SKYLER VALLO

ACTRESS | MODEL | WRITER

30 Day Challenge

Hoop Dance Champion of the World

Hoop Dance, Hoola Hoop, Dance, Barre, Fitness, Group ClassSkyler ValloComment
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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.

Mid Spin  

Mid Spin  

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. 

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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. 

 

Cool Tank Bro

Cool Tank Bro

Day 25: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Pure Barre, Barre, Group Class, Dance, ClassPass Challenge, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

Pure Barre: Sherman Oaks 

13559 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423 

www.purebarre.com

 

Doesn't look like a lot. But it's more than enough to make you burn. 

Doesn't look like a lot. But it's more than enough to make you burn. 

Regardless of the 30 Day Challenge, I have to have a Barre class in my life at least once a week. Besides Reformer Pilates, it is by far my favorite way to tone. I have learned to like a lot of different workouts over the past couple of weeks but it also just reinforced that I totally love Barre. Call me a Barre Addict if you must.

The one thing I do not love is that little red stretchy band sitting beneath the red ball. The ball can stay. The ball I do not mind so much. Just don't ask me to throw it in an athletic way. 

Those cords shouldn't even really be called stretchy. They have hardly any give what so ever. In my humble opinion, they are what make Pure Barre difficult. The moves you will do in this class are quite similar to all barre studios, but those bands. DAMN do they add another layer.  

 

Smiling because the band kept popping off my foot not because it's fun. 

Smiling because the band kept popping off my foot not because it's fun. 

Of course we used the bands a lot today. Boy, does it burn by the time you get to the second side. It tingles. OMG my leg might fall off.

 My leg was aching so much that towards the end of the set on the second leg I threw that bungee cord off in an angry, super dramatic way. Seriously, I had to finish the moves without the cord. I couldn't take anymore. My leg was on FIRE. Just call me a quitter I guess. I'm a quitter Mom. 

I have already tackled a bunch of barre classes, and so unfortunitely for Pure Barre I am giving you the super quick run down of class. You start with the Barre march. You move to the floor for push ups, tricep dips, planks, and sit ups. Then you move to the two pounders (or three if you're a beast or something) for arms. Stretch time. Move to the bar for thighs. Place ball between legs. Squat. Up and inch, down an inch. Stretch. Move onto buns of steel. Lots of stretchy cord involved. Do some butt work at the barre then move to the floor which I demonstrate in photo. Abs (they do the weird abs aganist the back of the barre here. don't love this). Abs on mat in center. Back work. Finish off with buns yet again. Whew. Done, over and out. Give me a freshly squeezed $12 juice STAT, I deserve it.  

 

We don't actually face each other in class like this. That would be weird.  

We don't actually face each other in class like this. That would be weird.  

That's my friend Emily, you may remember her from our horrific hot cycle experience.  

Everyone is very friendly at this Studio. There were two people after class who actually WANTED to take my photos. I usually have to painfully ask someone who looks at me like a weirdo who is super into Instagram. The owner, Jamie, is almost always around if she is not teaching, and she is usually in class. She was there today, making us all look bad, of course! The instructor's name is Anna and she's tough. I have taken her class a few times before. She doesn't demonstrate all the moves like some instructors will do, but there is always someone in class you can peep around and stare at if you don't know what's going on (I do it often-sorry peeps!) I like Anna's classes though because I know she isn't going to go easy on us. I'm a glutton for punishment.

I cheated a little and have come to this studio multiple times before my ClassPass Challenge and I will continue to do so. It's my neighborhood barre studio and it feels that way. I like places that feel like home. Maybe I will see you squatting there sometime soon? 

 

Day 24: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Fitness, ClassPass Challenge, Rise Nation, Group ClassSkyler ValloComment

Rise Nation 

613 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 

http://rise-nation.com

 

Super Sleek Exterior

Super Sleek Exterior

Rise Nation, I have been hearing a lot about you over the past couple months. In Los Angeles driving distance, you're nearly a different state from me, which is why I have waited so long to try you. I knew that Memorial Day would be D-Day (see what I did there?) Memorial Day not only means no traffic but in addition, because it is a holiday, the only time in West Hollywood you are going to find street parking fo' free! What a deal.

