Class Descriptions

The Santa Cruz Challenge includes over 20 local fitness studios and host over 15+ local health experts and professionals to download pertinent information in our health lecture series. Below is an overview of the events offered over the next 12 weeks.

For more specific dates and times, please see our calendar.

Health Lectures


The Health Assessment will consist of: The Fitness Assessment will consist of:
BioImpedence Analysis Test that tells us: Maximum # of push-ups
Hydration Maximum timed core/plank hold
Toxicity Maximum timed wall sit
Cellular Health Timed 1 mile run/jog/walk
Fat Mass
Lean Muscle Mass

The health and fitness assessment is designed to give you a starting point! Nobody expects you to perform like an athlete. Just come out and do your best … We GUARANTEE you will not be sorry. The comparison at the end of 12 weeks is a feeling like no other! We’re so EXCITED to see and meet everyone out there!

Vision Board Collage:

Thousands of books have been written over the past few decades regarding setting intensions and creating a vision. Numerous seminars, webinars, and teleconferences are held each month showing individuals the value of creating and seeing your vision as done. It has been shown that when you write you goals down and you have a clear vision of them, you are more likely to attain them. This will an opportunity to set your goals and create your vision.

Nutrition 101

With so many diets, fads and clinical trials promoting a certain nutrient or food, it’s really hard to know what to eat to be healthy. We are all individuals and what works for your best friend might not work for you. This health lecture will go over the fundamentals of what nutrients every human being should get, regardless of your values and belief systems.

Warrior Mindset

Greg Amundson is an author, one of the Original students of Greg Gassman, Founder of CrossFit and owns his own CrossFit gym here in Santa Cruz. He’s an inspirational speaker and will share his insights to inspire you.

Healthy Coffee
Come learn about a healthy coffee called Organo Gold. It’s organic reishi mushroom in coffee or tea. NO acidity! It is a delicious cup of coffee and gives you great clean energy throughout the day.
No acidity
Boosts Immune
Half the Caffeine           and other health benefits.
Proper Sneaker Fitting

Come and learn about the proper running shoe for you. 4 Steps at our local Santa Cruz Running Company store:

Step 1: Health & History
Step 2: Arch Analysis
Step 3: Gait Analysis
Step 4: Socks, and other products to make your fitness experience more comfortable and injury-free.

They use patented technology, a treadmill and years of expertise to guide you in buying the right sneakers.

Detoxification With Chinese Doctor LeTa

Each year, more than 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the environment; these toxic chemicals can accumulate in your body and affect overall health. Long-term exposure to even small amounts of these substances has been linked to a number of unwelcome health effects. Add to that an unhealthy diet lacking in proper nutrients, and the problem can get even worse.

  • Enhance the body’s natural metabolic detoxification process while providing adequate fuel for both cleansing and other daily activities.
  • Get healthier
  • Feel your best
Not all Supplements are created equal

While getting all your essential nutrients from natural foods is ideal, it may not be practical in today’s society, and many people turn to vitamins to supplement their diets. Make no mistake about it, however, vitamin supplements are big business and not all manufacturers have your best interests at heart.

There are thousands of supplements to choose from, and consumers spend billions of dollars each year — many never get even a small fraction of their money’s worth.

How do you choose a vitamin supplement that won’t just go down the toilet?

Personal Carbon Footprint

There is so much we can do to reduce our environmental footprint and preserve the earth’s environment. You don’t have to understand global climate change or understand the impact of landfills and toxicity on the environment. All you have to do is understand that everything you do, even the small things, make a difference, for better or worse. Whether you’re an avid recycler or the occasional recycler, this week we ask you to take it one step further. Our focus is on reduction and reuse, so we can minimize the need to recycle. 


If you attended or viewed the video on Injury Prevention by Dr. Bean you will know that posture is a great indication of health. What does your posture look like when you are standing in a ‘neutral’ position? Do you have one leg shorter than the other? Are your hips rotated or tilted? Where is your head in relationship to your shoulders? Your posture will give me great indication to your overall health and function. Let’s take a look at ya!

New Leaf Market Tours

Are you unsure how to shop in a health food store? Getting a guided tour will show you items that are on the shelf but perhaps you don’t know how to use or why you would even want to eat them. This is a practical guide to make the most out of shopping at your local health food store and learn about the best products they sell.

