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Day 25: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Pure Barre, Barre, Group Class, Dance, ClassPass Challenge, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

Pure Barre: Sherman Oaks 

13559 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423 

www.purebarre.com

 

Doesn't look like a lot. But it's more than enough to make you burn. 

Doesn't look like a lot. But it's more than enough to make you burn. 

Regardless of the 30 Day Challenge, I have to have a Barre class in my life at least once a week. Besides Reformer Pilates, it is by far my favorite way to tone. I have learned to like a lot of different workouts over the past couple of weeks but it also just reinforced that I totally love Barre. Call me a Barre Addict if you must.

The one thing I do not love is that little red stretchy band sitting beneath the red ball. The ball can stay. The ball I do not mind so much. Just don't ask me to throw it in an athletic way. 

Those cords shouldn't even really be called stretchy. They have hardly any give what so ever. In my humble opinion, they are what make Pure Barre difficult. The moves you will do in this class are quite similar to all barre studios, but those bands. DAMN do they add another layer.  

 

Smiling because the band kept popping off my foot not because it's fun. 

Smiling because the band kept popping off my foot not because it's fun. 

Of course we used the bands a lot today. Boy, does it burn by the time you get to the second side. It tingles. OMG my leg might fall off.

 My leg was aching so much that towards the end of the set on the second leg I threw that bungee cord off in an angry, super dramatic way. Seriously, I had to finish the moves without the cord. I couldn't take anymore. My leg was on FIRE. Just call me a quitter I guess. I'm a quitter Mom. 

I have already tackled a bunch of barre classes, and so unfortunitely for Pure Barre I am giving you the super quick run down of class. You start with the Barre march. You move to the floor for push ups, tricep dips, planks, and sit ups. Then you move to the two pounders (or three if you're a beast or something) for arms. Stretch time. Move to the bar for thighs. Place ball between legs. Squat. Up and inch, down an inch. Stretch. Move onto buns of steel. Lots of stretchy cord involved. Do some butt work at the barre then move to the floor which I demonstrate in photo. Abs (they do the weird abs aganist the back of the barre here. don't love this). Abs on mat in center. Back work. Finish off with buns yet again. Whew. Done, over and out. Give me a freshly squeezed $12 juice STAT, I deserve it.  

 

We don't actually face each other in class like this. That would be weird.  

We don't actually face each other in class like this. That would be weird.  

That's my friend Emily, you may remember her from our horrific hot cycle experience.  

Everyone is very friendly at this Studio. There were two people after class who actually WANTED to take my photos. I usually have to painfully ask someone who looks at me like a weirdo who is super into Instagram. The owner, Jamie, is almost always around if she is not teaching, and she is usually in class. She was there today, making us all look bad, of course! The instructor's name is Anna and she's tough. I have taken her class a few times before. She doesn't demonstrate all the moves like some instructors will do, but there is always someone in class you can peep around and stare at if you don't know what's going on (I do it often-sorry peeps!) I like Anna's classes though because I know she isn't going to go easy on us. I'm a glutton for punishment.

I cheated a little and have come to this studio multiple times before my ClassPass Challenge and I will continue to do so. It's my neighborhood barre studio and it feels that way. I like places that feel like home. Maybe I will see you squatting there sometime soon? 

 

Day 21: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, Dance, Fitness, Barre, Pop PhysiqueSkyler ValloComment

Barre Lab 

1947 N Cahuenga Blvd, Suite 101, Los Angeles, CA 90068 

http://www.barrelab.com

Rather regal looking, isn't it? 

Rather regal looking, isn't it? 

 

Barre Lab, located right off the 101 Freeway at the Cahuenga exit is located where Pop Physique Hollywood used to be! I only noticed the change a few weeks ago. I am always down to try a new Barre workout (they are my second favorite type after Reformers Pilates) so I was looking forward to the chance to try it.

This morning I had a meeting at 10 am in Hollywood. I let out just in time to fit in an 11:00 class if I booked it. Luckily, Barre Lab was right down the street. The stars aligned for us today Barre Lab.

Parking here can be a bit raunchy. Luckily, I found a one hour spot two blocks away. During street cleaning, I can imagine hair pulling could be involved if you're in a rush. 

I walked in and filled out the paperwork (the worst part about ClassPass is filling out new forms everywhere you go (ok, I'll suck it up, it's a small price to pay). I found out that the studio offers pure cardio dance days as well as a Hula Hoop class. I have heard of a lot of unique classes in LA- but Hula Hoop is something I had never heard of before and would be so down to try. Unfortunately, the instructor is in India learning how to perfect her Hoola but I hope she returns soon so I can get my inner 8 year old on. 

The Space (I see the HULA HOOPS!) 

The Space (I see the HULA HOOPS!) 

The essentals  

The essentals  

What I noticed first is that the items provided are a cross between Pop Physique (the ball, but this one isn't pink) and the cords (Pure Barre). Those stretchy cords are where thighs go to die. I was hoping we wouldn't be engaging in too much of that today.

This class is so similar to Pop Physique that if I had taken the class blind folded and asked me what Barre class I was in- I would have picked Pop in an instant. However, it was about 10% harder than most Pop classes. Same type of loud music, similar moves, same flow of class. Which is A O-K by me because Pop is one of my favorite of the bunch. 

The arms were harder than usual because we spent most of it laying on our stomach with our legs lifted slightly and our arms also lifted behind our backs with the baby weights. It's like when you are doing back crunches but worse because you have weights. This was more difficult than usual arms because of the added element of laying on your stomach. Ooph. I was werking it already.

Then we moved onto the bar for stretches and thighs. Of course we began with the stretchy cords. I will say, they had a little more "give" than the ones at Pure Barre, so that was a relief.  

Then we moved onto my least favorite bar exercise in this whole barre world. THE PRETZEL. 

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Pretzel is the worst. It never gets easier no matter how you do it. My inner thighs are OH so very tight so this is extremely difficult for me. I was pulling down on that bar for support something fierce today. I almost wished I had a prop to set under my bum because it truly is difficult for me. It tones that ass unlike anything else though.  

The instructors name was Cat. That's a cool name. She was really great about correcting form and I always felt like I was going to be getting the most out of every exercise because if I didn't Cat was going to come adjust me. I love form adjustments even if I look mean when you tell me, it's just because I am in a lot pain at the time. I like it, I swear it.  

Now I cannot speak for every class at Barre Lab, but the ab's section was really hard. We didn't put half our mat up the wall and half down the wall and do that half ass ab rountine that all the Barre studios try to pull off. I hardly ever feel ANYTHING during this type of ab routine and I am SO HAPPY we did not do that today. We did everything on the floor and I felt it so much more. So keep that up Barre Lab! 

 

 

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I sweated today! I like sweating. It makes my work out feel purposeful. This photo was taken before class, so I don't look sweaty. 

I am already feeling the results of today's class so I know it got me. If Barre Lab was closer to my apartment, I would be returning more often. Because there is a Pop less than a mile from my home, I will probably still be attending that on a more regular basis. That being said, if I have meetings around Hollywood I will drop in for sure. And I am already planning on the cardio dance and Hula Hoop classes. Bring Hula Hoop lady back from India ASAP! 

Day 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 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!