and it has moved to it's own brand-new site!
Please check it out. I now cover fitness, odd jobs, places I like to go, things I like to do, you know, everything you truly care about in life...
and it has moved to it's own brand-new site!
Please check it out. I now cover fitness, odd jobs, places I like to go, things I like to do, you know, everything you truly care about in life...
And the Award Goes to:
I lost 7 pounds and four inches off my waist with my ClassPass Challenge!
Just kidding. I wish I had the outlook to take one of those before and after photos of me with my sports bra on so you could see the change in my body. Or so that even I could see the change in my body. I have no earthly idea if I lost any weight, or if I even see more definition in my body. I don't own a scale. The truth is, I didn't start this Challenge to lose weight or to even change a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, pre-challenge, I was already working out 4-5 days a week.
Let's take it back to the beginning. When I was in high school I was ultra high-strung, a.k.a 4.0 over-achiver who could barely sleep because I was worried about one thing or another. In college, I was pretty psychotic too. It wasn't until I found exercise my senior year that I was able to channel a lot of my type A, over active mind and body.
I can be categorized as one of those women magazines love to hate because I seriously do have a fast metabolism. One reason this fast metabolism exists is because I am always thinking, always on the go, always moving. I never stop. When I started exercising, my mind became a lot healthier. I found that I wasn't so stressed out anymore; there was a way that for one to two hours a day, my brain only focused on something other than what was happening in my life.
Of course, like anything, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. When I first moved to Los Angeles I was a bit lonely. Overwhelmed. And also completely overwhelmed with all of the ridiculously good looking people here! I would spend hours in the gym running miles and miles on the treadmill. Maybe that is why I loathe running and gyms now.
Just like living in Los Angeles took an adjustment period, so did finding my workout grind. Before ClassPass, I would try every exercise Groupon to hit the market. Thankfully ClassPass came along because I wiped out every opportunity in Studio City, if not Hollywood as well. When I found that there was more to working out than just running a treadmill, I began to enjoy the process a lot more. I became obsessed with Power Yoga. Then it was barre classes, followed by Reformer Pilates.
Although my love for pilates, barre and yoga will never waiver and they will always hold a dear, dear place in my heart, it was time again to open my workout horizons. I wasn't getting enough cardio in. I would find myself doing an easy hike and getting winded quickly. I decided to do the challenge to open my workout horizons so to speak. And get me sweating' again! I also did it because I love to write.
At times I found the process tedious. Finding the new studios wasn't the problem, I had a list that I had been wanting to visit for some time. It was scheduling these sessions between work, auditions and prior commitments. Also, anything you do in Los Angeles, you have to consider the traffic. There was only a short window everyday that I could travel outside of my Studio City nook to not make it a three hour + time commitment. It took some serious planning.
There was only one or two days that I found the process of actually writing the review a nuisance. In all honestly, I loved the process of writing and getting my feelings out there. It's been a long time since I sat down and committed to writing something for the span of a month. It was a little difficult to find the different words to describe similar classes. It was also tough when I didn't LOVE a workout. These are all my opinions obviously, and what works for me doesn't work for others and vice versa so I did not like giving any place too hard a time.
During my month I figured out that I need to do at least one, if not two days of cardio from here forward. The class that surprised me the most was kickboxing. It is an incredible cardio workout and I LOVED hitting shit! It felt so good and it tones and burns at the same time. Kickboxing is a class that I plan on continuing with.
There are a ton of half tread-mill half anything in this town (read reviews for Barry's, Fitmix, Pulse, etc.) and I also plan to try to hit one of these studios once a week. These classes kill so I am being ambitious when I say one day of kickboxing and one day of treadmill class. But I know I can do it.
I also plan on continuing with the blog. But I will only write when I try new classes at new studios. The posts won't be totaling 30 in 30 days unless I do another, different type of challenge. Any suggestions? And don't say no taco bell for 30 days. That will never happen.
