SKYLER VALLO

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Day 22: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

bootcamp, ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, pilates, reformer pilatesSkyler ValloComment

Fitmix Studio  (The Mashup)

601 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 

http://www.yelp.com/biz/fitmix-studio-los-angeles-3

Located just off Melrose and La Brea

Located just off Melrose and La Brea

 

Yet another Los Angeles hybrid workout- The MashUp at FitMix- features a class of half treadmill and half mega-pilates reformer.

I spent a lot of the week doing shorter workouts (30 minutes); a very tiny part of me was "wanting" to do Barry's Bootcamp, simply for the reason of getting a good ass kicking. I remembered that it was a Holiday weekend and I could drive to West Hollywood with barely any traffic at all. THEN I remembered I had been wanting to try Fitmix since it opened several years ago. 

 

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I was intimidated by the amount of running I would be doing. The thing I like about Barry's Bootcamp is that you trade off every 10-15 minutes from the floor to the treadmill. At Fitmix, you spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the reformer. It would be difficult to trade off every 15 minutes with the reformer- so I get why it's done that way. But a full 30 minute run time frightened me. 

And with good reason. It was just as difficult as I was expecting. I spent my Friday evening out with friends, and yes, I drank a little too much. Luckily, I scheduled my workout for 11 am, so I was somewhat recovered by that time. However, not fully recovered. Not running a marathon recovered.

The run was tough. The instructor, Katherine was shouting out some really high numbers to be keeping up with, I'm talking 8,9,10 sprints while having inclines of 4-10. We spent pretty much the whole time doing 90, 60, 30 sprints. During the 90 second sprint we would spend one minute of it on a high incline (8). Then we would get a 30 second rest- let me tell you by the time you get your speed down to a walk it's damn time to run again. During the 60 second sprint we would incline 30 seconds of it at an incline of 4. The 30 second run was all flat, but she expected a speed of 8-10. We did this combo about 7 times. I thought it would never end. 

This was me after the run portion was over. 

Nearly dead.  

Nearly dead.  

The run was about as little fun as a person can have. I think you can tell from the photo how much I had. At least there was a lot of Jay-Z to keep my ears company.  

We then moved to the reformer which I was a little more excited about. We spent the first few mintues with a good leg stretch. We laid on our backs and put the legs in the straps and did a few rounds of circles. This felt so very nice. 

I was a little surprised that we spent the whole time on the reformer working on arms and abs. We did not do one leg exercise besides the stretching. I wondered if this was because our legs were already worked on the treadmill? And by worked, I mean SHREDDED. I wonder if all the instructors focus mainly on arms and abs during the mash up classes. I would have to come back to get a better feel for how all the classes are run.

P.S.-This studio also features Endurance pilates classes. 

One slightly negative thing I have to say- and this is kind of a general statement about pilates places in general. They aren't the most friendly environments. The instructor, held a very challenging and tough class. If this is all you care about, then Fitmix is the spot for you. However, this is not the place to be coddled. We got right into the workout, and it was business the entire time. I wished that Katherine had introduced herself to the new students. I think it's a nice touch that makes first-timers feel welcome. I spoke with Katherine at the end of class and she was really nice! I liked that she wasn't super annoyingly peppy during the class either. That can be a workout buzzkill for me. But again, an introduction at the beginning of class or to the class in general would have been appreciated.

We did a KILLER move on the reformer today. It's called the "Angel" and it's truly anything but angelic. 

 

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When doing the angel you are leaning slightly back with the straps at a fairly heavy weight. When you bring your arms out you also lift your legs at a 45 degree angle. I am fairly advanced at Pilates at this move kicked my booty. It challenges every part of your body and I was wobbly trying to keep my feet in the air. This move should be incorporated into every class and I can't believe this was one of the first times I had done it! 

This studio would be difficult for me to get to on a normal workday with the traffic pattern but if you live in the West Hollywood area I would recommend that you check it out if you are looking for an intense work out. This is not for the faint of heart. I would rank it in the top 5 most difficult classes I have taken thus far. I got my wish- I got the kick ass workout I wanted today. That alcohol is way out of my system after my class at Fitmix! 

Day 12: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Fitness, bootcamp, ClassPass ChallengeSkyler ValloComment

Barry's Bootcamp 

14622 Ventura Blvd , Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

 

 

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Ooo Barry's Bootcamp. I've been dreading this day for a while. Everybody knows Barry's is no joke. And it lived up to the hype. 

Barry's definitely has what I would call a cult following in Southern California. They have been around for a while, and have their solid fan base. Everyone in class was super toned, fit, and hot. You gotta be in shape to do Barry's, as well as have a lot of desire. Desire is important here. 

I signed up for this class before my weekend camping adventure on Friday. I did this for two reasons, one because I knew after a weekend of booze and shitty camp food I would need a good ass kicking, and two the morning classes always fill up pretty early and I can't motivate myself after about 10 am. Short motivation window for me. 

Everybody at the front desk was sincerely friendly and when they found out it was my first time you could tell they had a little bit of pity in their eyes for me. The friendly front desk man, who may also be an instructor there (fit enough to be anyways) introduced me to Martin, my class instructor for the day. Martin was also very friendly and explained how the class would go and where to put my things. I have been to classes similar to Barry's, so I kind of knew the deal but it was nice that they didn't just throw me out there to the wolves.  

I was surprised to see that my class was completely full. Almost 40 people! There are two groups: a floor set and a tredmill set and then you trade off every 10 minutes or so. I was assigned a spot when I signed up. I had the floor set first. I wished for the treadmill set first to start getting the running over with, but you can't always get what you want. I would have asked to trade, but again, my class was packed! 

