CLASS PASS SERIES: Combination Classes Rule!

When it comes to workouts, I think I have done it all…seriously! Everything from Crossfit to Pilates, to HIIT training workouts to hot yoga, to spin class, dance class, boxing…you name it I have tried it! While I do love many of the classes I have tried, at some point you get bored and it is time to mix things up.

Well, some of the programs out there are literally mixing things up by having combination classes. What that means is that an hour long workout class is not dedicated to ONE but TWO different workouts. Studio Elevate Los Angeles in Culver City does a class like this called Reform and Ride, where it is half Pilates with a reformer and half spin class…and now I found Evolution Fitness, which is located in Culver City on the border of Playa Del Rey.

IMG_8613

This fitness center is partially a physical therapy clinic, with adjustment tables located on one side of the facility and class area/equipment taking up most of the rest of the room. There are personal trainers there who take clients one on one, indoor cycling classes, circuit training classes and TRX classes. TRX is a suspension trainer, which is a portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete various exercises. A person can do anything from jumping lunges, bicep curls and  planks using the TRX. It makes the exercises much more challenging, in my opinion.

Evolution Fitness offers a class called Sunset Cycle/TRX mash-up, which is a class with 25 minutes of indoor spin/cycle, and 25 minutes of TRX training. The spin part was relatively unchallenging for me, but being that I have done a million spin classes at this point in my life, that is to be expected. I like the fact that one of the walls rolls up in the building so you get fresh air while doing your workouts. Sometimes spin classes are so hot and crowded! This class was not.

IMG_8614

After the spin, each member is guided over the TRX equipment for 25 minutes of training. We did everything from rows and curls to planks and pull-ups. This was definitely the more challenging part of the workout for me, utilizing my core stability, which is something I am working on and getting better at (thanks to pilates with the reformer!!). It was also nice that the last few minutes of this class were dedicated to cooling down and the instructor had us get out foam rollers and stretch.

I highly recommend trying a combination workout class, you get the best of both worlds!

By the way, Evolution Fitness has a parking lot down the street from the facility that is ONLY for members to use, which is a nice benefit so you don’t have to go crazy looking for parking. They have bathrooms onsite but no shower.

EVOLUTION FITNESS

6826 South Centinela Avenue

Culver City, CA 90230

CLASS PASS SERIES: HIIT On Melrose Avenue…

I was supposed to work this giant event in San Diego today that got canceled, so I had some extra time on my hands and decided to try a class from a place I never heard of that wasn’t located in my immediate vicinity.

This place is called the Phoenix Effect and it is located on Melrose Avenue. This snazzy little boutique gym is in the heart of what used to be a popular shopping area. Parking is rather tricky, as they only have two tandem spots in the back. Your best bet is to park at a meter on the street and pay.

IMG_8520

The gym has an open front greeting area where you will sign in with their friendly front door receptionists, who are super nice and informative about what you will expect in the class you take, where the bathrooms are and they will also give you a towel for your workout if you ask for one.

The actual gym itself is one room. It is not that big, but they have it set up so you can get your workout in efficiently. I really dug the incline wall they have in the back with the rope…alas, it was not used in the today’s workout.

FullSizeRender

The gym has several different classes-Burn, Fire, Lift, Fix and Funk. I took the Burn class, which is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) class. As you know from my experiences at Burn 60, Circuit Works and Sweat Garage, I love these super fat burning workouts. I do believe over time combined with the right nutrition, they can help sculpt your body and improve your overall athletic conditioning. The other classes can be found here.

IMG_8522

There are no treadmills for this program. It is 10 different stations ranging from butterfly sit-ups to kettle bell swings. Each station you spend 45 seconds doing your maximum effort of whatever the exercise at that station is. Then you get a 15 second rest, then you do a second set of the same exercise. You rotate through all 10 exercises like this. Then you do a second rotation, but this time it is for 35 seconds with a 15 second rest. Sounds like a lot? It is!! You will be sweating by the end of this class, no doubt.

The gym has a bathroom and cubby holes for your belongings in the back of the room. No showers are available. They also like to take a group picture at the end…but no one harasses you if you want to avoid this, which I did.

THE PHOENIX EFFECT

7264 Melrose Avenue 

Los Angeles, CA 90046

CLASS PASS SERIES: Megaformer Pilates…A Lesson In Discipline For Me!

Ever since I can remember, exercise for me has been about large movements. Long runs, steep hills, intense stair climbs…if it was intense, I was doing it. Of course, this meant with time, I was always overdoing it, always tired and almost always in pain.