Eventually, I want to expand my blog. I would like to do reviews of workouts, but also reviews of new experiences for Angelinos. From outdoor movies, to hikes, beaches, and events. I think doing this will allow me to expand my "fun" horizons and in addition I will get to write and continue to connect with my audience. What do you guys think? Up for some more blabbing?
I hope that you took something away from my 30 Day Challenge. I know that I did. I'm going to continue on with ClassPass, as I still believe there is no better deal in the city for boutique workout classes. There is enough to keep me busy and happy on the app for a long while.
Thank you so much for sticking with me over the 30 days! I'll be back.
Now off to my best friends wedding in Virginia!
P.S.- I will still never enjoy Spin class. The End.
5257 Vineland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 91601
I do not have a photograph of me in a fun yoga pose today. I was literally too “zen” after class to even bother with it.
I am a big fan of Yoga Noho. I visited there for a Groupon spell about a year ago. I was anxiously waiting for another Groupon or for it to be put on ClassPass and luckily it was added on CP last week.
Love ClassPass, but it was in dire need of some more legit yoga studios, especially in the valley area. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some CorePower, but sometimes, you don’t want to do yoga in a 101 degree room. You just want a normal temperature to get your flow on.
Saturday was an INSANE work day for me. I was producing a new app for Intel with my boyfriend's company. I will try to add photos of the event in a post even though it has nothing to do with my workout challenge. I spent my whole day with the Rookies in the NFL though, so maybe it does! It was an incredible experience, but I woke up at 4 am and then worked a 16 hour day. I slept in on Sunday (by that I mean 9 am- I am typically an early riser). I wasn’t up for a crazy workout. I wasn’t even sure I would get anything in I was so beat.
By 11 am I was already sick of watching The Kardashians (two episodes is about all I can take). I saw a class at 11:45 and also saw that Leo was instructing. He was one of my favs from when I used to visit Yoga Noho. I figured I would brave the outside world.
Yoga NoHo is in the heart of the bustling area of North Hollywood. There are tons of restaurants and shops near by if you want to grab a bite after class. One of my fav’s is Republic of Pie. Check it out if you want to blow the workout you just did with a delicious piece of pie or yummy latte. That being said, parking around the area is horrible. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes for class here. Even on a Sunday.
When I used to take Leo's class, I was shocked by how small the class numbers were. I think the most ever in my class were 5. The word about Yoga NoHo must have gotten out because there were about 17 in my class this morning. My best kept secret in a secret no longer.
We began class a little late. Leo goes around the room and asks everyone their name and then asks why they are there today. I feel myself tightening up a little here because were already starting 5 minutes late and then we gotta chat. When there are 17 people in your class, conversations can get lengthy, you know? Aren't we all for there for typically the same reasons? Work out, sweat, become centered, get zen, ect. I try not to get too uptight and become that calm and collected yogi I am supposed to be, but I WANNA DO YOGA NOW. Luckily, we got into the flow and I forgot about the talking because the class was amazing.
Leo automatically makes me feel calm. When his class begins though, you are in for a real power flow. Vinyasa style yoga is my favorite type. His power flow class level 1-2 is definitely more on the side of a 2 so don't be fooled if you think a level one might be too easy. It was incredibly intricate and a fast paced flow.
We spent a good 55 minutes flowing and spent the last ten minutes upside down practicing handstands, inversions, etc. And ended with some stretches. I hadn't been doing any hand or head stands for a good minute because of my challenge. Leo saw the mistakes I was making right away and came over to offer suggestions about my proper arm placement. Class is only supposed to be one hour, but it will definitely run over. They should change the time to 75 minutes because I remember from my previous classes that I never left before one (class begins at 11:45). Luckily, I felt so freakin' good after my class that I could have cared less if we were running over.
I adore Yoga NoHo and I am thrilled that ClassPass has added them into their rotation. In addition to Vinyasa styles flows they offer a variety of classes, including restorative (a candlelight class is not to be missed!), Hatha, Yoga Sculpt, Medley, and Pre and Postnatal. You can find a class that fits your style here. I also love Chelsea's Yoga Sculpt classes offered on Fridays at 11 am.