I am not a gym person. I really despise the idea of running on a treadmill and/or elliptical and going nowhere. Rise Nation is a class that is done entirely on a climbing machine. The machine is a cross between a stand up rowing machine and an elliptical (but much more difficult than the latter). The class is set to loud, high energy music- much like a spin class. It even has the little spin nobbie that controls the resistance.

They can pack a lot of climbers into one space

They can pack a lot of climbers into one space

All I can say about this workout is -holy moley. My heart. 

I was not even 30 seconds into the first song when I thought I might not be able to make it. But wait- I was like, the youngest person in the class. There was like a 60 year old man beside me and he was doing it. I had no choice. I had to push through the asthmatic attack. I don't even have asthma. 

During my ClassPass challenge  I have taken 30 minute classes. I can honestly say that Rise Nation is the only class out of the three that I truly feel only can possibily be 30 minutes long. My shirt was soaked by the time I was done. I had perspired all around my machine. There would be way too many heart attacks if this class were any longer than 30 minutes. 

I am the first skeptic about getting a full workout in 30 minutes. But this might be the one. Obviously, it hits cardio but it will also tone as well. Your arms are lifting the levers; you can make the resistance as tough as you want. You are also in a semi-squat the entire time, therefore your butt and thighs are toning. During the slow jam is when I felt my bum burning the most. It's like you are swimming through mud.  

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The only reason I got through my class today was the instructor, Adam (and the 60 year old man beside me kicking my climbing ass). Adam was so motivating and I loved all his music picks. It was like, my childhood. There may have been a couple of boybands played (Nsync obviously, not Backstreet Boys) . One thing that sets Rise Nation apart from other studios I have visited- everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful. Everyone introduced themselves to me. They showed me how everything worked before class. They give you a towel too. They must know how much you are gonna be pouring sweat. Adam was so nice and he used to work at Mexicali just like me. And everybody else in Los Angeles. 

I can only describe the set as having arm choreography. During the fast parts of the songs we would be "sprinting" a.k.a moving our legs and arms like a hamster on a really big wheel. Then the slow part of the song would hit and we would punch out our movements. It's hard to explain. But all the moves went with the song slow. Similar to a spin class. But it was more fun because Adam was dancing on the platform.  

They darken the room with black out curtains. The ceiling lights up. It's a club. Personally, a little over the whole club work-out scene but if a neon light motivates some people then this is the spot for you. They have a really cute outdoor area that you can go and regain consciousness after class. There also looks like a juice bar, but it wasn't in operation today. 

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I believe that the first class at Rise Nation is free. Also, after your first class you can purchase a three pack for $30. After that it goes up considerably. If I lived closer, I might consider purchasing this even in addition to ClassPass but because I live over the hill I just can't commit. Wherever you live in LA you should try the first class! I would say this workout is perfect for people on a tight time schedule. 30 minute work-out and you truly feel like you could go eat a brunch and maybe have burned off most of those eggs benedict. I wish they had showers though, because I was glistening quite heartily. 

I will reiterate that Rise Nation might be the friendliest studio I have taken at during my 30 Day Challenge. You also get an incredible workout in only 30 minutes. Go. Just go. 

Day 23: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

yoga, ClassPass Challenge, Hot Yoga, CorePowerSkyler ValloComment

Corepower Yoga 

13920 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423 

 

One of my favorite moves to hold- Dancer Pose! 

One of my favorite moves to hold- Dancer Pose! 

Sometimes you just need to sweat it out. After a long weekend of drinking and eating shitty I was feeling like I might need to throw up. Since that didn't seem too appealing, a nice detoxifying yoga class would do.  

