SKYLER VALLO

ACTRESS | MODEL | WRITER

Girlpower

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 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. 

image.jpg

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! 

 

 

image.jpg

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 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 

 

image.jpg

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". 

 

 

image.jpg

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! 

 

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 14: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Dance, ClassPass Challenge, Zumba, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

SANDY CAMPY FITNESS 

5101 Lankershim Blvd, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 91607 

 

My face was surprisingly red from shaking what my momma gave me

My face was surprisingly red from shaking what my momma gave me

Oh, Sandy Campy Fitness- I wanted to hate on you so bad. Your name is very silly. Zumba in general is pretty silly, too. But Sandy, you surprised me. You were a real hoot.  

Last night I was planning on taking World Champion Cardio Boxing, but I figured that I would wait until the morning to sign up. I won't be doing that again, because by the morning, the boxing class was no longer an option. Because I took a barre class yesterday, that was out. I have to be at work at noon, so I also couldn't go too far from home. And both yoga classes close to me were an hour and half and I didn't have time for that today. That left one option-  Zumba and Tone at Sandy Campy Fitness.  

 The one classroom studio sits on top of a larger Boxing gym (I think it's above where I actually wanted to box today!) There is all this paraphenalia, shirts and towels that have a some kind of font that can only be described as Comic Sans "BOW DOWN TO YOUR INNER SELF" Oh boy, what in tarnation have I gotten myself into. What does that even mean?

I love a good dance sweat. When I was young, my mom would always make me go to Jazzercise with her. I love it because the class is almost always all women and you can just dance your little heart out and guess what, it doesn't matter how stupid you look. And you will look stupid. 

image.jpg

I always liked jazzercise a bit more than Zumba. I think mainly because I enjoy the contemporary music that jazzercise is set to. If there is a jazzercise class near me, Los Angeles, let me know because I will jazz my ass right over to your class.  

Today's music was mostly Latin and international beats, one or two contemporary and oldies. My class was pretty full today. I would say there were about 15 people. The woman beside me- I don't know if she was an instructor there or just really LOVES Zumba because she seemed to know every move even before our instructor knew what was happening. The instructors name was Fran and was a super fun Latin woman. When we got to the "tone" portion of class, she corrected my form a couple of times. And we all know that I love that. No, if you read my blog, I really do love it.                  

I couldn't take a lot of photos today because when you are waving your arms around like a mad woman it's really difficult to get a shot to come out. Also, when women are dancing and don't give an F, they get a little uncomfortable when randos start snapping random pics.  

I would recommend this class for anyone who wants to get their cardio on and let it all lose. I will tell you what- zumba sure beats running or the eleptical for cardio. It really is a blast. I was so skeptical of this place. I thought it would be all old women and really simple dance routines. I probably was the youngest student in class, but the ages varied from early mid 20's to early 40's. And there wasn't even that one token student who had no rhythm. Everyone kept up quite impressively. 

All in all, I had a BLAST. I would return again but I would probably only go to the pure Zumba only class. The toning part was a little old school for my taste. If I want to tone, I will continue with pilates and barre classes for that. But the next time I just want to DANCE I will shimmer my way back to Sandy Campy Fitness. 

 

 

I think investing in a better sign might be a solid option.  

I think investing in a better sign might be a solid option.  

Day 13: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Fitness, Barre, ClassPass ChallengeSkyler ValloComment

CARDIO BARRE  (advanced)

12350 Riverside Dr, Los Angeles, CA 91607 

 

image.jpg

Cardio Barre, you were my first love affair with all things barre. This was the very first class I ever tried when I moved to Los Angeles. I was immediatly hooked. I was so enchanted that even after that first Groupon was used up, I bought class packages. That's really a measure of how much I actually liked it. Them classes ain't cheap, yo! 

I have taken classes at both the Studio City and Hollywood locations and both are excellent. They have many of the same instructors. I love Adair, my instructor today. I actually always use my 3 x's a month on her classes soley. She's always peppy, but she's tough. I find I sweat more in her classes. She doesn't give a lot of breaks, and today she gave none. But I love a good challenge. She also has the best music selection. I am not sure who does Cardio Barre's mixes but they are sooooo catchy. They are always up to date on current mixes too. I would love to get a copy because then I might actually have the motivation to go "for a run" at some point. The only thing that could get me to go for a casual run is bad ass music. 

 

Outside of the Studio City location 

Outside of the Studio City location 

 

A very important thing that sets Cardio Barre apart from other barre classes is in the name itself. There is cardio. A lot of it! Sometimes in other barre classes, I barely break a sweat. I typically leave cardio barre with a wet shirt and a soaked hairline. But you also get the toning aspects of it. To me, it's the best of both worlds.  

I also love that they use so many dance terms! I come from a dance background, and I really do feel like I get somewhat of ballet barre workout. Whereas other barre classes sprinkle the actual dance terms in, in cardio barre, it's best to have a dance background of some degree. They will be calling out Arabesque, Attitude, Frappe, Tendu, Coupe- just to name a few. No worries though, if you don't have your ballet dictionary handy you can follow the crowd. My first class at Cardio Barre, years ago, was an advanced class and I was able to keep up just fine after years away from dance.  

