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I'm BAAAACK. And I am always finding ways to figure out how to work out without actually working out. When I was doing my CP 30 Day Challenge last month I came across Barre Lab and I took their signature barre workout. But what really grabbed my short attention span was the fact that there was a Hoola Hoop Dance Class. Say whaaat. I want to work out like a 5 year old.
The hoola guru/instructor, Anah, was in India at the time of my first class, at believe it or not a HOOLA HOOP CONVENTION. This woman is ridiculous. She literally just floats around the class doing out of this world hoola moves. If for nothing else, you should go for the performance you will receive. One of the reasons I kept dropping my hoop is because I couldn't stop watching her. Yea...I'm gonna go with that's the reason I kept dropping my hoop.
The hoops are provided at Barre Lab. They are the biggest hoops you ever laid eyes upon. They also have a hefty weight to them. When they are heavier, they allow you to hoola better. So if you're a beginner you want to grab the biggest, heaviest hoop you see.
A little precursor, you will look really silly silly doing this class. This class is not for the self-consious. The hoop will fall (many times). But guess what? Everyone looks the same way. I laughed out loud so many times at myself. I was having a bit of a morning and after I went to this class my energy improved about a million percent. You can't be in a sad mood after you just spent an hour hoola-ing.
I'll give you a quick rundown of the structure of the class. You spend the first song warming up and getting used to the weight of the hoops. You begin with stretches, mainly focusing on the hips and stomach area since those will be getting a lot of attention.
Did you know that you have a side that you always hoola on? With me, I spin my hoop to the left. The class was about half and half. One girl was an ambidextrous hooper and she could spin both ways easily. LUCKY. Hooping to my right was challenging at first but I got the hang of it after I began placing one foot in front of the other, versus parallel feet. So intricate! Then we spent time catching the hoop in our hands and flipping it quickly to the other side of our body and spinning it that way. After this, we practiced spinning the hoop solely on our butts. Yes, there is a different position for this too. Then we alternated between butt-hooping and stomach hooping, all with some sick tunes in the background of course. Finally, we did some slight of hand tricks with our arms and the hoop. I could be a circus performer now. Basically.
We spent the last ten minutes of class grooving to our own sick-ass hoola moves we just learned. Free-style. Some sweet rap tunes were on but I was sorely disappointed when Shakira's hips don't lie didn't come on.
The class was incredibly fun. I did sweat, but it was about 85 degrees in the studio; I think I might have been sweaty just standing there not doing a thing. I am not sure that hoop "dance" would be the absolute correct term for the class. We didn't really dance. We hoola hooped. And while I was expecting to hoola, I was also thinking I would get a bit of a cardio dance class in, too. Maybe learn a combo. It was definitely a technical, tricks learning class- a simple one at that- and it should be since it was beginner. I for SURE was not a master at anything we performed today. The level was perfect for me, and for most of the class but again, I would have preferred a little more dance thrown in with all that trick learning'. If you want to become a professional hola-hooper, learn something new, and have fun then this is class for you.
Update- I took this class yesterday and I have a huge ass black bruise on my left hip. Who know hola-hooping could be so aggressive? I feel so bad-ass.
And the Award Goes to:
- Favorite Barre Class: Cardio Barre, Studio City
- Favorite Instructor: Adam, Rise Nation
- Favorite (new) Class in Studio City: Sandworks, Sandbox Fitness
- Favorite (new) Class in West Hollywood: Kickboxing, Brick CrossFit
- Most Challenging Class: CrossFit Horsepower, Studio City and The Sweat Shoppe, NoHo
- Favorite Reformer Pilates: Tie between Pilates Plus, Studio City and Club Pilates, Hollywood
- Favorite Treadmill Class: Pulse Fitness Studio, Sherman Oaks
I lost 7 pounds and four inches off my waist with my ClassPass Challenge!
