting-edge fitness concepts, each with its own unique approach and each able to get you looking and feeling your best. La Jolla Today has been featuring a different fitness-related business for several weeks, and we’re finishing up our series with a look at the all-purpose gyms La Jolla has to offer. Hopefully our series has made those New Year’s resolutions easier to keep.

If your tastes in fitness run more toward the standard or traditional, La Jolla offers several options you should explore. Two are the La Jolla Athletic Club and the La Jolla Sports Club.

Open since the 1970s, La Jolla Athletic Club (LJAC), with an entrance at 1165 Coast Blvd. just steps down a private walkway to the Cove, is by reputation “the hidden jewel of La Jolla.”

“It’s the good old boys’ club with lots of members who’ve been here for years and years,” said Pamela Eaton, the club’s trainer and manager, who is also a swim coach.

Among other things, LJAC is a haven for open-water swimmers, runners and triathletes who find the Cove and environs a perfect setting for training.

“It’s beautiful to run along the Cove here, swim and bike,” said Eaton.

LJAC offers numerous amenities, including racquetball and basketball courts, a full workout room with cardio, free weights and other equipment, as well as a sauna, Jacuzzi, and locker room and showers.

What makes LJAC special?

“We’ve got that private, hidden feel,” said Eaton. “Everyone who works out here is here for the good of their body. It’s part of their life, like those training for events. It’s a niche group of people here.”

A membership club with monthly/annual dues, LJAC is small enough and personal enough to devote individual attention to those members.

“We address what members’ special needs are, such as core strength for swimmers,” said Eaton. “I do a lot of work with free weights, machines and medicine balls.”

Eaton said patrons like the neighborhood gym’s old-school approach and feel.

“It’s quiet, not overcrowded,” she said. “People don’t feel like they’re fighting for space. It’s more like a home gym. They feel a sense of family and community among the members here.”

Eaton has a personal workout philosophy.

“I believe you have to work hard for your body if you want your body to work for you. It’s a lifestyle. In order to live the best quality of life, you have to be active.”

For more information about LJAC, visit

If you want more workout options, especially of the indoor variety in your workout, then La Jolla Sports Club at 7825 Fay Ave. might be more to your liking. General manager Claire Bullas said, “We do a little bit of everything — cardio, the latest equipment, a variety of classes, yoga, which is why people come here. We’ve got everything that’s out there in here, which is pretty amazing.”

Personal trainer Justin Powell said La Jolla Sports Club offers lots of variety without being “gimmicky.”

“We do things that are scientifically proven to work,” agreed Bullas. “When somebody comes in we put them in the best place to be successful.”

Powell said patrons of all ages come in to the club to work out for a variety of reasons.

“Most people come in for fat loss,” he said. “But we also have pre- and post-natal patrons, people coming back from injuries or people who want to focus more on sports-specific areas.”

Housewives, school-age children, elderly people, those rehabbing from injuries or those, said Bullas, “whose doctors have prescribed exercise, telling them to get into a gym,” are among the sports club’s diverse clientele.

Bullas and Powell conducted a tour of the facility.

The upper level has a lot of cardio equipment with patrons of every imaginable point on the age spectrum.

Downstairs is the state-of-the-art body building equipment with people tugging, pulling and flexing in every direction on every imaginable type of fitness machine.

The fitness facility also has separate rooms surrounding a central courtyard for group classes, including spinning, yoga and meditation.

But there’s more than just working out, as La Jolla Sports Club is a social place, too. Powell calls it the “Cheers” of La Jolla fitness.

“You come here because everyone knows your name,” he said. “We all hang out outside the gym, have great socials with all the members getting together, go out to a lot of restaurants that we have a relationship with.”

Bullas said sports club members are tight-knit.

“A lot of our clients who come in see us as an extension of their family,” she said. “We have really good relationships. That’s why they keep coming back.”

For more information about La Jolla Sports Club, visit
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