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- Jumping For Your Health!

When I went to the IDEA Expo last summer in Los Angeles, there were a myriad of fun and unique new exercise programs being exhibited. Some programs had very complicated equipment that would be only be okay if someone is there guiding your every move. There were a few programs that stuck out in my mind, and one involved a young group of exercise professionals demonstrating a workout program using your own personal trampoline with a handlebar attached to it. They let a few of us play around on them a bit and I found myself quite out of breath after just a few minutes. I remembered asking them if they had classes in Los Angeles and at the time they did not. Then, I found myself playing around on my ClassPass phone app the other day and came across Jumping Fitness, which appeared to be their program. I went and looked at their website and sure enough, it was them! I booked the class immediately.

Jumping Fitness is located in Redondo Beach. If you don’t know the area, you would be wise to map the location because the building is difficult to pin down from the outside. There is a parking lot behind the facility that has a two hour free parking limit, which is convenient.

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Jumping is a workout that was formulated in the Czech Republic about 13 years ago by two aerobics/spinning instructors who were bored with their workouts and wanted something that would still be an effective workout that would strengthen the body and mind but still be a lot of fun. The basis of the program is a combination of different types of jumps, some fast and some slow, some low, squat type jumps and some higher jumps. This workout is said to be three times more effective than jogging.

IMG_9613The actual facility is small and consists of one room and about 12 personal trampolines with a handle bar attached to the base. At first I wasn’t sure what the point of the handle bar is, but for some moves it is great because you can use it for some core moves and in creating more power in your jumps when necessary.

Because this facility is new, there were only three people in the class today. The classes are an hour long, and trust me you will sweat like crazy. Our instructor, Jakub, was super friendly and made the class very challenging. The music is definitely energy-centric, like you are in a European discotheque…but on a trampoline in the daytime.

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We did a bunch of different jumping exercises and we also did some balancing exercises, which is harder than you might imagine on a trampoline. We also did a few crunch exercises laying on the trampoline. My heart was pounding at the end. Just when you think you are athletic, something comes along to give you another challenge. This is part of the beauty of ClassPass…so if you are on it or just want to drop in and try this class I definitely recommend it.

JUMPING FITNESS

2221 Artesia Blvd.

Redondo Beach, CA 90278

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