Living a truly healthy lifestyle takes planning, focus and a wide spectrum of knowledge to keep it yummy and interesting! Let Talya Lutzker guide you down grocery aisles as she teaches you things to look for and how to really read labels. Talya will cover the benefits of easy-to-incorporate superfoods (nutritionally dense foods that can help you increase your energy and vitality), gluten-free foods, various proteins (some vegan, some Paleo), pantry basics and super-easy snack ideas. Enjoy a sampling of some of Talya’s favorite foods and healthy snacks at the end of the class!

Live Oak Farmers Market Tour:
Ever wonder where you food comes from? Where was it grown and how did it get here? Come learn the difference between conventional farming and organic farming. Awareness of the amount of energy it takes to import food from other states and countries versus the food grown here in Santa Cruz County.

How to be a Real Food Champion

A toxic food culture is fueling skyrocketing rates of chronic illness, out-of-control medical costs, and environmental deterioration. Big agribusiness and food industry giants are spending billions in ad dollars and lobbyists, with the result that their products are craved, accessible – and subsidized. But the good news is that you can radically extend your life span and decrease your chances of getting Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and many other ailments – deliciously. Join Food Revolution Network CEO Ocean Robbins for a candid and inspiring look at the truth about food, and what you can do to be a powerful force for positive change. You’ll find out what’s really going on with GMOs, important breakthroughs in food and medical science, and how you can heal your body, and your country… with food!

What you need to know about GMO’s

What are GMO’s? Should I care? Most certainly YES. We will go over what a GMO is (Genetically Modified Food) and share with you why you should foods that are non-GMO.

Your Sexual Vitality : Building it, Keeping it, Enjoying it

Our sexuality can be a power source. And, if we are honest, it can sometimes be a drain. How can we keep our sexuality alive and vital throughout life’s challenges and changes? How can we tap into the energy it provides? How can we be confident in our sexual selves and bring that confidence into everything we do? You can enjoy sexual vitality, now and in the future. Come to this talk and get the inspiration you need.


Financial Health

  • Is your relationship with money holding you back?
  • You don’t need to make a lot of money to build a fortune
  • Money does not solve money problems!
  • How to create a new money mindset

Your belief becomes your reality! It cannot be said enough times, that the things we believe in, we will manifest. It may be true that one of the most important factors regarding financial success is your beliefs about yourself and money. Cleaning up your finances and setting financial goals is going to prepare you for financial freedom. This week we will be discussing your relationship with money and discussing successful strategies in creating your financial freedom.


Conscious Relationships

Learn what is possible in your relationships. Realize what our normal relationships are organized around and why they are inherently limited. Understanding relationships are a powerful vehicle for transformation and the highest states of creativity and love. Everyone who has ever felt that there must be a deeper and more profound way that we can relate to each other — beyond ‘getting our needs met,’ beyond answering the question, “Am I loved and lovable?,” beyond our struggles for power, self-esteem and survival. This lecture is for those who want to access what is possible for human beings in the domain of relationships — to be deeply met and seen, to evolve together, create together and reach our highest potentials.

Cooking Classes

Learning to cook healthy and tasty food is an art AND it also can be simple, too. We have recruited some of the best local chefs to compile an amazing cooking class series for you!  You will learn to cook, get recipes and the fun part is we will eat what we cook!

Singing Circle

Open your voice and let your spirit fly free!

You are invited to enter a safe, supportive space within which you will explore the beauty, magic and power of your own singing voice. Find freedom from self- judgment, doubt and fear. Learn to know your voice more intimately and love what you discover!


5k, 10k or Half-Marathon Preparation

I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider myself much of a runner. I’m way better running after a ball. But for some reason I think it would be a huge accomplishment to complete a half-marathon. I don’t have any desire to do a full marathon and I’m ok with that. For those of you who want to train for a 5k, 10k or Half-Marathon we will help facilitate running workouts so you can reach your goal of successfully completing the race.


Sprint Triathlon Preparation

12-Week comprehensive beginning training program for a sprint distance triathlon

One group workout and/or lecture per week with coach Terri or Dave

Option to come to additional swim workouts at Simpkins Swim Center with Terri and Dave (Simpkins drop-in fee additional.