Fusion is my favorite class at CorePower. It reminds me of Bikram yoga  because you practice a series of the same moves and holds while in a heated room. What I like about CorePower's Fusion is that class is only an hour and it's also set to fun music and it's not as rigid as Bikram. 

 

Asked to go behind the desk because that's the only place I could find a sign! 

Asked to go behind the desk because that's the only place I could find a sign! 

The Sherman Oaks studio is where I took my first hot yoga class. I have said it once, and I will say it again, you always love your first time. Well. Not always. But when it comes to hot yoga and barre classes- that has been the case for me. 

There are several reasons I love this CorePower Yoga- located in Sherman Oaks. 1) It's in a neighborhood and there is a ton of free street parking (but read signs after 6 pm!) I typically take class in the morning or early afternoon so it's not a problem for me.  2)This studio has immaculate bathrooms and fun soaps, mouth wash, and yummy things to use. It is always there for me when my building has to shut off the water. And because I live in an old building- this happens more than you think. 3) I love many of the instructors at this specific studio. Many of them have been there for years. Amanda L-M, Phillip, Yvvone are simply the best. You must take their classes. 

CorePower Yoga also offers a **free** week of classes to new students. Hear that- unemployed people? Or as I like to say- FUNEMPLOYED. Because then you have time to take advantage of free yoga.

Oh, let me add a 4th reason I love this place. There are classes about a million times a day starting at 6 am and going until 10 pm at night. There is no reason you cannot work out here. They have two studios and that means there is a class almost every hour of the day.  

They have a sign on the door "NO AUTOGRAPHS OR PHOTOGRAPHS OF ANYONE. PERIOD" Or something along those lines. A lot of famous people take class here. If you're into that kind of thing. Just don't ask them for a selfie.  

 

The larger of the two studios. New Floor put in two weeks ago. New Sweat! 

The larger of the two studios. New Floor put in two weeks ago. New Sweat! 

 

 

Lobby is filled with nice things I cannot afford  

Lobby is filled with nice things I cannot afford  

 

This Sherman Oaks in particular always has a ton of insanely cute yoga clothes for sale. As well as mats, water bottles, towels, ect. You could get into a lot of trouble here. The good news is- they do have a sale rack where the clothes range from 15-75% off. I have been going to this studio for years and I always avoid the store like the plague because I really want to be the cute yoga clothes girl but I'm more on a Marshalls budget if you know what I mean. I bought ONE lululemon here once and regretted it for weeks. It was too small. That bra was not a 4!

The instructors name today was Natalie and she was real cute. She has a lovely speaking voice and had the perfect balance of speaking just enough but not too much where you cannot get your zen on. When we were twisting at the end of class she came and sat on me a little and cracked me; I felt like a million bucks.  

No matter how many yoga classes I take, I will always love CorePower. You get an amazing sweat, workout, and stretch in under an hour. Normally, I do not participate in classes that force me to wash my hair after but I always do it for you CorePower.  

Day 21: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, Dance, Fitness, Barre, Pop PhysiqueSkyler ValloComment

Barre Lab 

1947 N Cahuenga Blvd, Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90068 

http://www.barrelab.com

Rather regal looking, isn't it? 

Rather regal looking, isn't it? 

 

Barre Lab, located right off the 101 Freeway at the Cahuenga exit is located where Pop Physique Hollywood used to be! I only noticed the change a few weeks ago. I am always down to try a new Barre workout (they are my second favorite type after Reformers Pilates) so I was looking forward to the chance to try it.

This morning I had a meeting at 10 am in Hollywood. I let out just in time to fit in an 11:00 class if I booked it. Luckily, Barre Lab was right down the street. The stars aligned for us today Barre Lab.

Parking here can be a bit raunchy. Luckily, I found a one hour spot two blocks away. During street cleaning, I can imagine hair pulling could be involved if you're in a rush. 

