SKYLER VALLO

ACTRESS | MODEL | WRITER

Fitness

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 30: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, pilates, reformer pilatesSkyler ValloComment
  • Club Pilates: Hollywood
  • 730 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038
  • http://clubpilatesstudio.com/locations/hollywood
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I have to start this post by saying YAY! I COMPLETED MY 30 DAY CHALLENGE! I will post a wrap up of my experience soon: TBD. Right now I am covering Club Pilates: Hollywood. 

I had an audition around La Brea today at 12:15. I tried to sign up for a class at Crunch which was flying pilates. I hadn't visited any flying yoga or pilates for the challenge so I thought it would be a different way to wrap the challenge up. I tried to sign up, but the time to sign up had expired. I quickly scanned on. Then I saw Club Pilates was holding their Cardio Pilates at 1:00. I had ten minutes.

I made the decision to leave my car in a residential one hour space. A risky move since I had already been there for 40 minutes. If I moved my car and had to find parking again, I might not make the class. On foot would be the only way.

It paid off. No ticket AND made it to class with 3 minutes to spare. I got a little uptight mid walk because I realized I had left my grippy socks in the car. If I went back, I would surely be tardy. I hate being late. I decided I would purchase new socks because I needed some to add to the collection regardless. But it must be my lucky day or something because this seemed to be a no sock studio. Wow, I should play the lottery today. 

Jessica, the instructor, helping set up jump boards for students     

Jessica, the instructor, helping set up jump boards for students  

 

Guys: I have posted multiple times that there are no friendly pilates studios in Los Angeles. BUT I FOUND IT ON MY LAST DAY. I have found friendly pilates studios before, but the classes at said studios were never challenging enough. This studio has friendly humans who work there and it was hard as shizzzz.

Like I stated, today's class was a Cardio Pilates Class. I got my hair highlighted this morning so I wasn't trying to get REAL sweaty if you know what I mean. I had been wanting to try Club Pilates for a long time, so I took the risk. I got sweaty. Back dripping sweaty. Dammit, CP.

The class is supposed to be 25 minutes on the jump board and 25 minutes on the reformer doing classic reformer moves. WELL...it was more like 40 minutes of jumping. I love jump board because it's the only way to get a cardio work out while lying on your back. (...mostly the only way...) 

The board attaches to the bottom of the reformer machine. You literally jump in first, second, pilates V, one foot, two foot, every way possible. You lay on your side and then jump with one leg in the air. It must be a comical site. The mailman seemed to enjoy it. You have to keep your core extremely stabilized and your back planted firmly on the reformer. There's a lot to keep in mind. 

Mid jump! 

Mid jump! 

My feet and calves were cramping so so so so hard. I had to stop multiple times and rub it out. I can only imagine what my calves are going to feel and look like tomorrow. I imagine that I'll probably resemble a soccer player. 

The instructors name was Jessica. I loved her vibe. Going on a different level here, but she just had a good energy about her. She was so inviting and friendly. She introduced herself to me, and shook my hand. She asked me if I had ever jump boarded before. I have (but only once). She offered to put the board on the machine for me. Which I was thankful for, those nobs on the machine can be tricky. She came around me and the others the whole class and corrected feet and leg positions. Instruction goes a long way in my book. 

When we weren't jumping, we did spend a bit of the time working our arms and core. We did one move where we held the wood part and pulled the rest of our body by curling into a small ball and rolling up through our back (like a cat/cow). I was doing this wrong, but when corrected, boy did I feel the difference.

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I am satisfied that my original class today didn't pan out- Club Pilates: Hollywood is a studio that I will be returning to whenever I have auditions or take classes with friends in the West Hollywood area. I'm excited to have another reformer studio where I can get the challenge I crave and also where I like the instructor. I have heard wonderful recommendations from friends about CP and they weren't wrong. Looking forward to trying out all the instructors as I continue on my fitness journey.

Check back tomorrow for my month in review!

 

Day 27: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

barre, ClassPass Challenge, Dance, Fitness, pilates, reformer pilatesSkyler ValloComment

I Heart Fitness Xo 

11440 Ventura Blvd, ste, 107, Los Angeles, CA 91604 

 

Reformer Side

Reformer Side

Spring Board side

Spring Board side

I was very curious about what I Heart Fitness XO was all about. It is a very broad name for a fitness place, no? It could very literally mean anything! But then I found out...Half Reformer, Half Barre class you say? Has there ever been a more perfect pairing? 

Side note- it's not actually a lot of barre. When you are on the floor, you are using the springboard for most of your moves. The springboard adds a crazy amount of resistance. It's much more difficult than using handweights.

Carly was my instructor today and she looks like if Malibu Barbie had long perfectly flowing red hair. And of course, it's her natural color. So jeal. She's super sweet and a very understanding instructor. I have taken class for Carly a couple of times and the one vice I have with Carly's class is that she doesn't typically use the reformer machine as much as the other instructors. Today was no exception. We spent a good 40 minutes on the floor. Because I really love reformers pilates, I wish that we used them more- but others may like the floor better so that is just a personal preference. 

My friend, Alexis, whom I was a video vixen with (holla Dierks Bentley!) took class with me today. She posts lots of photos on instragram of her perfect bod so if this class works for her than it should work for almost everyone.

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I need to note that I took the "Basic" level class today. They also have an "Open" class which is the more advanced class. I always try to take the open class, but needed to get into an earlier spot today. Therefore I must judge today's class based on the fact that it was supposed to be easier. I can't let myself forget that! 