The first set on the floor began with hand weights. He told me to grab a heavy set "At least a 12 to 15". I chuckled and grabbed an 8 pound and 5 pound set. I'm not even sure I could curl a 15 for more than, say, twice. We did lots of curls this round. Then it was time to switch to the treadmill.  

 

Full class! Sorry for the bad quality. It's difficult to take photos when you aren't supposed to be.  

Full class! Sorry for the bad quality. It's difficult to take photos when you aren't supposed to be.  

Apparently it was "Monday Runday"- lucky me. I love running. While on the treadmills, Martin gave three levels of running speeds, which was always around 6.5, 7.5, or 8.5. I bet you guys can guess which number I typically took. We started with a warm up. Then we did this whole 5 minute get your best time running thing. Ugh. 5 minutes straight of running is a mile! (well not for me...but for some people) The distance I got to was 6.8. 

Back to the floor and this time we used resistance bands. Despise resistance bands. We put them under our stackables. Boy, did this make arm curling incredibly difficult. I ALMOST grabbed my hand weights because I could barely curl more than 5 times. 

 

Butt Shot! 

Butt Shot! 

Typically in classes, I think you do side runs, runs on inclines, and backwards, and all the wacky ways. But today, it was all about distance. Monday's are distance days. It included lots of sprints and long "jogs"- by jog I mean running at a pace of 7.5 or higher. I should have clocked how many miles I actually ran today but if I had to guess it would be at least around the 3 mile mark. I for sure was not doing the highest number that Martin always shouted out, but I wasn't always doing the lowest either. I never stopped to walk when it wasn't a rest period, so I can feel proud of that. 

The plank series on the floor was pretty rough. I kept slipping on the mat because of how sweaty I was. Bring a towel. What an amateur move that was to not bring one. I removed the mat and my poor little elbows were screaming on the hard floor, but it was the only way. I had to push through. We had to smack our butt with on hands in the plank. Then hit our butt with our legs. Lots of butt smacking. Good way to begin a Monday.     

We did a few more sets of switching back and forth between the floor and treadmills. I liked that each set wasn't too long. I have been to classes similar to this one before, and I thought we spend too much time running. Like it was never gonna end! This kept everything manageable for me. Still hard as hell, but I could do it since I knew we weren't going to be running forever. 

At the end of class, Martin shouted out that he loves when he can't tell the difference between the newbies and the regulars so even if he wasn't talking about me per say, it made me feel neat.  

With so many people in class, Martin only came up to me once, during weight kickbacks and told me I was looking perfect. He didn't hand out any adjustments to me, and I like adjustments. But again, with nearly 40 people in class I imagine it would be difficult to get everyone. I did see him working with the chick behind me once or twice. I am sure if I was a total newbie he would have been fixing me right up though.  

Barry's Bootcamp is legit. If you want to incorporate some cardio into your life, like me, then this is a great spot because you also get toning involved and an excellent sweat. Ohh..it's also really clean! They mop and clean the machines between every class. Which is necessary- because you will sweat! 

Day 8: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

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PULSE FITNESS STUDIO  

In between sets at the club, I mean, gym

In between sets at the club, I mean, gym

Apparently, I do not do near enough cardio. My face has finally lost its bright red flush since this mornings class at 9:40. Today I visited Pulse Fitness Studio located in Sherman Oaks, CA. Every day of the week, they target a different area of the body and today the focus was "below the belt".  Again, good for me, because my pesky thighs like to keep all the french fries stored there. 

This class claims to burn 600-900 calories per class. AND I BELIEVE IT. The run down: You begin with about 10 minute warm up on the treadmill. I think I started on a 6 for most of this part. Sometimes you are on an incline, sometimes flat, but always a level of "oh shit I'm gonna die". After the treadmill you head to the floor for the butt and leg exercises for the next round of ten minutes.  Here is me doing a squat while everyone else is not doing a squat. 

 

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After this, you guessed it, you head back to the treadmill for what I like to think of as the "oh shit, I'm already dead" part of class. This is where the steep inclines and sprints come into play.  A slight jog is no easy feat when you are on a 10 incline. We would do 30 second sprints, 30 seconds walk, then 60 sprint followed by a minute of recovery but then we had a TWO minute sprint. DONE.  Over and out. 

 But wait, there is still another floor set and another treadmill set?? aahhhhhhh

If you're reading this. You see that I survived. Personally, this is the hardest class I have taken on my challenge. This has a lot to do with the fact that I am out of cardio shape. The floor sets are challenging, but when you have just sprinted two miles, it makes it a heck of a lot more difficult. I was really sweating. Almost sweating as much as after a hot yoga class. And honestly, I should have washed my hair today. 

 

Hoping on one side to the other, with our "heavy" weight (aka, I could only do a 5 pounder) Emily's face in the background says a million words.  

Hoping on one side to the other, with our "heavy" weight (aka, I could only do a 5 pounder) Emily's face in the background says a million words.  

My friend Emily was really brave and she came along with me for the ride today. She is also a fellow classpasser and also hates cardio so I knew she would be the friend for me. Suffering together is so much better than suffering alone.  Also, we both wore tye-dye and didn't even mean to. We were totally on the same thought process today.

Mark was the fitness instructor today. He is also the owner. He is really welcoming and friendly. Also, the perfect blend of being encouraging but not annoying. And he's cute. That is all. 

If you are looking to get into some kickass shape then I highly recommend Pulse. But be prepared to run and sweat. My clothes were soaked at the end and it's already hard for my to sit downso I have a feeling tomorrow will be a fun day for me.