10 L.A.-based, Black-owned fitness businesses with virtual classes

Jill R. Shah
Liz Polk, from left, Angela Davis, Keya Nkonoki and Keith Thompson have all amped up online and virtual workouts since the pandemic.  (Los Angeles Times illustration; photographs from Speir Pilates, from left, Aarmy, Courtney Lindberg, KTX Fitness)

Former USA Track & Field star Angela Davis led group cycle classes for the likes of Beyoncé and Jay-Z before she founded Aarmy with former tennis pro Akin Akman. She wanted to expand her reach by owning her own global fitness brand.

Aarmy opened its doors in January with cycling and boot-camp classes offered through a sports training approach. When the pandemic hit soon after and the studio was forced to shut down, it pivoted quickly to offer free online classes on Instagram. Despite the challenge early in her journey as a business owner, Davis said she is not deterred and considers it a privilege to have ownership in the fitness industry.

"I just hope that other minority woman can look at me and say, 'If she can do it, I can do it,'" she said.

For those looking to support Black-owned businesses in Los Angeles, we’ve started compiling a resource guide that highlights such businesses and brands in fitness. (To bring a business to our attention, send us an email at image@latimes.com.) Many of these businesses will get back to opening their doors again soon: Los Angeles County announced Wednesday afternoon that gyms can reopen starting Friday, with certain safety protocols in place.

Angela Davis, co-founder of Aarmy.  (Aarmy)

Aarmy (Boot camp)

Boot camp-style fitness studio founded by trainer Angela Davis and former tennis pro Akin Akman. It has a daily lineup of workouts for free through Instagram Live — follow @aarmy for the schedule. 8599 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, aarmy.com

The Cardio Grind (Cardio, kickboxing and strength)

Owned and led by Kanika Conwright Brock, this studio gets rave reviews for high-energy, challenging workouts. Virtual classes can be booked through the website or ClassPass. 18529 Burbank Blvd., Tarzana, thecardiogrind.com

Dharma Yoga  (Sonya Enchill)

Dharma Yoga L.A. (Yoga)

Nonprofit classical yoga studio with classes for all levels. Owner Sonya Enchill is offering online classes; the schedule can be found on the website. dmyla.com

Gloveworx (Boxing)

Gloveworx is a boxing studio founded by Leyon Azubuike, a boxing pro who has trained Jennifer Aniston. It's offering virtual private and group training. Two locations, 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, and 1415 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, gloveworx.com

The Jyim (Boxing and HIIT)

The Jyim offers small group classes and personal training with elite trainers such as founder and former athlete Jyima Ofori-Atta. It has virtual cardio and sculpt classes as well as outdoor boot camp and boxing classes. 830 Traction Ave., Suite 2B, Los Angeles, thejyim.com

KTX Fitness  (Keith Thompson)

KTX Fitness (Cycling, step and Zumba)

Founded by certified group instructor Keith Thompson, KTX Fitness offers cycling, step and Zumba classes. Virtual classes and packages are available. 1710 N. McCadden Place, Los Angeles, ktxfitness.com

Moms at Om founder, Keya Nkonoki  (Courtney Lindberg)

Moms at Om (Prenatal and postnatal yoga)

This boutique pregnancy yoga studio has a majority Black teaching staff. It's owned by Keya Nkonoki, a birth doula, pregnancy coach and women's yoga specialist. 12112 W. Washington Blvd., Suite 3, Culver City, momsatom.la

Ratio Cycling (Cycling)

This indoor cycling studio allows riders to opt into real-time data tracking to improve performance. It is currently offering “Ratio at Home,” which includes weekly bike rental, livestream and on-demand offerings. 1306 N. Wilton Place, Los Angeles, ratiocycling.com

Andrea Speir, co-founder of Speir Pilates.  (Speir Pilates/Valorie Darling)

Speir Pilates (Pilates)

Entrepreneur Liz Polk paired up with fitness expert Andrea Speir to create Speir Pilates, which combines athletic Pilates with cardio, barre and circuit training. It has launched a virtual studio with daily live classes featuring Los Angeles-based instructors. 1427 7th St., Santa Monica, speirpilates.com

Thrive Health Lab (Varied including strength, yoga and meditation)

The boutique fitness lab located in View Park-Windsor Hills specializes in small-group training and a holistic approach to fitness. It is offering virtual classes. 3701 W. 54th St., Los Angeles, thrivehealthlab.com

Updates:
3:40 PM, Jun. 10, 2020: This story has been updated to include Los Angeles County’s announcement that gyms can reopen Friday with certain safety protocols in place. The story additionally corrected an error in the caption that misidentified Keya Nkonoki as Courtney Lindberg.