SKYLER VALLO

ACTRESS | MODEL | WRITER

group exercise

Hoop Dance Champion of the World

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

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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 24: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Fitness, ClassPass Challenge, Rise Nation, Group ClassSkyler ValloComment

Rise Nation 

613 N La Cienega Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 

http://rise-nation.com

 

Super Sleek Exterior

Super Sleek Exterior

Rise Nation, I have been hearing a lot about you over the past couple months. In Los Angeles driving distance, you're nearly a different state from me, which is why I have waited so long to try you. I knew that Memorial Day would be D-Day (see what I did there?) Memorial Day not only means no traffic but in addition, because it is a holiday, the only time in West Hollywood you are going to find street parking fo' free! What a deal.

I am not a gym person. I really despise the idea of running on a treadmill and/or elliptical and going nowhere. Rise Nation is a class that is done entirely on a climbing machine. The machine is a cross between a stand up rowing machine and an elliptical (but much more difficult than the latter). The class is set to loud, high energy music- much like a spin class. It even has the little spin nobbie that controls the resistance.

They can pack a lot of climbers into one space

They can pack a lot of climbers into one space

All I can say about this workout is -holy moley. My heart. 

I was not even 30 seconds into the first song when I thought I might not be able to make it. But wait- I was like, the youngest person in the class. There was like a 60 year old man beside me and he was doing it. I had no choice. I had to push through the asthmatic attack. I don't even have asthma. 

During my ClassPass challenge  I have taken 30 minute classes. I can honestly say that Rise Nation is the only class out of the three that I truly feel only can possibily be 30 minutes long. My shirt was soaked by the time I was done. I had perspired all around my machine. There would be way too many heart attacks if this class were any longer than 30 minutes. 

I am the first skeptic about getting a full workout in 30 minutes. But this might be the one. Obviously, it hits cardio but it will also tone as well. Your arms are lifting the levers; you can make the resistance as tough as you want. You are also in a semi-squat the entire time, therefore your butt and thighs are toning. During the slow jam is when I felt my bum burning the most. It's like you are swimming through mud.  

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The only reason I got through my class today was the instructor, Adam (and the 60 year old man beside me kicking my climbing ass). Adam was so motivating and I loved all his music picks. It was like, my childhood. There may have been a couple of boybands played (Nsync obviously, not Backstreet Boys) . One thing that sets Rise Nation apart from other studios I have visited- everyone was incredibly friendly and helpful. Everyone introduced themselves to me. They showed me how everything worked before class. They give you a towel too. They must know how much you are gonna be pouring sweat. Adam was so nice and he used to work at Mexicali just like me. And everybody else in Los Angeles. 

I can only describe the set as having arm choreography. During the fast parts of the songs we would be "sprinting" a.k.a moving our legs and arms like a hamster on a really big wheel. Then the slow part of the song would hit and we would punch out our movements. It's hard to explain. But all the moves went with the song slow. Similar to a spin class. But it was more fun because Adam was dancing on the platform.  

They darken the room with black out curtains. The ceiling lights up. It's a club. Personally, a little over the whole club work-out scene but if a neon light motivates some people then this is the spot for you. They have a really cute outdoor area that you can go and regain consciousness after class. There also looks like a juice bar, but it wasn't in operation today. 

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I believe that the first class at Rise Nation is free. Also, after your first class you can purchase a three pack for $30. After that it goes up considerably. If I lived closer, I might consider purchasing this even in addition to ClassPass but because I live over the hill I just can't commit. Wherever you live in LA you should try the first class! I would say this workout is perfect for people on a tight time schedule. 30 minute work-out and you truly feel like you could go eat a brunch and maybe have burned off most of those eggs benedict. I wish they had showers though, because I was glistening quite heartily. 

I will reiterate that Rise Nation might be the friendliest studio I have taken at during my 30 Day Challenge. You also get an incredible workout in only 30 minutes. Go. Just go. 

