They hustle to squat, to kick in rapid succession and to jog around small cones on the dewy grass on Ocean Avenue.
Every morning, sweaty men and women use the city's parks, particularly along the ocean-facing knolls between San Vicente Boulevard and California Avenue, as their outdoor gyms.
But when the classes led by professional fitness gurus use heavy-equipment, like dumbbells and kettlebells, they tear up the turf, said .
Stinzhfield said she wasn't sure of the extent of that damage, but it's been enough to raise concern.
In the New Year, city staffers will propose regulating the boot camps and group activities that use heavy equipment, ripping up the grass and other amenities, at all of the city's parks, she said.
Adam Brewer, the owner of Westside Adventure Boot Camp in Santa Monica, estimates that since he began his outdoor classes on Ocean Avenue five years ago, the number of boot camp-type groups have blossomed from a handful to about a dozen. He surmises that their popularity is fueled by the fact that the city has so far been friendly to them, allowing the groups to operate without interference.
"The outdoor activities and the usage of the parks in Santa Monica are really popular and probably more so than in most places," Brewer said.
It was unclear what the changes could entail. To regulate activity, whether for special events on public spaces or nightlife at local businesses, it's typical for the city to require that organizers obtain special permits. Currently, event permits for parks are only required of activities or events where 150 or more people participate.
Stinzhfield said the city has tried unsuccessfully to get the fitness class leaders to participate in classes to teach them about using city facilities. Their participation would also help staffers keep track of the number of fitness groups using public parks.
Brewer said the only equipment his classes use are yoga mats and aren't part of the problem. Even so, "in my experience, the behaviors and activities of most of the groups wouldn’t lend themselves to tearing up the grass that much," he said.
The regulations, which are still being drafted, will first be presented to the city's Parks and Recreation Commission. The commission is an advisory body to the City Council, which has the ultimate say on any changes.