SKYLER VALLO

ACTRESS | MODEL | WRITER

Studio City

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 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 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 20: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

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

DAVINCI BODYBOARD CLASS (PILATES STUDIO CITY) 

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

 

Resistance Band to the Extreme

Resistance Band to the Extreme

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

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

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

 

Only 4 to 5 students per class  

Only 4 to 5 students per class  

This simple machine is highly deceving  

This simple machine is highly deceving  

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

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

 

 

Boogie with the bungees  

Boogie with the bungees  

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

Keiko was a solid coach

Keiko was a solid coach

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

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

Day 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 13: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Fitness, Barre, ClassPass ChallengeSkyler ValloComment

CARDIO BARRE  (advanced)

12350 Riverside Dr, Los Angeles, CA 91607 

 

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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  

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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.  

Day 7: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

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

Pilates Plus Studio City located on Ventura Blvd

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day 6: 30 Day ClassPass Blog

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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.  

 

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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. 

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