If you find yourself in the North Hollywood area and need a solid stretch and sweat and just want to feel GOOD and comfortable. Check out Yoga NoHo. See you on the mat!
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 ;)
13920 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91423
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.
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.
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.
DAVINCI BODYBOARD CLASS (PILATES STUDIO CITY)
11650 Riverside Drive, Suite 1 & 2, Los Angeles, CA 91602
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.
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
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!
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 :)
The Sweat Shoppe
"I just don't understand the appeal. It was like I was clubbing in a terrible hot sweaty club and I couldn't get out because I was strapped down." -Emily
Emily, I apologize I posted this photo for the world to see (and by world, I mean maybe 50 people who read my blog) but seriously.. I signed up for this class because of you so I really felt like I owed you one. We have been texting the past couple of hours since the class and we don't even know what happened to us. I think I have already blocked it out of my mind, like a painful memory I am trying to repress.
I feel bad for The Sweat Shoppe because I feel like no matter what, this is going to be an unfair review. I am sure this was indeed an amazing class for people who like to cycle in 90 degrees. I know people who are obsessed with this place. Spin places in general get a lot of love. The music was expertly choosen and I did enjoy that portion of hell, er, class. And thank you to the instructor, Briana , who took time out to strap me into the little foot holders on the bike because I really had no freaking clue how to do that.
I am typically an early bird, but I showed up to class as it was about to begin today. There was pesky street cleaning all around the building today. Side note- there is no free parking close, so be prepared to have to park at a meter. I had to fill out the new student form saying I wouldn't sue them if I died, which I am sure this is an important step because I could certainly see how someone could easily keel over. I was already assigned a bike, and lucky me, that happened to be in the dead center of the front row right in front of the instructor. Cool. Not like it's my very first spin class ever or anything.
The class was about to start, so I did not have a lot of time to ask questions. The maddness begins. Briana is telling me to go "up a notch!" And I seriously have no idea how to do that. I see the little nob on the bike but every time I try to turn it nothing happens. I sit down on my bike for a few seconds and twist it around (I think it was a little loose? or maybe it's supposed to be like that? Again I HAVE NO IDEA because I have nothing to compare it to) I finally got little nob to cooperate.
Another "goodish" thing I would like to say, you really forget any kind of problem going on in your real life at the time of the ride. I was so focused on how freaking hard it was and how unbelievably sweaty I was, there were no moments to think of anything else- so a perfect mind cleanser if you will.
We were riding in almost pitch black. The one window had those super thick window covers pulled down. The multi-colored strobe lights were on. The music was pumping. I was in a club. I couldn't really understand Briana too much becaue of the music but I just followed her along when she sat on the bike and would spin really fast and then lift her butt (third position?) and then spin hard again. I have no earthly idea if my nob was on the right number, ever. When I couldn't stand anymore, I just stopped moving nobber guy.
About half way through- someone left class. At first I thought this meant I was getting lucky and class was almost over, but no such luck. We had many more songs of torture to go. It made me feel a little better that someone else couldn't hack it. They probably just had to go to work, but I tell myself they couldn't take it either to make myself feel better.
I would love to say that class flew by. But I felt every unbearable minute. There was no clock which was also a mild form of torture because I had no idea how much longer I could stand.
A lot of this is my fault. I knew that taking spin was going to be extremely tough for me, so why I decided to take a HOT spin class was not genius. I also didn't know what I was doing, I should have gotten to class earlier to learn the bike more. I don't like cardio. I don't even like bikes. Hell, if we are being honest, I don't even know how to ride a real bike. I take full responsibility for my actions.
I POURED sweat. I actually feel hungover right now because I sweated so much. My ass hurts, I have blisters on my hands from gripping the handles so hard. I am a bloody hot mess.
I ended up knowing one of the other riders today and she asked me "so, when will you be coming back?!"
Nope. Never. Ever. In a Million Years....Would I do that to myself again.