Discounts for additional coaching or sport psychology consulting options with Terri or Dave (amount TBD by Terri and Dave)

Yoga Week

More and more people of all ages and walks of life are gravitating towards yoga. Maybe it has to do with the many positive benefits connected to a regular yoga practice. However if you have never taken a yoga class or it’s been a while since your last downward-facing-dog, then attending your first yoga class can be intimidating. The Santa Cruz Challenge Yoga week is for beginners AND more seasonal yogi’s.

Santa Cruz Boot Camp
Boot Camp is an exciting program that provides a dynamic total body workout designed to improve strength, agility, flexibility, and endurance.

The program focuses on strengthening the core muscle groups while providing a full-body workout. By using tools such as resistance bands, body weight and gravity, stairs, hand weights, and natural props, we design a wide variety of fun and exciting workouts that are guaranteed to challenge your body and mind. The small group environment and careful attention to each individual’s needs make Boot Camp an ideal complement to your exercise routine. Whether you are a competitive athlete looking to increase performance, or an individual who wants to improve fitness, this program is sure to inspire you and bring your fitness to the next level. Boot Camp classes can accommodate all levels of fitness.

Pickle Ball

Pickleball is known by many as “The funnest sport in America.” It blends tennis and pingpong and is played on a badminton sized court. The paddle is light-weight and a little bigger than a pingpong paddle, and it’s used to hit a whiffle ball over a net. Pickleball is easier on the joints than tennis which makes it a great sport for all ages.

Pickleball was created by Joel Prichard and Bill Bell in 1965, on Bainbridge Island, WA. They created the sport to relieve summer boredom with the idea that the whole family could play it together. They created rules and made wooden paddles and used an old badmitten court in Prichard’s yard. The Prichard’s Cocker Spaniel, who was named Pickles, became interested in the new game and kept running away with the ball, and the sport was henceforth known as Pickleball.

 Aerial Arts Fitness

Aerial fitness is one of the most intense ways to stay in shape as well as keep your workout interesting. We will use aerial hammock, silks, rope, lyra, trapeze and steel poles to create lean and lithe muscles, while enhancing our flexibility and stamina. There’s no better or more exciting way to get toned than flying through the air, climbing up things and lifting your own body weight!


Dance Week

I think there is a song out there that says “Dance like nobody’s watching”. Far too often we remain CALM as the British seem to want us to do, but inside we have this life force and creativity wanting to be unleashed. Yes, I’m talking to YOU. Well, this is your CHANCE. Dance week offers anything from ballroom to ballet to aerial to salsa to you name it. The best studios are onboard so YOU can find yourself having a blast while shaking’ down — and perhaps we will see you on the next “You think you can dance”.

Bike Maintenance Class

Learn basic tips and tricks to keep your bike running smoothly. Lubing, adjusting, and checking certain parts for safety will be covered. Any additional questions will be welcomed!


Martial Arts Week

You watched Karate Kid and have dreamt of being Ralph Macchio for years.  Just kidding. But seriously. He had a sensai and even though he had to wax his car and paint his fence, it was a cool relationship. YOU, too, can learn from some of our local Greats.

What’s great about Martial Arts week within the Santa Cruz Challenge is that you get to have this new experience with others who are new like you! There is truly something for everyone and you will find that martial arts isn’t just exercise, it’s a way of life.



Capoeira Week

Capoeira is a great workout and a FUN way to get in shape. In these classes, students are exposed to all aspects of capoeira which include martial arts, dance, music and acrobatics.  The absolute beginner class will teach you the fundamentals of the movement.



CrossFit Week

Capoeira is a great workout and a FUN way to get in shape. In these classes, students are exposed to all aspects of capoeira which include martial arts, dance, music and acrobatics.  The absolute beginner class will teach you the fundamentals of the movement.



Real Life Spirituality: The Candid Conversation with Rev. Deborah L. Johnson

Spend an hour going deeper with Rev. Deborah Johnson who was our guest lecturer earlier in the Challenge for “Cleaning Up Relationships”. This is not only a rare opportunity to be able to get your questions answered, to listen to contexts and paradigms and metaphors that allow you to have a perspective that truly serves you.