Typically, you begin class with a deep leg stretch on the reformer. It felt pretty swell. Carly then instructed us to move to the springboards. We did a lot of yoga moves today! Lot's of downdogs and "yogi abs". We also used the springboard for most of our arm work. It doesn't take long for you to start feeling your triceps burning. Carly said that triceps are the only muscle you can work till exhaustion and they will still function. So, we worked them till exhaustion, of course.

Xo loves mountain climbers. Expect to insert mountain climbers throughout the entire class to keep the heart rate up. Holding planks are also a favorite!

We then moved to the reformer and did more arms! We stood on the back of the reformer and worked triceps and back yet again by using the arm handles. Carly let us know that we could use the hand weights if it got to be too much. They usually give different options for you here. But I am here to work, so let's do this! As I write this review, my upper back between my shoulder blades is QUITE sore. 

 

 

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I love the variety that i heart fitness offers. No class will ever be the same. The instructors teaching styles also vary quite a lot. Some other barre classes can get monotonous so it's refreshing to know that you will never get the same workout twice. I like that you get a little bit of everything here- barre, reformer, and spring broad and it's sure to whip you into shape. 

Day 26: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

Boxing, ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, Group Class, KickboxingSkyler Vallo1 Comment

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 ;) 

 

 

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 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 22: 30 Day ClassPass Challenge

bootcamp, ClassPass Challenge, Fitness, pilates, reformer pilatesSkyler ValloComment

Fitmix Studio  (The Mashup)

601 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036 

http://www.yelp.com/biz/fitmix-studio-los-angeles-3

Located just off Melrose and La Brea

Located just off Melrose and La Brea

 

Yet another Los Angeles hybrid workout- The MashUp at FitMix- features a class of half treadmill and half mega-pilates reformer.

I spent a lot of the week doing shorter workouts (30 minutes); a very tiny part of me was "wanting" to do Barry's Bootcamp, simply for the reason of getting a good ass kicking. I remembered that it was a Holiday weekend and I could drive to West Hollywood with barely any traffic at all. THEN I remembered I had been wanting to try Fitmix since it opened several years ago. 

 

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I was intimidated by the amount of running I would be doing. The thing I like about Barry's Bootcamp is that you trade off every 10-15 minutes from the floor to the treadmill. At Fitmix, you spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes on the reformer. It would be difficult to trade off every 15 minutes with the reformer- so I get why it's done that way. But a full 30 minute run time frightened me. 

And with good reason. It was just as difficult as I was expecting. I spent my Friday evening out with friends, and yes, I drank a little too much. Luckily, I scheduled my workout for 11 am, so I was somewhat recovered by that time. However, not fully recovered. Not running a marathon recovered.

The run was tough. The instructor, Katherine was shouting out some really high numbers to be keeping up with, I'm talking 8,9,10 sprints while having inclines of 4-10. We spent pretty much the whole time doing 90, 60, 30 sprints. During the 90 second sprint we would spend one minute of it on a high incline (8). Then we would get a 30 second rest- let me tell you by the time you get your speed down to a walk it's damn time to run again. During the 60 second sprint we would incline 30 seconds of it at an incline of 4. The 30 second run was all flat, but she expected a speed of 8-10. We did this combo about 7 times. I thought it would never end. 

This was me after the run portion was over. 

Nearly dead.  

Nearly dead.  

The run was about as little fun as a person can have. I think you can tell from the photo how much I had. At least there was a lot of Jay-Z to keep my ears company.  

We then moved to the reformer which I was a little more excited about. We spent the first few mintues with a good leg stretch. We laid on our backs and put the legs in the straps and did a few rounds of circles. This felt so very nice. 

I was a little surprised that we spent the whole time on the reformer working on arms and abs. We did not do one leg exercise besides the stretching. I wondered if this was because our legs were already worked on the treadmill? And by worked, I mean SHREDDED. I wonder if all the instructors focus mainly on arms and abs during the mash up classes. I would have to come back to get a better feel for how all the classes are run.

P.S.-This studio also features Endurance pilates classes. 

One slightly negative thing I have to say- and this is kind of a general statement about pilates places in general. They aren't the most friendly environments. The instructor, held a very challenging and tough class. If this is all you care about, then Fitmix is the spot for you. However, this is not the place to be coddled. We got right into the workout, and it was business the entire time. I wished that Katherine had introduced herself to the new students. I think it's a nice touch that makes first-timers feel welcome. I spoke with Katherine at the end of class and she was really nice! I liked that she wasn't super annoyingly peppy during the class either. That can be a workout buzzkill for me. But again, an introduction at the beginning of class or to the class in general would have been appreciated.

We did a KILLER move on the reformer today. It's called the "Angel" and it's truly anything but angelic. 

 

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When doing the angel you are leaning slightly back with the straps at a fairly heavy weight. When you bring your arms out you also lift your legs at a 45 degree angle. I am fairly advanced at Pilates at this move kicked my booty. It challenges every part of your body and I was wobbly trying to keep my feet in the air. This move should be incorporated into every class and I can't believe this was one of the first times I had done it! 

This studio would be difficult for me to get to on a normal workday with the traffic pattern but if you live in the West Hollywood area I would recommend that you check it out if you are looking for an intense work out. This is not for the faint of heart. I would rank it in the top 5 most difficult classes I have taken thus far. I got my wish- I got the kick ass workout I wanted today. That alcohol is way out of my system after my class at Fitmix! 

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 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!