SKYLER VALLO

ACTRESS | MODEL | WRITER

Sweat

Hoop Dance Champion of the World

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

I'm BAAAACK. And I am always finding ways to figure out how to work out without actually working out. When I was doing my CP 30 Day Challenge last month I came across Barre Lab and I took their signature barre workout. But what really grabbed my short attention span was the fact that there was a Hoola Hoop Dance Class. Say whaaat. I want to work out like a 5 year old.

Mid Spin  

Mid Spin  

The hoola guru/instructor, Anah, was in India at the time of my first class, at believe it or not a HOOLA HOOP CONVENTION. This woman is ridiculous. She literally just floats around the class doing out of this world hoola moves. If for nothing else, you should go for the performance you will receive. One of the reasons I kept dropping my hoop is because I couldn't stop watching her. Yea...I'm gonna go with that's the reason I kept dropping my hoop.

The hoops are provided at Barre Lab. They are the biggest hoops you ever laid eyes upon. They also have a hefty weight to them. When they are heavier, they allow you to hoola better. So if you're a beginner you want to grab the biggest, heaviest hoop you see. 

A little precursor, you will look really silly silly doing this class. This class is not for the self-consious. The hoop will fall (many times). But guess what? Everyone looks the same way. I laughed out loud so many times at myself. I was having a bit of a morning and after I went to this class my energy improved about a million percent. You can't be in a sad mood after you just spent an hour hoola-ing. 

I'll give you a quick rundown of the structure of the class. You spend the first song warming up and getting used to the weight of the hoops. You begin with stretches, mainly focusing on the hips and stomach area since those will be getting a lot of attention.

Did you know that you have a side that you always hoola on? With me, I spin my hoop to the left. The class was about half and half. One girl was an ambidextrous hooper and she could spin both ways easily. LUCKY. Hooping to my right was challenging at first but I got the hang of it after I began placing one foot in front of the other, versus parallel feet. So intricate! Then we spent time catching the hoop in our hands and flipping it quickly to the other side of our body and spinning it that way. After this, we practiced spinning the hoop solely on our butts. Yes, there is a different position for this too. Then we alternated between butt-hooping and stomach hooping, all with some sick tunes in the background of course. Finally, we did some slight of hand tricks with our arms and the hoop. I could be a circus performer now. Basically. 

image.jpg

We spent the last ten minutes of class grooving to our own sick-ass hoola moves we just learned. Free-style. Some sweet rap tunes were on but I was sorely disappointed when Shakira's hips don't lie didn't come on. 

The class was incredibly fun. I did sweat, but it was about 85 degrees in the studio; I think I might have been sweaty just standing there not doing a thing. I am not sure that hoop "dance" would be the absolute correct term for the class. We didn't really dance. We hoola hooped. And while I was expecting to hoola, I was also thinking I would get a bit of a cardio dance class in, too. Maybe learn a combo. It was definitely a technical, tricks learning class- a simple one at that- and it should be since it was beginner. I for SURE was not a master at anything we performed today. The level was perfect for me, and for most of the class but again, I would have preferred a little more dance thrown in with all that trick learning'. If you want to become a professional hola-hooper, learn something new, and have fun then this is class for you. 

Update- I took this class yesterday and I have a huge ass black bruise on my left hip. Who know hola-hooping could be so aggressive? I feel so bad-ass. 

 

Cool Tank Bro

Cool Tank Bro

Day 26: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Boxing, ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, Group Class, KickboxingSkyler Vallo1 Comment

World Champion Cardio Boxing 

10500 Magnolia Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91601 

Unfortunately I won't have any photos for this blog today. The photo police came after me. 

Class was going quite a bit overtime today. I was getting a bit antsy because I have to be at work today at noon, the class was supposed to end at 10. It was 10:08 and we were still getting instructions to keep going. With no end in sight, I really had to jet. I kind of got a weird vibe when I said I had to leave, even though class was running quite a bit over. I asked to take a photo before I left but I was told no photos while class was still in session. Which I respect, but the way it was handled was a little weird. She told me I had to schedule a session to take photos....OK.

The word "cardio" is the name of the game for this class. It was more like Cardio Bootcamp with punches thrown in. I was a little disappointed because we did not do one kick throughout the entire class. I cannot help but compare World Champion Cardio Boxing to my experience with Brick and it was quite different.  

This workout WILL make you sweat. If you are trying to get cardio in or if you are trying to lose weight, this is the place to come. You will be jumping, squatting, doing sit ups, burpees, push ups, jumping jacks, ect. You will take few breaks. You're heart rate will sky rocket.  But again, it reminded me more of a bootcamp workout than a true boxing workout. Because I am a boxing expert mind you. ha!

At Brick Boxing we were learning combinations. We were sparring with partners. We were incorporating kicks, blocks, bobbing, knee strikes. We did none of that today. We hit the bag a lot. It was all punching the bag as fast as possible. No combinations. No technique. It was pure hit the shit out of that bag. 