Warm up on Releve

Warm up on Releve

One thing that is crazy impressive to me, I always recognize the same faces. Even after years and years of attending, the same women are still there taking class every day. It's difficult to hold an Angelinos fitness attention span for a long period of time, so the fact that these women keep coming back year after year are a testiment that it must work. I was talking to the woman across from me at the barre, and obviously speaking about my love of ClassPass - and she was intrigued. I always see this woman here. But the other woman who was beside me was like "I ONLY TAKE CARDIO BARRE. PERIOD. EVER." It has it's fans. Clearly.

 

Battement

Battement

The lone man  

The lone man  

The room is carpetted which is a little weird. Most barre studios have wood. Also unlike other barre classes, you do not need grippy socks. You do however, need to bring your own towel for the floor exercises. I know what you are thinking- the carpet doesn't smell wonky. Thankfully.  

 

Bring a towel for the floor

Bring a towel for the floor

You spend a majority of the class on your feet doing dancery things and sweating but the last 10 minutes will be spent on the floor doing your ab's and some butt tonight. Thanks girl in the blue getup in front of me for a great demonstration! 

There are some fans of cardio barre that get a little annoyed with their policies. For one, they only offer deals to new clients only. This is why I hadn't taken in years, it got too expensive. While other studios will sometimes offer deals at Christmas time, or every 6 months, this place never does it. Kind of blows. Be kind to your loyal customers Cardio Barre! Also, the routine hasn't changed much in 3 years. I could have taken this very same workout years ago. It's difficult, but there are very minor adjustments to the general class.

Despite all this, I still love Cardio Barre, and will continue to come here. The workout flies by and it makes me feel a little creative too. Check it out to get back to your dancer roots! 

Day 9: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Barre, ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, Pop PhysiqueSkyler ValloComment

Pop Physique  

image.jpg

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.  

 

image.jpg

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.  

 

image.jpg

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

 

image.jpg

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.  

Day 8: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, bootcamp, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

PULSE FITNESS STUDIO  

In between sets at the club, I mean, gym

In between sets at the club, I mean, gym

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

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

 

image.jpg

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Day 6: 30 Day ClassPass Blog

ClassPass Challenge, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

Sometimes your dog looks up at your with those eyes and they just beg you to take them on a hike. I typically take my dog, Toby, hiking at least twice a week and then to the local dog park twice a week. He is spoiled rotten.  

He has been getting a little neglected this past week with all of the ClassPass action. He doesn't love ClassPass like me.

While I did do 5 classes this week, I decided my pup needed a little TLC and I also wanted to give my elbow one more day of recovery before I hit one of the hardest Pilates spots tomorrow, Pilates Plus Studio City. Lisa is killer, yo!

 

Toby isn't quite sure about the steep incline

Toby isn't quite sure about the steep incline

One of my favorite spots to go hiking is Fryman Canyon, located at the bottom of Laurel Canyon on the Studio City side. While parking can be tricky at the peak hours, there is a small parking lot that you can sometimes snag a space in, or street parking- just carefully read signs. You walk through a ritzy neighborhood at the end (or beginning depending on how you start) and they really don't want any old hiker joe just clogging up their streets with cars.  

This hike is an easy to medium difficulty. My dog likes it because there aren't too many steep steps like there are at Runyon Canyon in Hollywood. He has short legs so I end up having to pick him up there once in a while. A lot of the Fryman Hike is paved, however, a few months ago I found a "secret" way which is mostly all dirt, and then opens to fields and a spectacular view. Most people do not know about this way, I usually only pass one, maybe two other people this way. It's very peaceful, and easy on the joints too. 

 

Empty and Free! That's Tyler, my man. Also, this used to be green. Los Angeles drought!

Empty and Free! That's Tyler, my man. Also, this used to be green. Los Angeles drought!

To find this special way, when you enter (parking lot) way, just look to your left and almost immediately you will see a clearing that leads to a dirt path. This is the steepest incline of the whole hike, it's quite tough and a little slipery but it will really get the heart rate pumping. Then you will come again to the main path. Walk a little longer on this and then look to your left once again and you will find another dirt path. This will take you the detour that I am mostly speaking about.  You won't regret it! 

Eventually you will meet up on the main path, this is where there are some benches and water fountains for humans and dogs. Then we head down the mountain and the rest of the hike is pretty easy peasy. Once you hit the neighborhood- the first house to the right is George Clooneys! Also, I should note- I have seen more "celebs" on this hike than at Runyon Canyon. If you're into that kind of thing.  

 

me and my little goober face

me and my little goober face

Again, I will reiterate, this is not the toughest of all hikes but it's extremely enjoyable without all of the weirdos and showoffs that seem to take over Runyon Canyon. I think the views are spectacular here as well. If you enjoy a more solitary spot then check out Fryman. I have included a snap of the Fitbit so you can see about the distance and level of difficulty of the hike.  

 

image.jpg

I hadn't ever FitBitted this hike before, and was a little surprised that it was only 2.2 miles. I parked in the parking lot today and sometimes you have to treck a little bit so that is one of the reasons why.  Oh, also, be careful of rattlesnakes! I did not thankfully see one today, but I have seen them before. Just be safe and get the hell out of their way. 

I have a happy pup and it felt great to get outside. Bummed that I did not also make it to a ClassPass today as well but sometimes you just need a little fresh air.