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Life Time Athletic Comes to Orange County

WEB-EXCLUSIVE: The total lifestyle center opens its first comprehensive lifestyle club in California.


Life Time Athletic has arrived in Laguna Niguel. And before you go thinking it's just another gym, consider this: It has a three-story rock-climbing wall... and two waterslides. And, no, it's not an adventure park. What it aims to be is a lifestyle center focused on your health and wellness.  

This three-story, 128,000-square-foot location, opening Saturday, April 26 at 4 a.m., marks the 110th Life Time destination in the United States and Canada, and will provide patrons with a luxury fitness club experience. As Life Time Athletic is a diamond-level club, members of Life Time Athletic Laguna Niguel will have complete access to the Laguna Niguel club as well as other Life Time Fitness locations across the country.

Bahram Akradi founded Life Time Fitness with a vision of helping individuals achieve “the healthy way of life.” Because being healthy is not just about exercise and fitness, the center features more than a gym. In addition to its fitness center, the club also has the rock-climbing wall, two indoor full-size basketball courts, two group fitness studios, a cycle studio, a yoga studio, a Pilates studio, a spa and salon, an on-site café, an indoor lap pool and an outdoor pool deck equipped with a leisure and lap pool, two whirlpools, a splash pad, and of course, two waterslides. The club is stocked with more than 300 pieces of state-of-the-art fitness equipment. Essentially, Life Time Athletic strives to bring together all aspects of fitness under one large roof.

“You don’t have to go anywhere else for the small boutiques,” says Natalie Bushaw, Life Time’s director of public relations. Life Time Athletic ensures that members will not feel the need to find a separate boutique specializing in yoga and yet another for Pilates or cycling.

In addition to specialized in-house programs, Life Time also offers exclusive group fitness classes. At the Laguna Niguel location, 109 classes will be taught every week by 47 certified instructors. Many of these classes are only available at Life Time.

“We’re the first health program to teach Insanity,” Bushaw says.

Shaun T, the creator of Insanity, explained why he wanted to partner with Life Time: “I love the Life Time facilities because they provide a great combination of sports, fitness and a family atmosphere.”

Instead of offering a child care center, Life Time Athletic dedicates a noticeable portion of its third floor space to the brand’s Life Time Kids Academy. The program is designed for kids from three months to 11 years of age, and focuses on helping children develop a healthy lifestyle. The kids program focuses on four categories: mind and body, arts and culture, fitness and agility, and life skills. More than 65 classes are offered a week, including classes on karate, yoga, Spanish, and tumbling.

“It’s all about having kids be well-rounded," says Bushaw.

There are two areas that are open to both members and non-members: the LifeCafe and the LifeSpa. Life Time’s spa and salon area houses a full-service salon, spa and medi-spa.

As a part of Life Time’s mission of living a complete, healthy lifestyle, LifeSpa features products that are natural and good for the body.

“We really try to be all-natural,” Bushaw says. “We really focus on skin-fitness, essentially.”

Life Time’s full-service, chef-driven restaurant is located on the right of the first floor’s main lobby, with a bistro accessible from the outside. Operating under the motto, “If it’s here, it’s healthy,” LifeCafe features fresh foods that are free of trans fats, bleached flours and artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners.

“[People] refer to Life Time as a country club without a golf course,” Bushaw says.
Of all the club’s luxurious amenities, the club’s outdoor pool deck may be the most reflective of the "country club" feel. The leisure pool features a zero-depth entry, which is ideal for parents with kids, and includes a large water slide reminiscent of a water park. For the outdoor pools, approximately eight to 10 lifeguards will be on duty at a time.

“It is our distinct honor to become part of Laguna Niguel and the Orange County community and we welcome the opportunity to serve the health, fitness and recreation goals and objectives of area residents and businesses,” Life Time Chief Operating Officer Jeff Zwiefel says.

Membership pricing ranges from $142 to $330 a month, but if you make an appointment with LifeSpa, you are welcome to use Life Time amenities as a guest for the entire appointment day. Life Time Athletic members are also allotted a certain number of guests per month. The club is open every day of the week from 4 a.m. to 12 a.m., and individual services within the club have varying hours. :: lifetimefitness.com

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