I walked in and filled out the paperwork (the worst part about ClassPass is filling out new forms everywhere you go (ok, I'll suck it up, it's a small price to pay). I found out that the studio offers pure cardio dance days as well as a Hula Hoop class. I have heard of a lot of unique classes in LA- but Hula Hoop is something I had never heard of before and would be so down to try. Unfortunately, the instructor is in India learning how to perfect her Hoola but I hope she returns soon so I can get my inner 8 year old on. 

The Space (I see the HULA HOOPS!) 

The Space (I see the HULA HOOPS!) 

The essentals  

The essentals  

What I noticed first is that the items provided are a cross between Pop Physique (the ball, but this one isn't pink) and the cords (Pure Barre). Those stretchy cords are where thighs go to die. I was hoping we wouldn't be engaging in too much of that today.

This class is so similar to Pop Physique that if I had taken the class blind folded and asked me what Barre class I was in- I would have picked Pop in an instant. However, it was about 10% harder than most Pop classes. Same type of loud music, similar moves, same flow of class. Which is A O-K by me because Pop is one of my favorite of the bunch. 

The arms were harder than usual because we spent most of it laying on our stomach with our legs lifted slightly and our arms also lifted behind our backs with the baby weights. It's like when you are doing back crunches but worse because you have weights. This was more difficult than usual arms because of the added element of laying on your stomach. Ooph. I was werking it already.

Then we moved onto the bar for stretches and thighs. Of course we began with the stretchy cords. I will say, they had a little more "give" than the ones at Pure Barre, so that was a relief.  

Then we moved onto my least favorite bar exercise in this whole barre world. THE PRETZEL. 

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Pretzel is the worst. It never gets easier no matter how you do it. My inner thighs are OH so very tight so this is extremely difficult for me. I was pulling down on that bar for support something fierce today. I almost wished I had a prop to set under my bum because it truly is difficult for me. It tones that ass unlike anything else though.  

The instructors name was Cat. That's a cool name. She was really great about correcting form and I always felt like I was going to be getting the most out of every exercise because if I didn't Cat was going to come adjust me. I love form adjustments even if I look mean when you tell me, it's just because I am in a lot pain at the time. I like it, I swear it.  

Now I cannot speak for every class at Barre Lab, but the ab's section was really hard. We didn't put half our mat up the wall and half down the wall and do that half ass ab rountine that all the Barre studios try to pull off. I hardly ever feel ANYTHING during this type of ab routine and I am SO HAPPY we did not do that today. We did everything on the floor and I felt it so much more. So keep that up Barre Lab! 

 

 

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I sweated today! I like sweating. It makes my work out feel purposeful. This photo was taken before class, so I don't look sweaty. 

I am already feeling the results of today's class so I know it got me. If Barre Lab was closer to my apartment, I would be returning more often. Because there is a Pop less than a mile from my home, I will probably still be attending that on a more regular basis. That being said, if I have meetings around Hollywood I will drop in for sure. And I am already planning on the cardio dance and Hula Hoop classes. Bring Hula Hoop lady back from India ASAP! 

Day 20: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Pilates Studio City, Dance, Fitness, Barre, BodyBoardSkyler ValloComment

DAVINCI BODYBOARD CLASS (PILATES STUDIO CITY) 

11650 Riverside Drive, Suite 1 & 2, Los Angeles, CA 91602 

 

Resistance Band to the Extreme

Resistance Band to the Extreme

Adding yet another unique workout to the books- DaVinci BodyBoard Class! ClassPass adds new studios to its line up every week. It's like a Christmas Present finding out that a new studio you like is added. Last week, they added Pilates Studio City.  I have been wanting to check out this place forever because it's a walk, skip, and jump from my place. No driving in Los Angeles is a rare jewel to be treasured.

Davinci BodyBoard is described as a group equipment class and like taking Pilates, Barre, and Zumba all at once. The BodyBoard System is based on high intensity intreval training that is time-efficient and extremely effective. The use of resistance bands allows for more varied movement and engages smaller muscle groups which creates "full body integrity." That's what my ClassPass description said anyways. Pilates, Barre, and Zumba are pretty much my penultimate work-outs so ALL THREE IN ONE? Where have you been all my life.