You will receive:

1. A download of the key teaching points for that session to be reviewed ahead of time. Come with questions and/or examples

2. Practical exercises to reinforce the learning points

3. More detailed instructions about participation

Safer Breast Cancer Prevention

Thermal Scans can detect irregular breast patterns before a noticeable lump is formed. In fact, Thermography is the only screening tool that can detect inflammatory breast cancer, in which there are no lumps that can be detected by self exam or mammogram.
With Breast Thermography, it is important to establish a stable “baseline” for each patient. This is done by having two imaging sessions done within a 3 month period. Because active cancers double in size and heat approximately 100 days apart, changes from the first breast scan to the second will alert your doctor to request additional tests.

Initial baseline scans are used to compare all future imagine studies. If heat patterns remain unchanged, annual Thermal Scans are recommended. If there are changes seen in the initial scans or subsequent annual scans, a more frequent imaging timeline may be recommended as well as follow up with your doctor to determine why things are changing.

By adding Thermal Scans to your annual exams and breast imaging studies (mammograms, ultrasound, MRI), you can improve your chances for early breast cancer detection by 97%. All women can benefit, but it is especially useful for younger women (ages 30-50) whose denser and more vascular breast tissue makes it more difficult for mammography to be effective. With one in eight women getting diagnosed, it’s never too early to start breast cancer prevention.

Injury Prevention

Dr. Michelle Bean, owner of Integrative Lifestyle Chiropractic will discuss key points on how to prevent injury in day to day activity.
  • how structure dictates function
  • how to move efficiently and avoid common mistakes while in motion
  • learn some important tips to living with ease and minimizing dis-ease in the body




Pilates Week

Pilates is intelligent exercise. It challenges your mind and strengthens you from the inside out, enabling you to perform complex movements safely, with power and grace. It evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates and can dramatically transform the way your body looks, feels and performs.

Pilates workouts aim to create a balance of strength and flexibility in the body through a series of exercises on the mat and equipment. Developing a strong mind-body connection and incorporating the Pilates principles into a balanced workout, will lead to an increased level of body awareness that helps students translate their workout achievements to improved posture, strength and agility. You will look better, but more importantly, you will feel better!



Zumba Week

 Zumba Fitness is the most fun and energetic calorie-burning, body-jammin’ Latin-Dance Based Fitness Workout where Fitness Fun™ comes to life.




Non-Toxic Products Free Sample Evening 

As we have detoxed our internal bodies, listened to the water and plastics lecture and have been “cleaning up” our relationships and other areas, so too we need to evaluate the products we use in our everyday life. We drink clean water, we buy organic food and now we need to also look at what we are putting on our skin, the most porous organ in the body.

The principles that I wish to share have the strength to empower people to make correct daily choices that will continually improve the quality of your everyday life — as we approach everything we do in life as holistic and integrative.

You are invited to enjoy free samples, some yummy food and drink along with:

* Enjoy a Cleansing Treatment
* An Exfoliation Treatment
* A Renewal Treatment
* And Moisturization!
Prepare to be Pampered! You Deserve it after all of your hard work! No purchases required, obviously. Just want to open up the communication around the products we use to clean, on our bodies, etc.

We want to welcome YOU … our amazing CHALLENGERS to come visit us at Optimal Health and Fitness. Come learn what Dr. Bean and Chinese Doctor LeTa do in private practice.  We cordially invite you to come ask questions, have a look around, and indulge in some self-care.

If you attended or viewed the video on Injury Prevention by Dr. Bean you will know that posture is a great indication of health. What does your posture look like when you are standing in a ‘neutral’ position? Do you have one leg shorter than the other? Are your hips rotated or tilted? Where is your head in relationship to your shoulders? Your posture will give me great indication to your overall health and function. Let’s take a look at ya!
FREE COFFEE tasting:
We have an amazing product line of black coffee infused with a chinese herb that gives your daily morning cup of joe the added benefits of NO ACIDITY, immune system boost, clean sustained energy, half the caffeine content as other coffee, and tastes pretty amazing. Definitely worth knowing about if you or someone you know drinks coffee.
What fish oil should I be taking?
Come get some free samples and learn about the different kinds of oils out there.
Products you should know about
We will display products and information so you can learn about what is out there that is the highest of quality, ranging from chinese herbs to energy bracelets to supplements, green powders, protein powders and more.
Free samples for all who show up….

