CLASS PASS SERIES-Finding Your Fit, Finding Your Energy

It has been a crazy few weeks of health screenings all over Southern California (and Northern California!) and I was finally able to get around to some new studios this past week. Monday I was working an event in Sylmar, deep in the San Fernando Valley, and I wanted to find a place to get in a workout that wasn’t super far from the event. I clearly do not know my way around the valley, because I picked a place in Woodland Hills, which while in the valley, is about 20 miles northeast of Sylmar. It ended up being an easy commute and a great workout, to say the least.

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Finergy Cross Training Gym is a BRAND NEW facility. When I say brand new, I mean,the gym is about a month old and all of the equipment is still bright and shiny. They have a room for cycle with the NEWEST Schwinn AC Performance Plus spin bikes. They have a room just for yoga and last but certainly not least, they have a room with TRX suspension trainer stations, PRO Boxing Equipment, and all of the latest equipment for indoor or outdoor bootcamp sessions (jump ropes, kettle bells, step ups, ladders, etc). They do have a VERY small parking lot in the back, but depending on when you are taking a class, you might be better off parking at a meter in the front of the building. They do also have showers and changing rooms equipped with towels, shampoo, conditioner, hairdryers and lotions. It feels like your bathroom at home, no joke.

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But anyways, about the workout. I got very lucky and was signed up for an 8am bootcamp with a trainer named Amy, who was very friendly, lively…and kicked my butt. Because this gym is new, word has not caught on about it, and I was the only one in class, so I basically got a private training session. We did one minute intervals of TRX movements. Step-ups with squats, chest presses, squats while slamming down heavy ropes, and a few other moves that were definitely challenging. I enjoyed being pushed with a variety of moves, which Amy said is normal for her to do with her bootcamp classes.

The vibe here is very friendly, and they are eager to gain new clientele, so if you happen to live in this area or are nearby for work, etc…stop in and try a class.

FINERGY CROSS TRAIN

22522 Ventura Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 91364

 

 

CLASS PASS SERIES- CrossFit Elements With A Cardio Kick

You probably wouldn’t ever know it was there if you didn’t a)take a walking tour of the neighborhood and casually stroll by on your way to Brick and Mortar or b) look it up on ClassPass, but located in the back corner of the Edgemar building on Main Street in Venice is CrossFit Santa Monica. It looks boutique-ish, but be warned, your a** is about to get kicked.

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I stumbled upon this place when I was working an event in the area and wanted somewhere to workout around 430pm. Believe it or not, depending on where you are, there are not a lot of open classes last minute near that time…but this one was, and they were doing a class called Cardio-Fit, which is supposed to be more about repetition and less about super heavy weights.

The first thing I have to say about this gym is although it is small, everything is stacked in its place, which is nice. Most of these boutique spots do pride themselves on having the members put away whatever they use after class. Secondly…the men are hot in this class (sorry guys who read this, just being honest). And many of them take their shirts off, so at least you get some eye candy while you are dying on the pull-up bar.

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Most importantly is the workout, and I have to say, this is not for everybody. The workout for our Cardio-fit class consisted of a short warm up and stretch period followed by 5 different exercises. The first (and I cannot remember the exact name for it) was a push press type of movement with a barbell. The second was getting on the rowing machine. The third was box jumps, where you jump and land with both feet on the top of a box that is is a few feet tall, many times. The fourth was wall balls, where you take a ball that is anywhere from 10-20 pounds and squat and throw it up against the wall, then catch it. The fifth movement was a sumo style squat with a kettle bell in your hand. Now here was the catch…this was timed, and the first round started with 42 REPS of each exercise. YES. 42. The second round was 30 and the third round was 18…if you made it there, as this was a timed event, about 35 minutes. In your mind, you think, yea, that is enough time to get throughout the whole thing…yea…no. If you are a seasoned cross fitter, perhaps this is nothing to you, but to me, while I consider myself somewhat of an athlete, I only made it to the first exercise on the sets of 18 reps round. Phew!

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I highly recommend this place to people who enjoy Cross Fit, or just high intense shorter workouts. The people are all super nice and happy to make modifications on exercises if, say you need to kneel during pushups or just step up and down on box jumps because you have a bad knee, etc.

They have bathrooms and a shower. You can park in the Edgemar parking lot and they will validate your car for 2 hours, which is a nice perk, given the area is right by Urth Cafe and gets extremely crowded.

CROSSFIT SANTA MONICA

2433 Main Street

Santa Monica, CA 90405

CLASS PASS SERIES: More Combination Classes!

Hey there folks,

My apologies for going MIA, I have been pretty busy the past few weeks doing nutrition clinics and just didn’t make the time to write about some of my very cool new workout experiences. I apologize and will try not to keep you waiting so long in the future!

There are so many amazing workout studios in and around Los Angeles and I have been fortunate to attend many amazing classes that if I had any other type of schedule would not be possible.