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

power plate, Barre, ClassPass Challenge, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

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 17: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, The Bar Method, Fitness, BarreSkyler ValloComment

The Bar Method-Studio City 

11239 Ventura Blvd, Suite 214, Los Angeles, CA 91604 

 

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Let me begin by saying that this is one of the nicest studios I have ever attended. It is brand new- in fact, it has only been open a couple of months. I used to get my hair zapped off in this exact office space a few months ago and I will tell you they did an incredble job with the reno. They have free coffee and tea available. A cute and cozy little couch area for lounging before or after class. They have free lockers that come with keys that you can hang up inside the workout room. They have sparkling showers, changing areas, free shampoo and soap. They even have hair driers and straighteners (I don't know about sharing a straightener but if you wish it is there for you). Major bonus- LOADS of free parking. Free parking is key to any workout in Los Angeles. If you're paying hundreds in a gym membership you don't want to be paying two dollars for parking every day too. 

 

I'll take the sports bra with the bright pink straps please. Just kidding, I'm poor.  

I'll take the sports bra with the bright pink straps please. Just kidding, I'm poor.  

Skip the Starbucks and grab a free coffee before you go! 

Skip the Starbucks and grab a free coffee before you go! 

I am very glad that I gave this studio a second chance. Not that my first class was BAD it was just...easy. I have tried hundreds of bar studios but Bar Method is one of the last studios in town I visited. I believe you tend to compare everything to your first barre experience (mine was cardio barre so I base everything on that). One of my girlfriends put it like this "Bar Method is a place where too many modely types go to try and not sweat"  

FYI- I did not sweat today.  

One thing I appreciated about today's workout. It was 90% different from my first Bar Method class. Other classes- including Cardio Barre stick very similarly to the same workout every class. It still had the same format- arms first, followed by thigh, then glute, abs, and more glute. But I think every exercise we did varied from the first time I took it.  

One thing that killed today, we did a ton of inner thigh. I am really tight in this area and we hammered that OUT. I feel like every leg exercise we did covered that muscle group. We faced the center of the room and did leg raises about a zillion times. My leg was shaky for sure (I love to shake. This means it's working!) 

Second thing that was very difficult was the pretzel. OMG. I think this is one of their signature moves. I heard slight groans when our instructor, Caroline mentioned it. I love pretzels (eating them obvs) but this puts a whole new meaning on the word. Here I am pretzeling. 

 

Feeling muscles in my thighs I've never felt before. 

Feeling muscles in my thighs I've never felt before. 

The Bar Method- like any other workout has its very devoted followers. I overheard one woman speaking to her fellow classmate "Ugh I am going to Michigan for two weeks but there is NO BAR METHOD. There are other bar studios that TRY to be Bar Method but it's not the same." They have this May special going on right now- it was $100 for unlimited classes. But I think you may have had to say how many classes you could make (say 20) for you to get the special price? I am a little fuzzy on the whole deal. All I know is there were two girls in my class today who were doing like three classes back to back so they could hit their "number". Intense.  

 

The May promotion

The May promotion

Women were crowding this sticker board like it was candy or something. I could barely snap a pic. My class was very crowded today. I counted 19 and I heard them say there was 24 in the 8:30 am class before mine. Legit. Clearly, people believe in this workout. 

Another thing I appreciate about Bar Method- they make it a point to remember your name. They call out your name all throughout class to give you pointers or to correct your form. I'm baffled by how they can remember over 60 people's names a day. I don't know what you pay Caroline but that's enough for a raise right there. By the way- Caroline was an excellent instructor. She was on her correction game and I knew that if I was ever doing anything wrong she was going to spot it. She was like a tiger jumping on prey. 

That brings me to another point- they are sticklers about form here. You will get individual attention and you WILL be doing the moves correctly. 

Everyone at the studio is very friendly- including the other participants. There wasn't a snootiness that I feel at some other studios around town. I felt comfortable there. I also felt wealthy. It's fancy. 

I liked my class today. Not love, just liked. For me personally, it dosen't have enough cardio elements. I like to see little droplets of sweat. To me, sweat signals hard work. I know there are gonna be some die hard Bar Methoders out there who completely disagree with what I'm saying. I realize this works for some bodies, but if you are trying to loose weight- I would probably say you needed to hit somewhere else. If you are looking to tone only- this might be your jam. 

Day 15: The Halfway Point!

Boxing, Kickboxing, ClassPass Challenge, FitnessSkyler ValloComment

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!