I have driven past this busy intersection of Melrose and La Cienega probably a thousand times, and never once would I guess there was a pilates studio inside. The windows are blacked out, so that would be part of the reason why! Also, I don’t live in West Hollywood, so I wouldn’t typically be inclined to look for places to workout while driving in the area.
But I am glad I found Carrie’s Pilates Plus, which is considered a combination of strength training and Pilates in one 60 minute session. It is essentially the same sort of workout as The Studio MDR in Marina Del Rey and Culver City, except it is on the other side of town. The workout space is a lot bigger…actually enormous! There are double the amount of Megaformers (Pilates reformers on steroids, essentially) in the room so that means there are more opportunities to get into one of these classes.
There is a little room in the front of the studio where you can check in with the receptionist, who sets the tone for the vibe of the studio in sexy heels and tight clothing. There is also a bathroom in the front room. There are no showers to my knowledge. The studio is very clean and like most Pilates studios I have been to, you must clean off your own equipment after the workout.
So…let’s talk about instructors. I have heard about Pilates instructors who walk around the room screaming at the class participants who aren’t using the correct form in their movements, but I have never actually experienced this phenomena. My luck of the draw today (although he didn’t scream at me, just kept picking on me!) The instructor I had at Carrie’s Pilates Plus was the first male I have ever encountered in a Pilates class. Maybe it was because he hadn’t seen me in the class before, but I felt like he was underneath me the entire time, making me squat lower, moving my leg in different uncomfortable directions until I was shaking like my own personal earthquake. It was a good thing he reprimanded me, because I wasn’t doing some of the movements correctly, but also very intimidating!
This is how the class works, you are supposed to work these smaller muscles in smaller movements that strengthen, lengthen and tone and essentially, if you do this enough, can reshape the body. If your body is not used to these movements, you will shake…a lot. It is supposed to be a good thing, but when you are in a room with seasoned Pilates Megaformer users…it can be quite daunting. This is the workout du jour in Los Angeles right now, from what I have seen. The movements are rapid and non-stop, like push-ups and lunges using the Megaformer so it takes the pressure off of your joints and spine. Although you are not running around, you will be sweating at the end…and shaking. I am still shaking hours later as I write this blog.
Oh yes…parking. Parking over here is not fun. More than likely you will want to grab a meter wherever you can and pay for an hour or so of parking. You can also park underneath the building for 2 dollars for an hour, but I didn’t like the vibe I got from the attendants there, so I found something on the street. If you go on Sundays though…you can park for free.
CARRIE’S PILATES PLUS
8500 Melrose Place
West Hollywood, CA 90069