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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 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 10: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, SpinSkyler ValloComment

The Sweat Shoppe 

  

A picture says a thousand words. 

A picture says a thousand words. 

"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 was of course assigned the front row

I was of course assigned the front row

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.  

 

Too sweaty to even try to put on my shirt at the end of class

Too sweaty to even try to put on my shirt at the end of class

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.