A workout boot camp is probably only as good as its drill sergeant … er, trainer. Sure, West Coast Boot Camp's La Cañada location is pleasant and easily accessible from the 2 or 210 freeways, and the interior workout space feels clean and purposeful, with its neatly arranged weights and the craggy camo/netting landscape on the ceiling. But when owner/trainer Adrian Pietrariu bounds out from behind the counter, you can tell that, at this place, a can-do spirit irrepressibly spills down from the top. Having emigrated from revolution-torn Romania as a teen, the lean, well-muscled and amiable Pietrariu dove into personal physical development with the zeal of the newly arrived. He recently won four medals at the International Natural Bodybuilding Association competition and led two boot camp clients to win their categories as well. While his bulging 'ceps may intimidate the prospective client, Pietrariu prides himself on being a “tough but loving” coach who does whatever he can to keep regular folks sticking to the program. Now is the time to enlist! 1049 Foothill Blvd., La Cañada Flintridge. (818) 850-1049, westcoastbootcamp.com.

—Adam Gropman

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