SKYLER VALLO

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Day 20: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

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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

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Circuit Pilates

6223 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

 

Where am I?

Where am I?

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

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

 

I walked in on the Cycle class still going

I walked in on the Cycle class still going

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

 

Reformer Side

Reformer Side

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

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

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

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

 

one of my fav moves

one of my fav moves

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

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

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

 

Day 7: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

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Pilates Plus Studio City located on Ventura Blvd

Pilates Plus Studio City located on Ventura Blvd

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 3: ClassPass 30 Day Challenge

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The good news is: I have full use of my arms again. CrossFit killed. I couldn't sleep on my usual sleep side because my left shoulder was VERY angry at me. I also couldn't pick up my dog, Toby. He is a little on the obese side, but no doggie snuggles yesterday was sad. I sat down on the floor to eat dinner (because yes, I am super fancy and eat at a coffee table on the floor in front of the tv) I actually do own a kitchen table but have used it a total of two times. I digress- I had to have my boyfriend legit pull me up from the ground from my coffee table dinner.  

Again- Why, oh why, do these super-humans put themselves through crossfit? 

I wasn't planning on taking Wednesday off, but I couldn't sit down on the toilet, much less have a work out.

So today, I treated myself to something I know. Something I love. Reformers pilates. Back in my element! 

I signed up for Forever Young Pilates, in North Hollywood taught by Rachel Rankin.  I actually know Rachel from other classes around town.  It appears we enjoy the same work-outs.  Also, she's a babe.   

I signed up for a "semi-private" class.  Most reformers classes are small, 6-10 people, so that is what I was expecting from FYP.  I was shocked when it appeared as if there would only be one other student in class besides myself. There were only two reformers. "Sem-private" turned out to be more like my own private little lesson- just another chick was along for my ride.  I was super pysched because I would get a lot of individual attention but also kind of terrified because I could still hardly move from my previous workout. Please go easy on me Rachel. 

The semi-private class only has two reformers

The semi-private class only has two reformers

What I really liked about Rachel is that she understood that I was almost immobile and didn't put too much weigh on the machines. With other pilates places, I sometimes feel like they stack on too much weight. FYP is classical pilates. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but to me, it means that it isn't like Pilates Plus or WundaBar, which is like pilates on crack, the classes are super fast classes and include cardio, like jumping on a jump board. Classical pilates is a much slower burn. It was just what the doctor ordered.   

The woman who was working out beside me was talking about how she just took Soul Cycle yesterday and how it was TOO EASY.  Dear Lord.  For those of you who do not know, Soul Cycle is the super hot, celeb, sort of heated, cult like, spin workout right now.  Workout partner lady said that this pilates class was way harder. It's so funny, because I have a feeling I would think the opposite.  Not that I will ever know, because Soul Cycle is like one trillion dollars a class, and is not on ClassPass so I won't be experiencing it.  However, the day for a cycle class IS creeping up on me.  I will have to give in sooner than later.  Expect some major complaining, like crossfit style complaining. Sorry folks. Can anyone recomend a "fun" cycle class in Los Angeles to me?

I really like Rachel and we have fun chatting about all of the class options available on ClassPass.  She says she keeps canceling her own classes so she can take classes everywhere else and so it is dangerous to her. I wish I was that ambitious. She corrects my form whenever I pop my hip up, or do something funky with my leg. She knows what she's talking about. Also, I read on some pamphlet that she used to be a figure skater. That's my goal in life, to become a figure skater (I'll be a late bloomer) so I am hoping that someday she can teach me how to do a double axel in addition to fixing my knee placement on a reformer.

Tomorrow I am signed up for something really different!  It's a stationary surfboard set in the sand. I cannot surfboard in the water so let's hope I am better at it on the ground.  Hang ten. 

Leg circles on the reformer

Leg circles on the reformer