Just kidding. I wish I had the outlook to take one of those before and after photos of me with my sports bra on so you could see the change in my body. Or so that even I could see the change in my body. I have no earthly idea if I lost any weight, or if I even see more definition in my body. I don't own a scale. The truth is, I didn't start this Challenge to lose weight or to even change a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, pre-challenge, I was already working out 4-5 days a week.
Let's take it back to the beginning. When I was in high school I was ultra high-strung, a.k.a 4.0 over-achiver who could barely sleep because I was worried about one thing or another. In college, I was pretty psychotic too. It wasn't until I found exercise my senior year that I was able to channel a lot of my type A, over active mind and body.
I can be categorized as one of those women magazines love to hate because I seriously do have a fast metabolism. One reason this fast metabolism exists is because I am always thinking, always on the go, always moving. I never stop. When I started exercising, my mind became a lot healthier. I found that I wasn't so stressed out anymore; there was a way that for one to two hours a day, my brain only focused on something other than what was happening in my life.
Of course, like anything, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. When I first moved to Los Angeles I was a bit lonely. Overwhelmed. And also completely overwhelmed with all of the ridiculously good looking people here! I would spend hours in the gym running miles and miles on the treadmill. Maybe that is why I loathe running and gyms now.
Just like living in Los Angeles took an adjustment period, so did finding my workout grind. Before ClassPass, I would try every exercise Groupon to hit the market. Thankfully ClassPass came along because I wiped out every opportunity in Studio City, if not Hollywood as well. When I found that there was more to working out than just running a treadmill, I began to enjoy the process a lot more. I became obsessed with Power Yoga. Then it was barre classes, followed by Reformer Pilates.
Although my love for pilates, barre and yoga will never waiver and they will always hold a dear, dear place in my heart, it was time again to open my workout horizons. I wasn't getting enough cardio in. I would find myself doing an easy hike and getting winded quickly. I decided to do the challenge to open my workout horizons so to speak. And get me sweating' again! I also did it because I love to write.
At times I found the process tedious. Finding the new studios wasn't the problem, I had a list that I had been wanting to visit for some time. It was scheduling these sessions between work, auditions and prior commitments. Also, anything you do in Los Angeles, you have to consider the traffic. There was only a short window everyday that I could travel outside of my Studio City nook to not make it a three hour + time commitment. It took some serious planning.
There was only one or two days that I found the process of actually writing the review a nuisance. In all honestly, I loved the process of writing and getting my feelings out there. It's been a long time since I sat down and committed to writing something for the span of a month. It was a little difficult to find the different words to describe similar classes. It was also tough when I didn't LOVE a workout. These are all my opinions obviously, and what works for me doesn't work for others and vice versa so I did not like giving any place too hard a time.
During my month I figured out that I need to do at least one, if not two days of cardio from here forward. The class that surprised me the most was kickboxing. It is an incredible cardio workout and I LOVED hitting shit! It felt so good and it tones and burns at the same time. Kickboxing is a class that I plan on continuing with.
There are a ton of half tread-mill half anything in this town (read reviews for Barry's, Fitmix, Pulse, etc.) and I also plan to try to hit one of these studios once a week. These classes kill so I am being ambitious when I say one day of kickboxing and one day of treadmill class. But I know I can do it.
I also plan on continuing with the blog. But I will only write when I try new classes at new studios. The posts won't be totaling 30 in 30 days unless I do another, different type of challenge. Any suggestions? And don't say no taco bell for 30 days. That will never happen.
Eventually, I want to expand my blog. I would like to do reviews of workouts, but also reviews of new experiences for Angelinos. From outdoor movies, to hikes, beaches, and events. I think doing this will allow me to expand my "fun" horizons and in addition I will get to write and continue to connect with my audience. What do you guys think? Up for some more blabbing?
I hope that you took something away from my 30 Day Challenge. I know that I did. I'm going to continue on with ClassPass, as I still believe there is no better deal in the city for boutique workout classes. There is enough to keep me busy and happy on the app for a long while.