Recently I attended a class at 1045am on a Friday. Most people are in the throes of work during this time, but fortunately for me, I had worked a few events earlier in the week and had Friday completely opened, so when I saw a studio I had never been to with a class that I had never taken that sounded intriguing to me in Marina Del Rey, one of my favorite areas in Los Angeles, I jumped on the opportunity to take it.

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The class I took was a TRX and boxing combination class at a cute boutique studio called Studio U. This studio is small, but has Pilates reformers set up in the front room and in the back room, which is a bigger room, classes are conducted that range from TRX to boxing to yoga, plus dance classes like hip hop and salsa.

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I was excited for a hardcore workout, because TRX can be very difficult. TRX is a portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete hundreds of exercises mainly involving core stability. So this class was set to combine 30 minutes of TRX based exercises with 30 minutes of a boxing circuit. I own boxing gloves and brought them with me, so I was prepared.

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The class was fun and there were only 5 women other than myself it in. The trainer was a sweet woman and there was a lot of intermittent chit-chat, which to be honest, I prefer to workout during my workout and chat later, but the slower pace wasn’t a bad thing necessarily. TRX is not something I normal do, so it was nice to go over some of the basic movements, rows and planks with the TRX bands around your ankles are some of the movements we did.

The boxing portion consisted of three bags places in the middle of the room and we rotated in a circuit, One bag we would punch fast, the next we would do a punch and jab movement, the third station was freestyle with the teacher of the class commanding a variety of punches directed at her mitts, and the fourth bag was another series of punches and jabs. I have taken classes that were more technical and more difficult, but it was fun and I did work up a little sweat.

This gym is definitely more specialized, so if you like classes where you will have less people in your space and more attention is centered around YOU (hence Studio U!!!) this is the place to be. I also apologize for the pictures of the room where the boxing and TRX took place, they came out darker than expected, but another class was entering right after mine so I didn’t get a chance to take more!

Parking is on the street (Washington) and there are definitely one and two hour parking spaces open for the morning classes.

STUDIO U

760 Washington Blvd.

Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

 

Cryotherapy–Why Hanging Out In A Cold Sauna Isn’t A Bad Thing

This morning I woke up feeling groggy. That doesn’t happen to me often, but after two nights of eating junk and being out late, I had a tough time getting out of bed for a 9am workout class at Studio Elevate in Culver City.

Long story short, I made it to the class but afterward I noticed the shop next door was opened, and I had seen pictures of it on Instagram and wanted to see exactly what was inside.

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This place is called Cold and Thirsty. It is actually an organic cold pressed juicery that NOT ONLY offers juice. They offer something unique (there is only one other place in Los Angeles that currently has this!) called WHOLE BODY CRYOTHERAPY.

So what is this cryotherapy?

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It is a cold sauna in which the chamber is filled with liquid nitrogen that reaches frigid temperatures nearing -250 degrees fahrenheit. It is supposed to have incredible anti-aging properties and helps decrease inflammation after workouts. It also has benefits for weight loss and chronic joint disorders and is said to be able to decrease injury recovery time by 50%. Sounds cool, right? Well it is…VERY COOL. So cool I decided to try it.

So how does this thing work?

Once a person is in the Cryo-chamber, your bodies skin receptors send a message to your brain that you’re freezing. The body reacts by rushing all the blood in to protect your vital organs. In doing so the blood is detoxified and oxygenated. The body then sends a map of your central nervous system to the brain. Once you step out of the machine and begin acclimating to the normal temperatures, the blood rushes back out and the body focuses on healing the problematic areas. One session is supposed to be good, but ideally, a person would want to come back multiple times to really see progress in skin tightening and inflammation issues.

So in deciding to try a session, I was lead to the back area where the Cryo-chamber is held. The facility has two changing areas where you disrobe and they give you a robe, special socks and gloves to wear in the chamber and these yellow rubber boots to put on your feet. Sexy, huh? No, but you want to keep these specific areas of your body protected in the chamber. You have to make sure your body is completely dry, so while it is good to have this procedure after a workout, make sure you have wiped sweat from your body before you go in the chamber.

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When I got into the chamber, I was immediately raised to the top where my head was sticking out. I was told to take off the robe and hand it over the top to the person monitoring the chamber. Then the session began. It is said to start with 2 minutes for your first session and work your way up to 3 minutes. One might think a temperature of under 250 degrees would be brutal. I am not going to deny that it is cold, but it feels refreshing and invigorating. I was reminded of being a kid and going to Halloween parties where the parents would have bowls with the liquid nitrogen ice cubes that looked like smoke was coming out of them…so I was technically inside one of those. Although I wasn’t standing on ice…kind of crazy!

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Two minutes is up before you know it. The chamber is turned off, you are lowered back to the ground and handed your robe in a matter of seconds. Then I went back into my dressing room and put my clothes back on.

How did I feel after? My legs took the longest to thaw out, but I have been having a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders and it does feel somewhat alleviated, which is nice. An hour later, I still feel refreshed. The owner of the shop said the initial feeling should last 2-3 days. They do recommend coming frequently and have different packages you can purchase.

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Overall it was a very cool (literally) and unique experience! You can find more information about Cold and Thirsty here.