5 Cult Favorite Fitness Instructors in San Diego


the best Fitness Instructors in San Diego

When it comes to fitness… it’s not definitely not my forte.

I have tried to be “fit”. Many times. Over & over again. But working out was just not my thing. I was bored, I didn’t like the discomfort during a workout, & I’ve really never been a fan.

In highschool, I would break out in hives whenever we had to run the mile & got a doctor’s note saying I could sit out (but I actually do break out in the itchiest hives when I workout outside- it’s miserable).

I did a quick stint at the gym my sophomore year, only because that’s where the boys went after school, so naturally it was the cool hangout spot.

I would walk on the treadmill while reading a magazine w/ full make up on & maybe do a sit up or two. The one time I actually was active at the gym I ended up breaking my nose & had blood running down my face in front of everyone.

After that, I kinda threw in the fitness towel.

FFW to a year ago, & I just woke up one day & decided I am going to dedicate 2% of my day (an hour- I love thinking of it like this) to working out.

I got a trainer, to ease into things with some one on one, & now have spread my wings to workout on my own. Personally, I am a class taking kinda girl (still scared of the gym)… but I have learned over the past few months that it not only has to be the RIGHT class, you also have to have the RIGHT instructor.

The importance of a really good instructor makes all the difference. In this new found workout journey of mine, I’ve tested a bunch of classes & the sad thing is- if I am not feeling the instructor the first class I take, I will probably not come back. It’s all about those first impressions.

SO- today I am sharing with you guys my top favorite fitness instructors in San Diego that all played a huge part in my new found love/obsession with working out (never thought I’d see the day!).

5 Cult Favorite Fitness Instructors in San Diego

1. Shannon Cavese | SparkCycle Point Loma

First of all, I am SO obsessed with SparkCycle. It’s a spin class where you ride to the beat of music, & it is so much fun. Like, so fun you could almost forget you are doing a super gnarly workout.

Lots of great energy in all the classes, but Shannon is my girl.

I am actually kind of obsessed with Shannon & can’t say enough good things about her. Taking a spin class with her is kind of a spiritual experience. Her energy is HIGH & just SO incredibly inspirational during a workout. She also plays some rap music, which I love, & I leave every class knowing I got the best workout ever.

Just trust me on this one, she’s the best!

Book a class: SparkCycle Point Loma schedule

2. Krystal Nielson | Orange Theory San Diego

Orange Theory- the workout class that got me back into working out. If you haven’t yet heard of Orange Theory, here is the breakdown of what it is/why it works/what to expect.

  • you wear a hear monitor during class, which shows you your heart rate & puts you into different “zones”. You start of class in the grey zone, and as your heart rate increases you will enter the blue zone, the green zone, the orange zone, & the red zone.
  • based on science, the goal is to get atleast 12 minutes in the ORANGE zone as that is the “fat burning zone”. Spending 12 minutes in the orange zone will create EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) aka after burn.
  • classes are 55 minutes long & the room is divided into three components- the rowing machines, the floor, & the treadmills. Each workout is different every day & is either a power day, strength day, or an endurance day.
  • you cycle through the different parts of the room VERY quickly to ensure you keep your heart rate up & it is just a really amazing high intensity interval training workout!
  • each class you burn on average 550 calories.

Krystal is my FAVORITE OT instructor I have taken so far (although I really like all of them!) & her classes are always packed. She is kind of like a fitness fairy. Sparkly & super bubbly, & in AMAZING shape.

She is very personal with everyone in the class, always helping with form, which is def. hard because there really are so many people in her class. Krystal is also SUPER motivating. If she sees me slowing down in the corner of her eye, she makes sure to announce the only thing holding us back is our minds. IDK about you guys, but I love that kinda stuff when I am working out. It’s like a motivational speaker & a fitness instructor all in one.

Book a class: Orange Theory San Diego schedule

3. Tabu’s Sculpt Yoga Class | CorePower Point Loma

OH MAN. Tabu.

This class has a seriously massive cult following, & for good reason.

Corepower’s yoga sculpt class is a SERIOUS challenge. It’s a heated room, it’s got cardio, it’s got abs, it’s got squats, & it’s SWEATY.

Then add in a teacher like Tabu, & brace yourself.

I’ve taken my fair share of heated classes in my day, & lemme tell ya, this was GNARLY. In all the right ways.