Today was another super sonic one workout. 25 minutes! A full body workout in 25 minutes? Again, I was curious to see if I could get a good butt-kickin in as little as 25 minutes. Wednesdays are my longest days of work and it seemed like the perfect day to take advantge of a short class. 

 

Only 4 to 5 students per class  

Only 4 to 5 students per class  

This simple machine is highly deceving  

This simple machine is highly deceving  

The instructors name was Keiko and she was all business. We began class two minutes early. Here's a woman after my own heart- I love starting early! Especially when you only have a 25 minute class, I was ready to squeeze in a few extra minutes. 

We began with a few minutes of Cardio. We picked up the pink bungees on the side with our arms and began lifting our legs in the air- like a march. Much like you would do at Pure Barre or Bar Method. Because we had the bungee's, this added more of a challenge than you would find at the barre studios. I was surprised at how fast my heart rate picked up. We also did a series of squats and dips on each leg 

 

 

Boogie with the bungees  

Boogie with the bungees  

 

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I actually have a video of me doing a little dance with the bungees. I am not going to lie- I look pretty ridiculous and hilarious, so if you want to see that- you are going to have to follow me on Instagram. That's a shameless plug. In all honesty- I cannot figure out how to upload a video onto this website with my Ipad. That's the only reason you do not get to see me shaking my hips like Shakira. (okay, not even close to Shakira's hips)

I liked the intreval aspect of the class. We used only the board for "weight-lifting" and the resistance was killer. We would dance in between the sets to keep our heart rate up.  

All in all- the class is probably aimed at women slightly older than myself. The two ladies in class with me were in their 50's but that being said- I was surprised that it was as difficult as it was. I asked Keiko if there was an advanced level. I would be all over that. She said, not yet. I am pretty good at reading in between the lines and I am assuming means that there could possibly be an advanced class in the future.  

Ooo the part that really killed was the ab section. Both your arms and legs are attached the the bungees. You are strapped in. Unable to escape! Can you imagine doing a minute of this attached to bungee cords?? I can tell you from experience. It's HARD.                                                

 

Keiko giving me intense pointers about keeping my stomach to the floor while twisting. I'm TRYING Keiko! 

Keiko was a solid coach

Keiko was a solid coach

I am a surprisingly a little bit obsessed with this class. There are a few reasons, and I would be lying if some of that didn't have to do with the distance to my apartment. I love that if you are having a really busy day, you can still squeeze in a decent work out, that gets your heart rate up AND tones in only 25 minutes. I would love for it to be 45 minutes. 

I will be returning to Pilates Studio City- and can I put in a request that Level Two Pilates please be added on the ClassPass schedule soon :)  

Day 19: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

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Xcceration Station (Harmony Studios) 8440 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 

 

What have I gotten myself into? 

What have I gotten myself into? 

I signed up for my class today, yet again, with zero clues about what I was signing up for. I googled Xcceration Station and it had no reviews on Yelp. Scary. Angelinos do nothing without a Yelp review.

I later realized that "Xcceration Staton" is a small part of a larger studio, called Harmony Studios which features reformers pilates, TRX, and regular pilates. Harmony Studios is also on ClassPass, but it doesn't have as many class times as the Plate classes, which is what I took part in today.

 

 

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I couldn't snap a photo of the reformer class because there was a class that was going on the entire time and it's weird to take a photo of a class you aren't participating in. But here is the other cute room with pulling thingies on the walls.  

There are only three Power Plate machines, so three will be the total amount of people you will ever have in your "class". I say class in annoying quotation marks like that because it really felt like more of a private. Especially since I randomly knew the other class participants today! They used to work at the same bar I worked at. SMALL WORLD. Heyoooo Cynthia.  