On a positive note- I was motivated. If I ever stopped for a second I had a trainer on my butt telling me to push through. I always felt like I had to keep going. On that note, there were three trainers instructing us today. It was a little confusing to be honest. The class began with an instructor, who I really liked a lot and then mid-way through the owner, Norris, joined in. He is the World Champion of the group. Then another 10 minutes in and Tanya (I believe) joined in too! It's like, whoa. Lots of hands in kettle here. I actually can't remember how that saying goes. 

World Champion Cardio Boxing, I really wanted to like you! If I had not taken my first boxing at Brick, I think that I would like you. But I cannot help but compare. If you want a cardio bootcamp, with a good sweat, by all means had to Cardio Boxing but if you want to learn to BOX then go to Brick.  

And don't ask to take any photos ;) 

 

 

Day 18: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

pilates, Fitness, ClassPass Challenge, Spin, reformer pilatesSkyler ValloComment

Circuit Pilates

6223 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

 

Where am I?

Where am I?

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

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

 

I walked in on the Cycle class still going

I walked in on the Cycle class still going

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

 

Reformer Side

Reformer Side

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

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

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

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

 

one of my fav moves

one of my fav moves

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

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

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

 

Day 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 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 11: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, pilates, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

Hot Pilates 

Address: 8604 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Instructor: Arielle McFadden

Class Type: YOGA-LATES

 

image.jpg

Pilates and Yoga in the SAME class you say? You had me at yoga-lates. LA is like the hybrid workout center of the world. They have half pilates/cycle, half cycle/yoga, half treadmill/tone. You can find a hybrid of anything somewhere but this is the first yoga-lates class I had seen, surprisingly.  Oh, it was also hot. Los Angeles also loveeees to make you sweat. As if it isn't typically hot as hell here in the first place.

However, today is was "cold" outside. It was 56 and raining which is basically as cold as Los Angeles is ever gonna get. It was the perfect day for a hot yoga class. I am not one of those people who can take hot yoga or hot anything all year round but some days just scream let's be extremely warm while I work out today.  

I was very brave, because I decided to go over the hill to Hollywood in the rain. If you don't have to be anywhere on rainy days in LA, it is best you stay wherever your part of town is, because people in LA treat rain as if it were a 2 foot snowstorm. Wrecks and idiots are everywhere. Luckily, me and my car arrived in one peice. I am not gonna lie, the fact that Hot Pilates had a parking lot had a lot to do with the fact I was willing to make the drive. Driving in the rain is one thing, but parking is a whole other beast. 

The asthetics of this studio impressed me. It was very modern, everything was white, and insanely clean. But not sterile. It was how I would choose to decorate a studio if I owned one. I absolutley loved the floor of the studio too. It was a grey dark wood. You one classy bitch, hot pilates.  

 

They sell Spirtual Gangsta clothes

They sell Spirtual Gangsta clothes

Very clean, smelled NOT like a hot sweaty place

Very clean, smelled NOT like a hot sweaty place

The studio was a little on the small side. We had 15 people in my class today and it ended up being a little tight. I wonder what their max class capacity is.  The bathrooms, while also super nice and stocked with yummy soaps and shampoos are also quite cramped. There is one toilet and two showers but actually getting ready after your shower would be very tricky because there isn't a lot of room in the sink area. It's immaculate though, with towels and ammenties provided. 

What I really loved about Hot Pilates is that they gave me two towels and also provided me with an expensive mat. I actually LOVE this because then I don't have more laundry to do (laundry is my very least favorite chore, so the less I have to do the better) and also my own mat doesn't get stinky.  

The instructors name was Arielle and she was subbing for someone today. She is on the regular rotation of instructors and teaches there a lot. I would say the class definitely leaned more on the side of yoga but there was some pilates thrown in at the end. And the ab routine was killer. It was a full song on non-stop abs. The class was a SLOW flow class. I really like fast vinaysa style classes so this proved to be extra challenging for me. We were holding poses for an excrusatingly long time. My hair was dripping sweat into my ears if you know what I mean. 

I wish Arielle would have done an adjustment or two on me. I like it when teachers fix what I am doing wrong. But I get it, we were really sweaty. I wouldn't want to touch me either.  

The class reminded me a lot of yoga at CorePower, but again, slower. I incorporated a lot of cardio into my rountine this week, so a yoga class was exactly what the the doctor ordered. I am definitely going to return to the studio to try their signature "hot pilates" class. I craved a little more pilates in my routine today so I look forward to a full pilates class in the heat.  

Mix and Match pattern Day! 

Mix and Match pattern Day! 

One more small gripe. Class ended 12 minutes late today. I would't always mind this. But today, I had a meeting to get to. I did not bring my phone into class with me, because I find that to be rude. There is no clock on the wall. So I am at the mercy of Arielle to let me know when class ends on time. If I had known that we were going over, I would have left early. I would have appreciated if Arielle had said "it is 11:45 now, if you have to leave, feel free but I am going to keep going for a few more minutes."

Compare this photo with the photo from after my hot cycle. My face is still pretty red, but damn did I enjoy this class so much more! Thanks to my friend Nicole who got sweaty with me today! 

 

image.jpg

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 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. 

image.jpg

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.