SKYLER VALLO

ACTRESS | MODEL | WRITER

reformer pilates

Day 30: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, pilates, reformer pilatesSkyler ValloComment
  • Club Pilates: Hollywood
  • 730 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
  • http://clubpilatesstudio.com/locations/hollywood
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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. 

Jessica, the instructor, helping set up jump boards for students     

Jessica, the instructor, helping set up jump boards for students  

 

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. 

Mid jump! 

Mid jump! 

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.

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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!

 

Day 27: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

barre, ClassPass Challenge, Dance, Fitness, pilates, reformer pilatesSkyler ValloComment

I Heart Fitness Xo 

11440 Ventura Blvd, ste, 107, Los Angeles, CA 91604 

 

Reformer Side

Reformer Side

Spring Board side

Spring Board side

I was very curious about what I Heart Fitness XO was all about. It is a very broad name for a fitness place, no? It could very literally mean anything! But then I found out...Half Reformer, Half Barre class you say? Has there ever been a more perfect pairing? 

Side note- it's not actually a lot of barre. When you are on the floor, you are using the springboard for most of your moves. The springboard adds a crazy amount of resistance. It's much more difficult than using handweights.

Carly was my instructor today and she looks like if Malibu Barbie had long perfectly flowing red hair. And of course, it's her natural color. So jeal. She's super sweet and a very understanding instructor. I have taken class for Carly a couple of times and the one vice I have with Carly's class is that she doesn't typically use the reformer machine as much as the other instructors. Today was no exception. We spent a good 40 minutes on the floor. Because I really love reformers pilates, I wish that we used them more- but others may like the floor better so that is just a personal preference. 

My friend, Alexis, whom I was a video vixen with (holla Dierks Bentley!) took class with me today. She posts lots of photos on instragram of her perfect bod so if this class works for her than it should work for almost everyone.

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I need to note that I took the "Basic" level class today. They also have an "Open" class which is the more advanced class. I always try to take the open class, but needed to get into an earlier spot today. Therefore I must judge today's class based on the fact that it was supposed to be easier. I can't let myself forget that! 

Typically, you begin class with a deep leg stretch on the reformer. It felt pretty swell. Carly then instructed us to move to the springboards. We did a lot of yoga moves today! Lot's of downdogs and "yogi abs". We also used the springboard for most of our arm work. It doesn't take long for you to start feeling your triceps burning. Carly said that triceps are the only muscle you can work till exhaustion and they will still function. So, we worked them till exhaustion, of course.

Xo loves mountain climbers. Expect to insert mountain climbers throughout the entire class to keep the heart rate up. Holding planks are also a favorite!

We then moved to the reformer and did more arms! We stood on the back of the reformer and worked triceps and back yet again by using the arm handles. Carly let us know that we could use the hand weights if it got to be too much. They usually give different options for you here. But I am here to work, so let's do this! As I write this review, my upper back between my shoulder blades is QUITE sore. 

 

 

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I love the variety that i heart fitness offers. No class will ever be the same. The instructors teaching styles also vary quite a lot. Some other barre classes can get monotonous so it's refreshing to know that you will never get the same workout twice. I like that you get a little bit of everything here- barre, reformer, and spring broad and it's sure to whip you into shape. 

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 18: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

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

Circuit Pilates

6223 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

 

Where am I?

Where am I?

I pulled up to Circuit Pilates VERY confused. I could have sworn I had driven by it before? I parked in the small lot and was close to driving away. There was no sign on the building. Only a Real Ryder decal in a window. It kind of looks like a Motorcycle shop, no? A thousand thoughts go through my mind like "ughh there was a lot of traffic getting here and now I'm lost" and "I am going to have to contact ClassPass because Circuit Pilates went out of business!" 

I got out and trepidatiously opened the door to real ryder. There is a cycle class going on. Oh, but then I see a familiar face. Patrick Leslie- one of my favorite instructors at WundaBar Pilates  (oh how I long for the day WundaBar gets put on Classpass). He is the instructor today, and to be honest, the reason I signed up for Circuit Pilates in the first place. Thank God I saw him. I was starting to worry. Real Ryder is Circuit Pilates. Please Circuit Pilates, get a sign. 

 

I walked in on the Cycle class still going

I walked in on the Cycle class still going

Circuit Pilates it a big room that is split into half cycle and half reformer. There are 11 reformers and I am gonna take a wild guess and say there are also 11 bikes.  

 

Reformer Side

Reformer Side

On Saturdays and Sundays I believe they offer a half cycle/half pilates hybrid class. I most likely won't ever be participating in that because cycle is something that I avoid at all costs. Especially after my hot cycle experience. But if this interests you- come here!

Patrick Leslie is by far one of my favorite pilates instructors. I thought that he only taught at WundaBar so when I saw his name on the Circuit Pilates class I signed up a few days in advance because I wanted to snag a spot. He isn't on the schedule too much at Circuit- or if he is- than his classes must fill up quickly because this is the first time I had seen his name on there. He is encouraging and talks your way through the whole class- but not in an annoying, like please shut up and let me concentrate on how badly my core hurts way. He's funny but also knows his shit. I will follow him anywhere.  