The class is only 25 minutes long. Again, a little strange, because I definitely feel like classes should be at least 45 minutes to get any real work done. I asked the instructor, Caroline, if any of the Plate classes were longer and she said that they were considering adding an advanced 45 minute class and also a Barre on the Plate class. I was very intrigued by that second one, but then Caroline had to go and ruin it by telling me it was only going to be at 6:30 am. Nope.  

Now on to the work out. This was a weird one. You basically hold long poses for sets of 30, 45, or 60 seconds while vibrating at an exremely fast pace. I laughed out loud when I first stepped on because it was unlike anything I had ever stepped on before. It made my nose and ears tingle. In fact, sometimes my whole face tingled so much that I had to sneeze! I can't imagine what it's actually doing the muscles and blood flow in my body if it's making me tingle that much. I imagine that is why they have these machines in the first place. Something pretty good must be happening in there.  

Come here if you need your sinuses cleared! 

 

 

My stationary foot was a'buzzin! 

My stationary foot was a'buzzin! 

 

A lot of the moves had a barre feel to them. You were often lifting one leg in the air while your other leg was getting the benefits of the pulses. I almost wish that we had held some of the poses longer even though it started to burn! 

 

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We planked on each side of our arm and then a plank on both arms. I really felt the pulses on these babies. My arms and face were vibrating so much! My ears were ringing. But it felt cool. 

This is not a "sweat" work out. This is a unique type of toning work out. I would be very interested to see if doing this a couple of times a week would achieve anything. I imagine it's incredible for circulation and blood flow but I would be very curious to see if it toned when completed on a regular basis.  

Caroline mentioned we should eat very soon after class, because it's easy to get light-headed. I felt that a tad bit. I also felt super weird when I started walking on solid ground in my tennis shoes. I tend to get extremely motion sick, so I was worried about that going into class today, but luckily that wasn't an issue at all. The reason the classes are so short is because your body is experiencing something so different and they don't want you to pass out. Obviously. That would be a terrible work out!

If you are looking for a fun little 25 minute way to spend your time, then I recommend The Xcceration Station. I took the Power Lunch hour and if I worked near by it would be convenient to stop by on my lunch hour, get a quick little buzz on, then head back to work. Like I said before, you don't get too sweaty so this is a perfect lunch option work out. 

I look foward to checking out the other classes at Harmony Studios. It's ecclectic, cute, and homey. It's super sweet and almost like it belongs in somewhere other than LA- but I think that is what makes it to endearing.  

P.S.- They have a studio doggy! And anyplace that allows cute little pups to roam around is OK by me! 

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 17: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, The Bar Method, Fitness, BarreSkyler ValloComment

The Bar Method-Studio City 

11239 Ventura Blvd, Suite 214, Los Angeles, CA 91604 

 

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Let me begin by saying that this is one of the nicest studios I have ever attended. It is brand new- in fact, it has only been open a couple of months. I used to get my hair zapped off in this exact office space a few months ago and I will tell you they did an incredble job with the reno. They have free coffee and tea available. A cute and cozy little couch area for lounging before or after class. They have free lockers that come with keys that you can hang up inside the workout room. They have sparkling showers, changing areas, free shampoo and soap. They even have hair driers and straighteners (I don't know about sharing a straightener but if you wish it is there for you). Major bonus- LOADS of free parking. Free parking is key to any workout in Los Angeles. If you're paying hundreds in a gym membership you don't want to be paying two dollars for parking every day too. 

 

I'll take the sports bra with the bright pink straps please. Just kidding, I'm poor.  

I'll take the sports bra with the bright pink straps please. Just kidding, I'm poor.  

Skip the Starbucks and grab a free coffee before you go! 

Skip the Starbucks and grab a free coffee before you go! 