Thank you so much for sticking with me over the 30 days! I'll be back.
Now off to my best friends wedding in Virginia!
P.S.- I will still never enjoy Spin class. The End.
- Club Pilates: Hollywood
- 730 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
I have to start this post by saying YAY! I COMPLETED MY 30 DAY CHALLENGE! I will post a wrap up of my experience soon: TBD. Right now I am covering Club Pilates: Hollywood.
I had an audition around La Brea today at 12:15. I tried to sign up for a class at Crunch which was flying pilates. I hadn't visited any flying yoga or pilates for the challenge so I thought it would be a different way to wrap the challenge up. I tried to sign up, but the time to sign up had expired. I quickly scanned on. Then I saw Club Pilates was holding their Cardio Pilates at 1:00. I had ten minutes.
I made the decision to leave my car in a residential one hour space. A risky move since I had already been there for 40 minutes. If I moved my car and had to find parking again, I might not make the class. On foot would be the only way.
It paid off. No ticket AND made it to class with 3 minutes to spare. I got a little uptight mid walk because I realized I had left my grippy socks in the car. If I went back, I would surely be tardy. I hate being late. I decided I would purchase new socks because I needed some to add to the collection regardless. But it must be my lucky day or something because this seemed to be a no sock studio. Wow, I should play the lottery today.
Guys: I have posted multiple times that there are no friendly pilates studios in Los Angeles. BUT I FOUND IT ON MY LAST DAY. I have found friendly pilates studios before, but the classes at said studios were never challenging enough. This studio has friendly humans who work there and it was hard as shizzzz.
Like I stated, today's class was a Cardio Pilates Class. I got my hair highlighted this morning so I wasn't trying to get REAL sweaty if you know what I mean. I had been wanting to try Club Pilates for a long time, so I took the risk. I got sweaty. Back dripping sweaty. Dammit, CP.
The class is supposed to be 25 minutes on the jump board and 25 minutes on the reformer doing classic reformer moves. WELL...it was more like 40 minutes of jumping. I love jump board because it's the only way to get a cardio work out while lying on your back. (...mostly the only way...)
The board attaches to the bottom of the reformer machine. You literally jump in first, second, pilates V, one foot, two foot, every way possible. You lay on your side and then jump with one leg in the air. It must be a comical site. The mailman seemed to enjoy it. You have to keep your core extremely stabilized and your back planted firmly on the reformer. There's a lot to keep in mind.
My feet and calves were cramping so so so so hard. I had to stop multiple times and rub it out. I can only imagine what my calves are going to feel and look like tomorrow. I imagine that I'll probably resemble a soccer player.
The instructors name was Jessica. I loved her vibe. Going on a different level here, but she just had a good energy about her. She was so inviting and friendly. She introduced herself to me, and shook my hand. She asked me if I had ever jump boarded before. I have (but only once). She offered to put the board on the machine for me. Which I was thankful for, those nobs on the machine can be tricky. She came around me and the others the whole class and corrected feet and leg positions. Instruction goes a long way in my book.
When we weren't jumping, we did spend a bit of the time working our arms and core. We did one move where we held the wood part and pulled the rest of our body by curling into a small ball and rolling up through our back (like a cat/cow). I was doing this wrong, but when corrected, boy did I feel the difference.
I am satisfied that my original class today didn't pan out- Club Pilates: Hollywood is a studio that I will be returning to whenever I have auditions or take classes with friends in the West Hollywood area. I'm excited to have another reformer studio where I can get the challenge I crave and also where I like the instructor. I have heard wonderful recommendations from friends about CP and they weren't wrong. Looking forward to trying out all the instructors as I continue on my fitness journey.
Check back tomorrow for my month in review!
I went to Pilates Plus Studio City for my Challenge today. I have already been there but I needed a repeat. It's just hurts too good.
I will do a new review for my last day which is TOMORROW! Ekk!