SKYLER VALLO

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My 30 Day ClassPass Challenge: A Month in Review

ClassPass Challenge, Mental Health, Physical Health, SweatSkyler Vallo4 Comments


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. 


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 19: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

power plate, Barre, ClassPass Challenge, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

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 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 15: The Halfway Point!

Boxing, Kickboxing, ClassPass Challenge, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

BRICK CROSSFIT  (Kickboxing Edition)

7811 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, 90046 

Pink Gloves- they most have known I was coming to class 

Pink Gloves- they most have known I was coming to class 

It has been a tough couple of weeks in the acting world for me. This led me to the desire to really want to hit something. Thank God for punching bags. What a release! 

As soon as I started my Classpass, my friend Sam (pictured above), has been trying to get me to take kickboxing at the gym she works and attends, Brick CrossFit. I would have loved to attend sooner, but the class falls on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 am. Anyone coming from the Valley to West Hollywood knows that this commute is hella bad. I had to work up the courage and energy to make it happen, and I even have a full day off. It still seemed daunting. I gave myself 45 minutes to get there and my Waze took me over the canyons into some really wonky roads. But I made it! With 5 minutes to spare. 

I have taken many cardio kickboxing classes before, but I have never hit the bags. I am so thankful that I had Sam there to help me because she gave me an extra set up of wraps and helped me navigate how to cross them over my fingers properly. Also, they had an extra set of pink gloves at the gym for me. How cuuuute. I can't believe some ripped guy hadn't already snagged those babies up. 

The instructors name was Peter and you could tell he had definitely done this possibly for a living before. Boxing, that is. He was obviously ripped but holy moley, the force with which he hit that bag was shocking. The bag was swinging in the air. When I hit the bag, it didn't move a centimeter.  

We warmed up on the jump rope. Not especially skilled on the jump rope myself but I made it work. We paired up, there were two (sometimes three) people to one bag and we would switch off turns after Peter gave us the combo. First we began fairly simple with a punch and a kick. We would both take turns and then he would add on to that combo with another uppercut, side kick, punch series. Practice. Then add on again. This was seriously getting hard to remember this combo. By the time we got to the third addition, I was struggling!  

 

I like, kind of look badass here, no? 

I like, kind of look badass here, no? 

The way we did these combos reminded me of a dance class. I was realizing that boxing is an incredible workout for your body and your mind. You are constantly having to think of the next move. It's also a head clearer- you can't think about anything else shitty in your life going on because you really have to be on point with your moves.  

I was dripping sweat, btw. I think sneaky Pete may have turned the heat on, which really wasn't necessary because I still would have been a sweaty mess regardless.  

I got instructors from Peter to move my hips more when I was hitting the bag. Also, I was kicking the bag with the wrong part of my foot. Ahhh, there is alot to remember here! Sam also told me to lift my leg up like a male dog peeing on a fire hydrant. That was also quite valuable information. 

Bags on the side, Sparring in the middle

Bags on the side, Sparring in the middle

The most difficult of class for me was when we left the bags and headed to the middle of the floor for sparring with our partner. Not only was the combo difficult to remember but here I am, kicking and punching my friend who has a pretty face and body and I really didn't want to hurt her. Not that I probably could because let's face it, my kicks were pretty weak. But still, she's an actress too- don't wanna screw up that money maker. Thankfully, Sam was really patient with me even though I was terrible at sparring and kept barely touching her like a church mouse. 

We ended class switching from the floor to the bag. On the floor we were holding planks and mountain climbers. On the bag we were punching as fast as we could. We would do it twice, then 4x, then 6x, all the way up to the count of 20. Then we headed back down the scale. Then we did this with kicks. I was super exhausted by the point and sweat was rolling into my eyes. It's tough to see this way. But with gloves on, it's the only way.  

Guys- I really loved this class. I could for sure see myself incorporating a boxing class into my weekly routine. So far, it's at the top of my list for classes I would like to continue with. I WISH Brick was closer to me, because the commute is deadly. There are some boxing classes near me, I will be checking them out soon. Guess it's time to buy myself some pink gloves!  

Day 9: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Barre, ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, Pop PhysiqueSkyler ValloComment

Pop Physique  

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Who here has been personally victimized by the Pop Physique perfect butt poster? 

Raises hand. 

hate to break it to you readers...That's my butt. 

LOLs times a million. Just kidding. If you live in Los Angeles you have probably seen the perfect little ass posters around. For a really long time, I had no idea why there were butts plastered everywhere. Then one day I saw online that I actually really do know who owns that butt. I am Facebook friends with her. LA is a weird place.

Upon seeing her butt I then realized that it belonged to a fitness place called Pop Physique. Today I took at the Studio City location on Ventura Blvd.  

 

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I freaking love Barre studios. I'm good at it, and after my humiliation on the treadmill yesterday I needed a boost of confidence. Today, Ashley was teaching the class. She has really long pretty blonde hair, which could be her natural color. Jealous!  Ashley was really hands on, which I can totally get down with. I love being corrected on my form, because those tiny adjustments can make a world of difference in the type of work out you get. You can touch me anytime, Ashely!