I am very glad that I gave this studio a second chance. Not that my first class was BAD it was just...easy. I have tried hundreds of bar studios but Bar Method is one of the last studios in town I visited. I believe you tend to compare everything to your first barre experience (mine was cardio barre so I base everything on that). One of my girlfriends put it like this "Bar Method is a place where too many modely types go to try and not sweat"  

FYI- I did not sweat today.  

One thing I appreciated about today's workout. It was 90% different from my first Bar Method class. Other classes- including Cardio Barre stick very similarly to the same workout every class. It still had the same format- arms first, followed by thigh, then glute, abs, and more glute. But I think every exercise we did varied from the first time I took it.  

One thing that killed today, we did a ton of inner thigh. I am really tight in this area and we hammered that OUT. I feel like every leg exercise we did covered that muscle group. We faced the center of the room and did leg raises about a zillion times. My leg was shaky for sure (I love to shake. This means it's working!) 

Second thing that was very difficult was the pretzel. OMG. I think this is one of their signature moves. I heard slight groans when our instructor, Caroline mentioned it. I love pretzels (eating them obvs) but this puts a whole new meaning on the word. Here I am pretzeling. 

 

Feeling muscles in my thighs I've never felt before. 

Feeling muscles in my thighs I've never felt before. 

The Bar Method- like any other workout has its very devoted followers. I overheard one woman speaking to her fellow classmate "Ugh I am going to Michigan for two weeks but there is NO BAR METHOD. There are other bar studios that TRY to be Bar Method but it's not the same." They have this May special going on right now- it was $100 for unlimited classes. But I think you may have had to say how many classes you could make (say 20) for you to get the special price? I am a little fuzzy on the whole deal. All I know is there were two girls in my class today who were doing like three classes back to back so they could hit their "number". Intense.  

 

The May promotion

The May promotion

Women were crowding this sticker board like it was candy or something. I could barely snap a pic. My class was very crowded today. I counted 19 and I heard them say there was 24 in the 8:30 am class before mine. Legit. Clearly, people believe in this workout. 

Another thing I appreciate about Bar Method- they make it a point to remember your name. They call out your name all throughout class to give you pointers or to correct your form. I'm baffled by how they can remember over 60 people's names a day. I don't know what you pay Caroline but that's enough for a raise right there. By the way- Caroline was an excellent instructor. She was on her correction game and I knew that if I was ever doing anything wrong she was going to spot it. She was like a tiger jumping on prey. 

That brings me to another point- they are sticklers about form here. You will get individual attention and you WILL be doing the moves correctly. 

Everyone at the studio is very friendly- including the other participants. There wasn't a snootiness that I feel at some other studios around town. I felt comfortable there. I also felt wealthy. It's fancy. 

I liked my class today. Not love, just liked. For me personally, it dosen't have enough cardio elements. I like to see little droplets of sweat. To me, sweat signals hard work. I know there are gonna be some die hard Bar Methoders out there who completely disagree with what I'm saying. I realize this works for some bodies, but if you are trying to loose weight- I would probably say you needed to hit somewhere else. If you are looking to tone only- this might be your jam. 

Day 16: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

aerial, barre, Fitness, ClassPass Challenge, pilatesSkyler Vallo1 Comment

SILKSTREME (FKA FLYBODY) 

Womack and Bowman- The Loft- 5355 Cartwright Ave #104, LA, CA 91601

 

Trapeze bars! 

Trapeze bars! 

I had zero clues about what the class I signed up for today was going to be all about. The class, entitled, Silkstreme (FKA FLYBODY), was described as "merging the beauty of Aerial Arts, the core power of Pilates, and the body sculpting of Ballet Barre. Unqiuely, the Silkstreme experience focuses on a holistic approach to fitness as a revolutionary workout for the body and spirit." - huh? I don't typically like "spirit" workouts so I was a little apprensive. 

I was imagining this was going to be mostly an Aerial workout when I first signed up. It had elements of that for sure. But it also had a lot of pilates, streching, and yoga. It had a very small ballet element, but I am talking maybe 5 minutes worth. I am going to try to describe this workout to you but it was by far, the most unique work out experience I have ever had. It was kind of bizarre. But in a good way.  Much like the name of the class itself, it's hard to pinpoint. 

