SKYLER VALLO

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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 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

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". 

 

 

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I loved the "flying plank". We kept our feet suspended in the air, and our arms on blocks so everything was unstable, and thus, even more difficult than a normal plank is. We kept our feet suspended in these little straps for a while, doing sit ups. General moves you would do while in a pilates class, but a part of your body was suspended. It added an extra challenge. 

We then began the ballet porition of class. We did a coupe with our foot in one strap while our other foot stayed on solid ground. The strap on the moving leg gave it more resistance. My stable leg was definitely shaking by the end of the series. I have taken a couple years of ballet so I knew the terms she was calling out, but she was also doing all of the movements, so it was easy to follow along.  

 

Doesn't it look like something out of 50 Shades of Grey? 

Doesn't it look like something out of 50 Shades of Grey? 

After the ballet barre (more like rope) section we began the aerial section. This was your hanging upside down porition. We did splits in the air! I am a gymnast!  Weeeeee!

 

Nothing like a little blood rush to the head at 8:30 on a Saturday  

Nothing like a little blood rush to the head at 8:30 on a Saturday  

We did this one section where the spun upside down. That didn't work out too swell for me. See, I get really motion sick. Still can't ride in the backseat of car for 5 minutes motion sick. I tried spinning once and yep- turns out, I am still allergic to motion. While the other two members of class twirled their hearts out, I did everything stationary. Still I love a good blood rush to the face. 

I have completed one aerial yoga class before. I found it to be kind of a bore to be honest. This was a blend of an aerial class while still getting the benefits of stretch and inversion. I wish I could remember everything we did today! I would need to take class again to even begin to describe it to you. The studio has 6-7 instructors and I would be so curious to see if all of the classes follow the same foremat or if different instructors mix and max up the class a bit. 

Kerry described the class as a blend of cardio barre and pilates. I'm not sure that's how I would describe it. There isn't a ton of cardio. It's more like pilates and bar method (to me). Kerry said that this studio has a lot of upper level aerialists taking class at the studio. Eventually, the owners decided to do a more aerobic class and open it up to the general public. This class blends aerial with a workout that pretty much anyone can do. I would say this is a beginner to intermediate level class. I will for sure take at the studio again. It would be neat to see them have a beginner level and an advanced level like cardio barre does. The advanced class might have less breaks. Not that I am AT an advanced level yet but the option for when I get better might be neat.  

Again, I wish I could describe this class better to you. It is SO different, unique, and FUN. You have to try it if you are in the North Hollywood area. They have tons of class times, so it's easy to catch a class.  

I'll be hanging right there with you! 

 

Day 15: The Halfway Point!

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BRICK CROSSFIT  (Kickboxing Edition)

7811 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, 90046 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

I like, kind of look badass here, no? 

I like, kind of look badass here, no? 

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

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

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

Bags on the side, Sparring in the middle

Bags on the side, Sparring in the middle

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

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

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

Day 14: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Dance, ClassPass Challenge, Zumba, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

SANDY CAMPY FITNESS 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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 

 

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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 12: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Fitness, bootcamp, ClassPass ChallengeSkyler ValloComment

Barry's Bootcamp 

14622 Ventura Blvd , Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

 

 

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Ooo Barry's Bootcamp. I've been dreading this day for a while. Everybody knows Barry's is no joke. And it lived up to the hype. 

Barry's definitely has what I would call a cult following in Southern California. They have been around for a while, and have their solid fan base. Everyone in class was super toned, fit, and hot. You gotta be in shape to do Barry's, as well as have a lot of desire. Desire is important here. 

I signed up for this class before my weekend camping adventure on Friday. I did this for two reasons, one because I knew after a weekend of booze and shitty camp food I would need a good ass kicking, and two the morning classes always fill up pretty early and I can't motivate myself after about 10 am. Short motivation window for me. 

Everybody at the front desk was sincerely friendly and when they found out it was my first time you could tell they had a little bit of pity in their eyes for me. The friendly front desk man, who may also be an instructor there (fit enough to be anyways) introduced me to Martin, my class instructor for the day. Martin was also very friendly and explained how the class would go and where to put my things. I have been to classes similar to Barry's, so I kind of knew the deal but it was nice that they didn't just throw me out there to the wolves.  

I was surprised to see that my class was completely full. Almost 40 people! There are two groups: a floor set and a tredmill set and then you trade off every 10 minutes or so. I was assigned a spot when I signed up. I had the floor set first. I wished for the treadmill set first to start getting the running over with, but you can't always get what you want. I would have asked to trade, but again, my class was packed! 

The first set on the floor began with hand weights. He told me to grab a heavy set "At least a 12 to 15". I chuckled and grabbed an 8 pound and 5 pound set. I'm not even sure I could curl a 15 for more than, say, twice. We did lots of curls this round. Then it was time to switch to the treadmill.  

 

Full class! Sorry for the bad quality. It's difficult to take photos when you aren't supposed to be.  

Full class! Sorry for the bad quality. It's difficult to take photos when you aren't supposed to be.  

Apparently it was "Monday Runday"- lucky me. I love running. While on the treadmills, Martin gave three levels of running speeds, which was always around 6.5, 7.5, or 8.5. I bet you guys can guess which number I typically took. We started with a warm up. Then we did this whole 5 minute get your best time running thing. Ugh. 5 minutes straight of running is a mile! (well not for me...but for some people) The distance I got to was 6.8. 

Back to the floor and this time we used resistance bands. Despise resistance bands. We put them under our stackables. Boy, did this make arm curling incredibly difficult. I ALMOST grabbed my hand weights because I could barely curl more than 5 times. 

 

Butt Shot! 

Butt Shot! 

Typically in classes, I think you do side runs, runs on inclines, and backwards, and all the wacky ways. But today, it was all about distance. Monday's are distance days. It included lots of sprints and long "jogs"- by jog I mean running at a pace of 7.5 or higher. I should have clocked how many miles I actually ran today but if I had to guess it would be at least around the 3 mile mark. I for sure was not doing the highest number that Martin always shouted out, but I wasn't always doing the lowest either. I never stopped to walk when it wasn't a rest period, so I can feel proud of that. 

The plank series on the floor was pretty rough. I kept slipping on the mat because of how sweaty I was. Bring a towel. What an amateur move that was to not bring one. I removed the mat and my poor little elbows were screaming on the hard floor, but it was the only way. I had to push through. We had to smack our butt with on hands in the plank. Then hit our butt with our legs. Lots of butt smacking. Good way to begin a Monday.     

We did a few more sets of switching back and forth between the floor and treadmills. I liked that each set wasn't too long. I have been to classes similar to this one before, and I thought we spend too much time running. Like it was never gonna end! This kept everything manageable for me. Still hard as hell, but I could do it since I knew we weren't going to be running forever. 

At the end of class, Martin shouted out that he loves when he can't tell the difference between the newbies and the regulars so even if he wasn't talking about me per say, it made me feel neat.  

With so many people in class, Martin only came up to me once, during weight kickbacks and told me I was looking perfect. He didn't hand out any adjustments to me, and I like adjustments. But again, with nearly 40 people in class I imagine it would be difficult to get everyone. I did see him working with the chick behind me once or twice. I am sure if I was a total newbie he would have been fixing me right up though.  

Barry's Bootcamp is legit. If you want to incorporate some cardio into your life, like me, then this is a great spot because you also get toning involved and an excellent sweat. Ohh..it's also really clean! They mop and clean the machines between every class. Which is necessary- because you will sweat! 

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

 

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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! 

 

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