On one of my many beach runs I had parked by this adorable workout studio tucked into the Marina. I saw a super fit instructor yelling at a group of people in a pink room full of contraptions that honestly, before I knew what they were, looked like medieval torture devices used to stretch people to death. I kept hearing people talk about how great the workout was, and when a deal came up to try a few classes, I decided to jump onboard. I cannot even begin to tell you how much that decision changed the way I look at fitness forever.

IMG_8406

So a little more about this place…The Studio MDR is a boutique Pilates studio with two locations. One is in Marina Del Rey a few short blocks from the water on Washington Boulevard. The second one is on the other side of Lincoln going east on Washington and is considered in Culver City.

The outside of the studio is wall to wall window, with the logo imprinted over the building, so it is not too difficult to find. The inside of the studio…what can I say? It is adorable! It is very girly and unique, filled with the latest in trendy workout gear, water bottles and toe socks (socks you wear when using the Pilates reformers). The room is saturated in bright pink, white and silver hues. They keep it super clean and smelling fresh, which is a definite bonus. The staff are very friendly and attentive. The music is always great…upbeat and fun.

IMG_8405

IMG_8407

So you see, this Pilates class is not exactly traditional. This machine is what we call a Megaformer. Basically, that is a 10 foot long, 250 pound Pilates machine on steroids. So if you think Pilates classes are easy, this class will make you and ANYONE you know, think again. The workout targets many different smaller muscles from various angles. It is designed to develop core strength and muscular endurance, burning calories and working smaller muscles to fatigue with higher repetitions. Each movement lasts about 60 seconds and there are typically close to 60 movements in a class. This is a high energy class atmosphere so prepare to work and feel the burn…for days after…SERIOUSLY!!

I would recommend this workout only to people with at least a baseline level of fitness. I don’t think a fitness newbie would be quite ready for this. I would say to start out with a regular Pilates class with the regular machines first a few times.

I now see how a slower, small muscle focused workout can produce even greater results than some of the longer, faster more intense workouts. I still get very sweaty and out of breath taking this class, but don’t experience the joint and muscle pain I often do from long runs. It is a great way to switch it up and get different physical and mental results.

There is a bathroom and water fountain, but no showers. There is metered parking in front and free street parking all along Glencoe, just be sure to read the signs!

 

THE STUDIO MDR EAST

13357 W. Washington Boulevard

Venice, CA 90066

 

CLASS PASS SERIES: Cycle And Pilates In ONE Class? Why Not?

Hey there friends,

Sorry it has been awhile. I have been a little torn on whether or not to write as much here on my website, because I find more people checking out my Instagram and paying attention to pictures over the writing here…however, I do enjoy writing and perhaps it would be good to keep a balance here…right?

So I joined this crazy phenomenon known as Class Pass last month. For those of you who don’t know, Class Pass is a HUGE network of fitness studios across the country that offer their classes on an all access pass to anyone who is willing to pay 99 dollars a month for the membership. I had been hesitant, because I have my specific things I enjoy doing. However, more recently I found myself with a little more free time and a little more desire to try some of the more expensive workout programs around town. When I realized I could access these classes with Class Pass, I decided I would give it a shot for a month. Needless to say…I am hooked. I suppose if I had a rigid schedule, this sort of thing would NOT work for me, but I don’t and it does.

Anyhow, I have tried a variety of really cool classes and it would probably be helpful to the readers of my blog to hear a little more detail about some of these classes. Who knows, some of you might decide to try the pass yourselves!

This morning I took a gamble. I didn’t leave myself enough time to book one of the more popular classes I had thought about taking, so I saw there was a studio not super far from me called Elevate LA. They had a 9am class called Reform and Ride. 20 minutes on the Pilates reformer and 30 minutes on a spin bike. Sounds kinda cool, right? So I decided to book it.

IMG_8366

I got there in plenty of time, on a Sunday, heading down Washington Boulevard at 830am towards the ocean, you are pretty much in the clear. The studio is right off of Washington and Centinela…but make sure you note the building number. The area is known for multiple incognito buildings that look like nothing is in them…and this is one of them!

Inside, however, is another story. This boutique studio is brand new, only about 3 weeks old. The studio is clean with all new equipment and super organized. They have spin shoes for you if you do not own your own. The instructors are very friendly and are happy to help you get your bike and reformer set up before class starts.

IMG_8367

My class started with the pilates segment. I do think the class could be one hour instead of 50 minutes as to accommodate 30 minutes of pilates and 30 minutes of cycle, but that is the only thing I would change. The pilates moves we did were quick and tough and the cycle segment, taught by a different instructor, was fast pace, involving lots of sprints and jumps on the bike. Needless to say, I was sweating when the workout commenced.

Also noted…ample free parking in the back of the building. This may not matter on a Sunday, but during the week, it would be a must!!

STUDIO ELEVATE LA

12462 W. Washington Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90066