Chi Week: Qi Gong 

By combining gentle stretches, strengthening postures, and flowing movements, qi gong opens the body and it’s energy systems in a blissful and therapeutic way. The word “qi” (or “chi”) means “life force”; qi gong is specifically designed to cultivate this energy, using it to heal and strengthen every system throughout the body. The Chinese say you can get there 3x as fast as yoga, wherever “there” is. Regardless, Qi Gong is the fitness aspect of Chinese Medicine and equally and underlying medical system in its own right. 

Outdoor Rock Climbing

This 4 hour course is designed for new climbers who are ready to take their adventures outside. You will learn about climbing etiquette, technique, and basic safety. You will explore various levels of climbing on different rock formations, where you will be responsible for belaying and using safe climbing communication.
Endless Summit will supply you with climbing shoes, climbing harness, and a helmet for the day as you experience a guided adventure and the opportunity to sharpen your skills as an outdoor climber.
What to Expect:
  • Review of belaying, knot tying, climbing commands.
  • Learning more about climbing etiquette, technique, and basic safety.
  • 2-3 climbs (class dependent).
  • 1.5-3 mile hike.
  • Learning skills and gaining more experience to improve your rock climbing.


Six Animal Kung Fu

Classes start with bowing in, and all exercises promote physical health and mental focus.Our current students range in age from college students to the chair of a college department, and range in ability from trophy winning competitors to those without a lick of experience. Like you, they did not know what to expect. What they have found was an art that touched their hearts and minds, and moved them in body and imagination. Interested? Then this class is for you!
Chien-Lung is a 17th century kung-fu based on six animal archetypes: Black Panther, White Leopard, Boa, Cobra, Python, and Tiger. Each animal represents a martial style, personality type, brain region, system of the body, and aspect of consciousness. Each animal has its favorite foods, music, books, movies, hobbies, and different regions of the Earth it resonates with.

The cats are masculine, the snakes feminine, and when a cat is combined with a snake, their alchemical synergy produces the Dragon. The Dragon symbolizes resilience and flow, the ability to turn hardship into strength through creativity and skill.

The practice of Chien-Lung is to develop each of these aspects within yourself by adopting the animal’s movement, breathing, thinking, and attitudes …


Outrigger canoe paddling is the fun and social way to get fit on the Monterey Bay. Experience teamwork, nature, adventure, and competition in diverse programs for family, recreation, fitness, and racing. Paddle with your family: children, parents, and grandparents paddle together in Outrigger Santa Cruz. Paddle with your friends. It takes six people pulling together to move a canoe.

Free Weight Loss Program Inro

Come learn about Chinese Doctor LeTa’s weight loss programs and disccover which path may best suit where you are now and how you want to achieve those health goals. She is a Certified Ideal Protein Weight Loss Center, but also wrote a book on Chinese Medicine for Weight Loss. In addition, she has been a First Line Therapy Provider for the past 8 years helping patients with diet and lifestyle changes that are sustainable.

Learn about how you can choose the best Program Design that will fit with your lifestyle, beliefs and where you are right NOW.

Stretching Class

Stretching and flexibility are two fundamental aspects of health. The ability to move your joints within normal range of motion without restrictions are crucial to injury prevention and overall health of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. In this class we will focus on learning how and when to stretch, and different techniques that will allow you to release adhesions and increase flexibility. We will also focus on proper posture while sitting, sleeping, and walking.

Self-Defense Class

Beginning Level Martial Arts/Self-Defense. This class is open to new practitioners and well as those with previous martial arts experience who are new to MANOSAMIN training.

Students learn how to become stronger, both mentally and physically. With increased power and strength in their physical bodies, students gain confidence in their abilities to take care of themselves, speak their minds, and become leaders in our community. And they learn self-defense that is applicable to our daily lives, both for women and for men.

Disc Golf with School of Disc Golf
People of all ages consider disc golf to be one of the most enjoyable forms of low impact exercise and fresh air- and Santa Cruz boasts a number of great courses that are free to play. In this session you’ll learn everything you need to know to decide whether it might be for you, including hands-on instruction on one of the best courses in the world.
School of Disc Golf with Jack Trageser 
De LaVeaga Disc Golf Course

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