All reformers are different. This is like a cross between a megaformer that you would find at Pilates Plus or WundaBar and the basic method found at more Classical Pilates spots. It worked for me.  

Another reason I like Partick- I always feel like a get a full body work out with him. While some instructors are heavy on core or legs- we got a little bit of everything in today.  

 

one of my fav moves

one of my fav moves

I love this fancy move I am doing above. It gets the core REAL good. Your arms start shaking. Your legs get a good stretch too. To me, this move stands for everything I love about pilates. It is working everything at the same time. You put on springs to match how strong you are. Any level can do it and you can tailor it to your individual body. See in the background? There is an older lady getting her pilates on in the same class as me. Point proven- any level can be in the same class together. I hope I am that ambitious at that age!

If you are looking for somewhere super fancy to work out, then try another studio- because this spot is definitely no frills. The floor is concrete and, well, you saw the outside of the building. There are no showers, no fancy soaps, and no locker rooms. There aren't even any cubbies- you have to set your purse on the floor. It kind of looks like there are trash bags stapled to the ceiling. It could use a slight make-over- or a woman's touch. One or the other.

If you don't care about the asthetics of your work-out, but want an excellent pilates class- then this place is for you. It wasn't the prettiest place I ever saw. But I'll be back. LYLAS PATRICK.  

 

Day 7: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, reformer pilates, pilates, FitnessSkyler ValloComment
Pilates Plus Studio City located on Ventura Blvd

Pilates Plus Studio City located on Ventura Blvd

Pilates Plus Studio City is what I like to refer to as pilates on acid. This place is not your momma's pilates place. Or actually it is, it's filled with extremely hot moms. This is one of my favorite pilates places because I get the workout that I enjoy doing the most (the time speeds by for me) but it is also extremely challenging and I see results.  The website claims that you can burn up to 700 calories per class. The reformers are special for some reason. I wish I could tell you exactly what that reason is, but again they basically just make pilates harder than it normally is. They call them the MEGAFORMER. Here is a photo of what makes them mega.

The Studio, on the other side is a wall with TRX hanging from the ceiling

The Studio, on the other side is a wall with TRX hanging from the ceiling

 

I took from Pilates Plus Studio City last month on my ClassPass as well (the month that I barely went). However, you better believe that I used my 3 times a month for Pilates Plus. I actually used them all on the same instructor, Lisa Goldsman. Her class is really popular and always filled so I usually have to sign up at least a week in advance to snag a spot. My girlfriend was supposed to come to class today, but she couldn't get in. If you choose to go to PP make sure you sign up in advance, it's unlikely that classes are available the day of.  Also, shout out to the instructor Lacey. She is my fav, but her classes are never available on ClassPass because she is the shit so her classes are too full. Also, she always teaches at like 5 am. What's up with that? I can't work out when it's still dark outside. 

I always see Pilates Plus featured in magazines. It was also featured on this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And according to their website the Kardashians work out at the Encino location. 

Now, on to the workout. We began our warm up with about a ten minute plank series. I wish I could remember all the terms that she yells out but mostly, I just copy the hot mom next to me. Basically the warm up is about a ten minute plank series. You're keeping your arms on the stationary part while your legs are on the carriage and you're doing all sorts of funky things with your legs. The snake is where you cross your legs on the cariage and then bring them up very slowly to the edge of the platforom. Slowly is the term you have to remember here. The slower you go, the tougher it is. 

After my abs and arms cannot possibly take anymore we move onto legs and butt. Pilates Plus seems to concentrate a lot on legs, which is fine by me because, although I hate legs, that is where I gain most of my weight. We do a Spider Lunge and side kick and then we put the bungie cord on each leg and straighten our leg for what seems like forever and ever. and ever. We then do some arms in between then do the other leg. 

I feel like my description of today's class is pretty lame but this class always keeps me on my toes and is super fast paced. Lisa is always timing us on her stopwatch to make sure we get the same equal time on both sides as well, so our muscles aren't lopsided. 

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This is actually a super terrible photo because my left hip is lagging down and I should be lifting it up even with my right. Ugh! I guess this is why we shouldn't take photos while on the machines. But I wanted to show you how you stand on the platform and move your opposite leg back on the slide-y part. Mission somewhat accomplished.  

My one, tiny little gripe about Lisa. Sometimes I feel like she puts a tad too much weight on the machines. She always gives little tips about how you can slide your foot out on the reformer, or sit on your butt if the arms are too heavy, but sometimes, it's still too damn heavy and I feel a little ashamed for taking the weight down. But if it's too heavy, by all means, lower the weight on that machine! I just don't want to disapoint Lisa.  

In the end, I love love love Pilates Plus Studio City. Currently, it is the only studio on reformers pilates in the Studio City area that is "mega" and is truly butt-kicking. Also, word of wisdom, maybe not for first timers on pilates machines. This is a FAST paced environment.