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: Indoor Boot Camps Are Not Like Standard Gyms!

Walking into a standard gym is like walking into…a McDonald’s (not the best reference, I know!). Everything is very formulaic. The treadmills are all in one area. The bikes, the elliptical trainers, etc. The weight training equipment has its own area (or floor in some gyms) and then there is an area for stretching. When I walk into an L.A Fitness or a 24 Hour Fitness, or any other standard gym, this is what I typically find.

What is nice about boutique gyms is when you walk in, usually you can immediately tell what they specialize in. For example, when I walked into Real Fitness in Playa Del Rey, the way the gym is set up is anything but standard. I was excited to try what looked like an indoor boot camp. There were different stations set up with ropes, tires, and different types of weights.

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First and foremost, the instructor had us all do a bunch of stretching exercises, which is great, considering I rarely stretch extensively before a workout class. Then he split us up into groups of two. There were six stations with 2 exercises at each station. Each group of two had to go to each station and do each exercise for 50 seconds. Then we went around and repeated each station a second time. Sounds easy, right?

The instructor for this particular class, called Weekend Warrior, is very hands on and went around during exercises trying to make sure my form was correct. It was nice to see how passionate he is about making sure people are doing the exercises correctly and getting the most benefit from the workout. However, considering I am on Class Pass and am not planning to come back to this class soon, it got a little annoying getting lectured when you only had 50 seconds to do each exercise. By the time he would stop explaining, I would have 20 seconds left to actually do the exercise the way he explained it. It was a nice gesture though.

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The exercises ranged from one handed farmer carries, which is where you carry a heavy weight from one side of a room to the other (like you are carrying a heavy piece of luggage), to tire swings, to step ups to planks on an exercise ball. Some were definitely more challenging than others. At the end of the two sets, you and your partner are given some abdominal work to complete the routine. Overall, this was a tough workout with lots of different equipment used to challenge me. I would definitely go back and try a different class. Some of the other classes held at Real Fitness include boxing and metabolic circuit training.

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This class is located on the corner of Pershing and Manchester. The parking is extremely limited ( like 2-3 spaces for the gym), so look for street parking beforehand. There are bathrooms onsite but no shower.

REAL FITNESS
8367 Manchester Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90293

CLASS PASS SERIES: Words Can Be Decieving…

When looking for new classes to try on Class Pass, every class has a CATEGORY and an ABOUT section. The category will usually tell you if the class is based around strength training, cycling, pilates, yoga, etc. In the about section, there will usually be a brief description about what the class entails. For example, if a class is going to be a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, it will tell you that in the description, usually along with the type of equipment the class will use (treadmills, rowers, kettle bells, etc).

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So when I saw a new gym in my immediate area had joined Class Pass and was offering what sounded like some cool classes I was eager to try it. A class this morning called POUND started at 7am. The category is pilates and strength training. The about section says “produce sleek, toned bodies using strength, core stability and endurance training.” Sounds enticing for someone who wants to get in a good workout, right?

I get to the gym at 6:50am. The first thing that sets me off is that the gym is on the corner of Robertson Place right before the freeway off and on ramp and has terrible parking. If you don’t know exactly where you are going, be prepared to go around the block again…and even if you do know where you are going, prepare for their to be no parking…or pray to park in front or behind someone who is taking the same class as you are.

The inside of the gym is cool. Hayden Gym probably has just about everything you could ask for. At least one or two of every kind of gym equipment. There are rowers, rings, treadmills, bosu balls, punching bags, free weights…you name it, it’s there. The gym has a very…gym like smell, and it permeates every inch of the facility, including the mats we used for the class. It would be nice if they cleaned those mats…it didn’t seem like that is a thing that happens here.

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So, about this class. POUND…in my opinion, and based upon the class description, would make me think there was strength training with weights, or something along those lines. It would NOT make me think I would be given neon green plastic drum sticks to POUND on the ground as part of a workout. Yes, that is what happened.

Don’t get me wrong. This was not a completely worthless workout. I did sweat and I did learn some new drumstick techniques, but I feel like the description is false advertising, and anyone who was looking for a hard core workout would be very disappointed by this. This is definitely a class for people who are relatively new to fitness. I don’t consider pounding drumsticks in various fitness positions a workout I would spend 40 minutes doing, but it is something others might really enjoy. I actually ended up back at the gym and ran on the treadmill for a bit after this class. Cool idea, Hayden Gym, but maybe in the ABOUT section you should re-vamp the description of this class to include the plastic drumstick usage.

For the record, this gym does have HIIT workouts and boxing…which I WILL be trying next time (they have their own boxing ring). There are cubby holes for your personal belongings and a bathroom but no shower.

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HAYDEN GYM

3390 Robertson Place

Los Angeles, CA 90034

CLASS PASS SERIES: Speedplay…HIIT On The Penthouse Floor…No Joke!

Ok everyone, I think I might have just taken one of my new favorite HIIT classes (for those just joining in, HIIT=High Intensity Interval Workout) ever. Why, you ask? The main reason is THIS.

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You see, this program, called Speedplay, used to just be located in downtown Los Angeles. But they added a location at this building on the corner of Wilshire and La Cienega and it is the coolest location EVER. It is the penthouse, and the gym takes up it’s entirety. So you walk in, and there is all this great, brand new equipment, but then there is fake astro turf and a track going around the ROOF and you can see ALL of Los Angeles. I wanted to take more pictures, but I actually had to focus on the workout at some point. The location of this workout makes it. One hundred percent. I would tell anyone to try this class just once at least for the view.

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So other than that, in this interval training workout there are 4 stations. You warm up and then start with one of them. There are Woodway treadmills, which seem to be uniform in every new state of the art HIIT studio nowadays, where you will do a walk, jog and sprint. There are state of the art rowers for developing core power and leg strength. Then there is an indoor station that involves weighted exercises such as squat thrusters and lunges, using whatever weights you desire. Last, there is an outdoor station with a BOSU ball where you will practice stability exercises like planks and sit-ups and even a few burpees. I am fairly sure these stations change from workout to workout, but that was my experience.

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Each station had different timing elements. The treadmills went 30 seconds in each mode for 3 rounds. The rowers did the same. Then in the indoor weighted section we did three exercises for one minute each, 2 sets. The outdoor exercises were the same, 3 exercises, 1 minute each, 2 sets. We rotated through each station twice. I can definitely say by the end of this class, you will be dripping in sweat…but at least you can step outside to cool off and have an amazing view!

 

There are bathrooms and lockers for men and women with showers included. The worst part about this location is they haven’t figured out the parking situation so you have to either pray you find a meter or drive over to the Beverly Hills Tennis Court lots, which will give you about a 10 minute walk to the building where Speedplay is located. This is no big deal, just be sure to allow yourself enough time to get to the class if you end up parking there.

SPEEDPLAY-BEVERLY HILLS

8500 Wilshire Blvd. 

Penthouse

Beverly Hills, CA 90211