 

I WANNA SWING FROM THE CHANDELIERRRRRR

I WANNA SWING FROM THE CHANDELIERRRRRR

I'll take the one pounders, please! 

I'll take the one pounders, please! 

You begin the workout by lifting your legs and moving your arms in a sort of 80's aerobic, Jane Fonda moves. After that, you begin the plank and push up series. Five minute plank series are the best. Then you hit the arms with the tiny little one pounders that seem much much heavier than a pound after you lift them 5000 times. When you finally get through the one pounders you realize that you still have your triceps to go and a heavier set of weights. Because I am on camera a couple of times a year, it's really important that I have skinny arms because the camera usually hits from the waist up so you can tiny movement the crap out of my arms Pop Physique. 

But then...come the legs.. 

 

smiling, but don't mean it

smiling, but don't mean it

Look at that pink ball between my legs. Looks so cute doesn't it? 

That pink ball is what nightmares are made of. You put the ball between your legs and you get up on your tippy toes and you squat. Then you move an inch. Then you go up an inch. Then down an inch. All while squeezing the little pink ball. Pretty soon, your legs are shaking something fierce. It's kind of like your legs are having a seizure.  

One of the things I like about Pop, in between most of all the exercises you are stretching. Many classes wait until the end 3 minutes of class to get some kind of half ass stretch in. Pop is like a mini-yoga class combo with a barre class. And it feels SO good.  

 

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I apologized to Ashley after class about taking so many photos, and she just told me she thought I was super into Instagram.  

 

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It is difficult to lift your leg up in the air and take a photo at the same time. I don't recommend it. But I wanted you guys to see some of the floor butt exercises! Get the picture?

My class today only had a couple of victims (I mean, participants) in it, but I have gone to class on the weekends and it's sold out and I have been turned away. 11 am seems like the ultimate time to go if you don't like crowds. Don't let my class number today fool you, sometimes it's packed.  

Shout out to the music played at Pop. It's really loud and they turn it up so you cannot hear your own thoughts telling you you cannot do something. I hate when you can barely hear the music and it's some lameo top 20's Bruno Mars song. They really mix the variety up here, a couple of remixes, EDM, Dance and pop tracks fill the air.  

Pretty much always, Pop never lets me down. I'm generally not extremely sweaty when I leave class, so if you have an errand to run or something you won't be embarrassed. I wouldn't go to Pop if you're trying to get cardio in, because there isn't TOO much of that happening here but it is good for toning. The class always goes by quickly and it's fun fun fun. I'll be back. 

 

Shout out to my girl, Jennifer for the sock hook up! LOVE.  

Shout out to my girl, Jennifer for the sock hook up! LOVE.  

ClassPass 30 Day Challenge

FitnessSkyler ValloComment
classpass

Okay, so I am cheating a little bit.  This is technically not my first month with ClassPass.  It is my second month, but my first month I was a little shall we say, lack luster with my class attendance.   For those of you who do not know what ClassPass is, it is a service where you pay $100 a month for unlimited fitness classes (maximum 3 times a studio per month). It has a super amazing choice of classes and they are continuing to add new classes every month. ClassPass has everything from Core Power Yoga, Barry's Bootcamp, ballet and bare classes, crossfit, and it even has aerial and trapeze classes!  Now, if you are aren't living in a big city, $100 may seem like a steep price to pay every month. And you would be correct! I am hanging in there as a C-List actress, I have lots of money one month and zero dollars the next. Therefore, it is a bit of commitment and gamble for me but when you live in Los Angeles it is a pretty fair price.  Take for example, my favorite reformers pilates classes- the studio I would love to afford costs $100 for 6 classes a month.  This body is not gonna stay fit taking one and a half classes a week.  Los Angeles is full of ridiculously attractive and fit humans and people pay a pretty penny to keep up their bods.  My point here, while $100 is a bit steep for my penny pincher ways, it is worth it considering you have unlimited classes and some of the best studios in LA.  Plus, working out here is more like a social event. I have had just as many "yoga" girlfriend dates as I have let's go out for happy hour dates. And the very best is when you can combine the two and go for yoga and then go for a margarita.  The two totally cancel each other out, right?

 

Now on to the challenge.  I decided for the month of May I would work out every day and cut out wine completely.  Just kidding, I could never cut out wine completely.  But my challenge IS to use my classpass at least 6 times a week.  Now, life gets busy occationally so working out 6 times a week is  not gonna be easy.  But challenges are challenging for a reason!  I am also going to try to take classes that I wouldn't normally gravitate towards, such as cycling (awful) or Barry's Bootcamp (death).  I tend to gravitate to the barre and pilates classes but again, this is a challenge!  

 

Every day...or...every other day...I plan to journal about my experiences.  How I liked the studio, teacher, work out.  This is completely my individual opinion and no one is paying me to say good stuff (but, I am open to that).  I feel like this journal will keep my accountable for my actions and actually make me get my lazy popcorn eating butt off the couch and get my $100 a month worth. 

Tomorrow, April 27th I begin my 30 day workout challenge.  Let the sweating commence.