The space is truly beautiful. High ceilings, rustic, brick-covered walls. I loved it. I have been to this space before, it's also where Forever Young Pilates is held (but in a different loft). Parking is a little tricky. There is a small covered lot, but only a couple spaces. The street is a highly residential apartment street, so I would give yourself some extra time when traveling to either one of these studios.  

The instructors name was Kerry and I liked her energy a lot. We had a little trouble with the lighting situation- a.k.a she didn't know how to turn on the lights- but I get it. Electricity can be complicated. The class sizes are small- max of 6. We were supposed to have 4 today. Only 3 of us showed up. We started a few minutes late because we were waiting on another student to arrive. I don't really like starting late because someone else is late. Let the late person figure it out and jump in. The three of us arrived on time so let's start on time. Also- did I mention I am a STICKLER for time? Lateness is probably my biggest pet peeve of anything on this planet so sorry if I sound a little on edge. 

Kerry was a patient instructor, describing and demonstrating every move. She is an Aerialist, so clearly, she is pretty well versed. She understood that this was a first time for all of us though and never got flustered.  We started with an incredible stretching warm up with the straps. It felt so good I wanted to take a nap. After about 7 minutes of that, we began the "work-out". 

 

 

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I loved the "flying plank". We kept our feet suspended in the air, and our arms on blocks so everything was unstable, and thus, even more difficult than a normal plank is. We kept our feet suspended in these little straps for a while, doing sit ups. General moves you would do while in a pilates class, but a part of your body was suspended. It added an extra challenge. 

We then began the ballet porition of class. We did a coupe with our foot in one strap while our other foot stayed on solid ground. The strap on the moving leg gave it more resistance. My stable leg was definitely shaking by the end of the series. I have taken a couple years of ballet so I knew the terms she was calling out, but she was also doing all of the movements, so it was easy to follow along.  

 

Doesn't it look like something out of 50 Shades of Grey? 

Doesn't it look like something out of 50 Shades of Grey? 

After the ballet barre (more like rope) section we began the aerial section. This was your hanging upside down porition. We did splits in the air! I am a gymnast!  Weeeeee!

 

Nothing like a little blood rush to the head at 8:30 on a Saturday  

Nothing like a little blood rush to the head at 8:30 on a Saturday  

We did this one section where the spun upside down. That didn't work out too swell for me. See, I get really motion sick. Still can't ride in the backseat of car for 5 minutes motion sick. I tried spinning once and yep- turns out, I am still allergic to motion. While the other two members of class twirled their hearts out, I did everything stationary. Still I love a good blood rush to the face. 

I have completed one aerial yoga class before. I found it to be kind of a bore to be honest. This was a blend of an aerial class while still getting the benefits of stretch and inversion. I wish I could remember everything we did today! I would need to take class again to even begin to describe it to you. The studio has 6-7 instructors and I would be so curious to see if all of the classes follow the same foremat or if different instructors mix and max up the class a bit. 

Kerry described the class as a blend of cardio barre and pilates. I'm not sure that's how I would describe it. There isn't a ton of cardio. It's more like pilates and bar method (to me). Kerry said that this studio has a lot of upper level aerialists taking class at the studio. Eventually, the owners decided to do a more aerobic class and open it up to the general public. This class blends aerial with a workout that pretty much anyone can do. I would say this is a beginner to intermediate level class. I will for sure take at the studio again. It would be neat to see them have a beginner level and an advanced level like cardio barre does. The advanced class might have less breaks. Not that I am AT an advanced level yet but the option for when I get better might be neat.  

Again, I wish I could describe this class better to you. It is SO different, unique, and FUN. You have to try it if you are in the North Hollywood area. They have tons of class times, so it's easy to catch a class.  

I'll be hanging right there with you!