CLASS PASS SERIES-A New Gym Fights Its Way In…

Lately I have gotten into a routine with a lot of my workout classes, so when I saw a new batch of gyms recently joined the Class Pass roster, I was excited to try a few new places.

The first class on my list is a brand new gym near the Grove mall off of Fairfax called Fight Bike. Visitors be warned, it is all street parking if you want to come before 6pm. It is possible to find parking in the residential areas surrounding the building, but make sure you READ THE SIGNS. Otherwise, the owner said that after 7pm the lot behind the gym is free.

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So what is Fight Bike? This is generally a circuit training class, but the difference is one of the main rotations is a few rounds on an ASSAULT bike. I would say it looks a little bit like a spin bike and an elliptical trainer had a baby, but then, its not really like that at all. It runs against a fan and incorporates both arms and legs at the same time. However, it is also considered low impact so you won’t hurt your joints using it. It is supposed to keep your cardio up as well and help you torch calories during your workout.

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IMG_9451There is an array of exercises done during this class. They use a “time to work” ratio workout system, which means you complete a designated number of reps of a given exercise in a certain amount of time. For example, during my workout, when we were on the floor, we had one minute to do 12-15 pushups, one minute to do 12-15 dips, and one minute to do 3-5 pull-ups…of course, that was just one segment of exercise.

This class also has three different paths you can go down. These all still involve using the ASSAULT bike, but the paths are either Lean, Mean or Machine. The Lean path will give you higher reps with lighter weights. Mean uses heavier weights and fewer reps, and Machine uses heavy weights with more difficult variations and NO BREAKS in between. I chose the Lean path…and was very happy I did.

IMG_9454This class is a lot of fun and challenging. The ASSAULT bike makes it different, and the owners are very friendly and hands on…going over the equipment and class structure before the workout and making sure your form is correct.

You will definitely work up a sweat in this class. But you will have to shower at home, because there are no showers here. There are cubby holes to put your belongings in and there is a water fountain to fill your bottles…trust me, you may need it!

FIGHT BIKE

423 S. Fairfax Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90036

CLASS PASS SERIES-The “Premiere” Of Your New Self!

I have taken almost 100 classes on ClassPass, so by now I feel like I have most of my favorite types of workouts and places to do them picked out. However, every so often a new one will catch my eye and bring something different and exciting to the table. I love HIIT (high intensity  interval training) and I love spin classes, so if I see an opportunity to do both in one workout I am definitely interested in trying it.

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Vie2 Cycling is located in Santa Monica off Olympic and 19th Street. It is at the end of a dead end road and they have a bright sign and banners out front so you can’t really miss it. You can either hope to snag one of the very few parking spots located in the area, or you can park on the street. I was able to grab a space right in front of the studio.

There is a large banner in walkway entrance that resembles something you might see in front of a red carpet premiere. Although the studio is new, and I was told the banner is just a temporary decoration, I like to think of the banner as “entering the premiere of your new self”, making those who enter the studio feel excited about the start of a new workout, a new opportunity to become more fit and healthy.

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The cycle room displays three large screens that have a short inspirational message playing on repeat until the class starts. The bikes are all new and your number is periodically displayed on one of the screens during the class so you can see where you stand with other members in the class. For someone like me, who can be competitive, this is a good thing, because it pushes me to pedal harder than I might normally pedal. At the end of the spin class, someone comes in the room with cold wet towels that have been doused in eucalyptus oil. If you haven’t experienced this sort of luxury before, let me tell you, it is quite refreshing to wipe one of these over your face after a sweaty and intense workout.

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The class I took was called HIITCycle, so it was about an hour where half of the class was on a spin bike and then for the other half we went outside, where mats were laid out for each of us. And we completed 2 rounds of 10 exercises at one minutes a piece. The exercises included mountain climbers, burpees, planks, pushups, and high knees, to name a few. I loved the HIIT part, because spin is great, but it can get monotonous, and the HIIT cycle really broke that up and kind of shocked my body after a weekend of not working out.

Vie2 Cycling also has bathrooms, showers and lockers on its premises. I brought my spin shoes but they will give you shoes to borrow if you don’t own a pair.

VIE2 CYCLING

1708 19th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90404

 

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

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.