CLASS PASS SERIES-Supraformer, Megaformer’s Daddy, Arrives!!

I was just looking at my last blog post and it was at the end of November….whoops! Sorry everyone! Besides the holidays getting in the way, I also fell in love and traveled to Europe…so, now I am back! I will try to blog more frequently.

When I got back from my European travels last week (Spain, Morocco and Portugal…I suppose I should do a blog on the food…that will be next!) I restarted my Class Pass membership to find that there were quite a few new classes added. There are so many that I want to try, so this will make for a few good blogs over the next few weeks.

First up, I saw a blog writer friend of mine post a picture of her visit to Lagree Fitness. This studio is new and is the first in Los Angeles to offer classes with the Supraformer.

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SO WHAT IS THE SUPRAFORMER, you might ask? You might not even know what a megaformer is, so let me give you a little background. The megaformer, used in pilates classes such as The Studio MDR (personal favorite) Carrie’s Pilates Plus and Pilates Plus in Encino, is designed to develop core strength and muscular resistance even more so than the traditional reformer, with a more amped up pace and high energy atmosphere. Classes focus on time, not reps, and each move in a class typically lasts for 60 seconds and is said to recruit over 600 muscles at once. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it can be. I have done it many times and have become addicted to the results.

Of course, being addicted to the megaformer classes, I wanted to try out the Supraformer. This is essentially the daddy to the Megaformer, the third generation of exercise equipment developed for Lagree Fitness. This machine does everything the Megaformer does, plus it has a computerized system the trainer for the class monitors that can make the machine move up and down or tilt side to side. That is the best way to describe it. If you want to see a video of how it works, click here.

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This class is meant to be so effective that a session is only 25 minutes. I had some time yesterday and decided to try the class. It is in West Los Angeles near the Beverly Center in a new apartment complex, which has parking, so that is a nice perk. When you walk into Lagree Fitness, you are immediately in the workout area, and if you head to the back of the room, there is a door where there are bathrooms and a check in room with lockers. I was checked in and told I could store my things in a locker or out in the main room. I then hung out in the main room. When class was about to start I picked out a supra former at the end of the room in front of a mirror so I could make sure I was doing the work out correctly. The teacher was a cute perky Asian female who dutifully went around and turned on all our machines.

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So here is the deal, while this may be a great workout, the fact that all of the supraformer’s movement is controlled by the teacher is weird to me. Because, say this is your first time (EVER!!) on a reformer at all and you don’t know what you are doing and all of a sudden the machine starts tilting off to the side? Good thing for me I have taken megaformer classes so I knew the general movements, but still, since the program is new, I felt like ” going thru the motions” was less appropriate for the class and she could have been a little more hands on.

I also was not a fan of the pretentious, know it all, Hollywood vibe of the class, but I guess that’s the way it is in a cutting edge workout class sometimes? After this class, I went and did something else active…because, 25 minutes, while it’s not an easy workout, if you don’t really know what you are doing, it isn’t as fatiguing as I expected it to be. Getting into a position and suddenly having the machine start tilting to the side just feels odd, and I prefer the regular Megaformer any day. That being said, someone else may love this, and I recommend trying it if you have not and are on ClassPass.

LAGREE FITNESS

375 N. La Cienaga Blvd. Suite 1

Los Angeles, Ca 90048

 

 

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