Tabu is 1 part drill sargeant, 1 part party starter.

He dances through the class (he is an amazing dancer!), to his epic playlists (no chanting music in this yoga class), & isn’t scared to put you in check when you’re slacking.

I couldn’t tell if he was kidding or not when he told me I’d be doing burpees in the 90 degree room if I didn’t squat an inch lower, still not 100% sure on that one, but I liked it. He definitely kept me on my toes the ENTIRE time.

Book a class: CorePower Point Loma schedule

4. Jenna Smith | SparkCycle La Jolla

Jenna was the instructor of my first SparkCycle class, & she def. made me want to keep coming back. She has a chill energy, but also super motivational during class. She explains things very well, yet keeps things moving fast, & has great taste in music (very important part of class).

Not to mention, she is in AMAZING shape… which is always added motivation!

Sadly she mainly teaches at the La Jolla Studio & I go to the Point Loma one, but if she ever subs at Point Loma I make sure to signup ASAP cause this class also gets SUPER packed.

Book a class: SparkCycle La Jolla schedule

5. The Ryans’ | Mosaic Yoga in Golden Hill

If yoga is your thing, Mosaic Yoga Golden Hill will 100% be your new spot.

Sometimes yoga can be intimidating, but this place is so perfect for people of all levels & they have SO many different types of yoga classes for any/all yoga needs. They also offer a reiki class as well as a really great meditation workshop.

The atmosphere is just SO zen.

The founders of the studio, Ryan Glidden & Ryan Krupa, are instructors to see. Every teacher is great, but the two Ryans’ are the packed classes that everyone wants in on. Ryan Glidden’s classes are very physically challenging & he offers tons of adjustments to get the most out of your workout. Ryan Krupa’s classes are more mentally challenging as he really helps move energy & push you to your limits.

Book a class: Mosaic Yoga Golden Hill schedule

Alright- it’s your guys’ turn! Got a fitness instructor or studio we need to know about? PLZ share in the comments section below! <3 x, E

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  • I’m such a fitness class junkie and will take just about any kind of class (I’m the same; the gym just scares me…). Orange Theory sounds like an amazing class, brb, looking up when the next class in NYC is!

    xx Pia

  • Diana

    OBSESSED with Tabu’s sculpt and C2 classes. I’ve been going to his classes for almost 6 years and have never been in better shape.

  • Julia Mehafffey

    Liam Robinson at Yoga SIX Point Loma. He has the most Zen voice, the most descriptive classes and always a great workout without knowing you are working out. He’s more in tune with what my body is doing than I am… he knows exactly what to say to get you into perfect alignment.

  • Stacey Frank

    Girl, if you like Shannon’s classes in Point Loma you need to join our squad for one of her Wed or Thurs night classes in La Jolla. They are absolute fire!

  • J

    Scott Baker of Gemini Fit Solana Beach is the booty maker! 🍑💪

  • Kelly Kittson

    Scott Baker of Gemini Fit.

    Where do I even start?
    Do you like fun?
    Do you like music?
    Do you like good company?
    Do you think you’d like having all of the above whilst building muscle and getting leaner at the same time?

    Scott has this incredible, innate ability to make an intense workout go by like a dance party. I always leave inspired and stronger. He has a unique ability of bringing together groups that instinctively work together, motivate each other, and laugh through the sweat.

    His passion for his trade provides a safe place to be who you are, whatever limitations or advantages you may have. He customizes and modifies every individual’s workout to help them reach their full potential. His commitment and passion for personal training pours from his heart, so much so, it seaps into his group classes.

    If you don’t try it, you will never know what you’re missing, nor will you get that “Booty by Baker”!

  • Frank Varela

    Definitely have to include Donovan Soriano @ Fit for his Rise & Grind spin class!!! His tracklists are always fresh and his energy summons everyone’s inner Lance Armstrong for the entire 60 minutes. Activate beast mode!!!

  • Amy Peot McCabe

    Betsy Blumenfeld!!! Serious cult following in the Pilates world!

    • Courtney

      I LOVE Betsy! She was my favorite instructor at The Pilates Room. Not sure if she still teaches there because I stopped going about 2 years ago. Where is she teaching? I’d love to take one of her classes again!

      • Ooh- looking into it! I need a good pilates class.

  • Courtney

    Loved this post! I’m a class kinda gal too and a great instructor makes all the difference. I’m definitely going to check out these instructors.