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: 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

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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: Sweat Garage…Utilizing the AMRAP System!

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, HIIT (high intensity interval training) has become all the rage these days. This is where you give 100% effort in quick bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This kind of training keeps your heart rate up and is said to burn more fat in less time.

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This type of class is EVERYWHERE in Los Angeles. I happen to be a fan of most of the ones I try. Sweat Garage is also an “oldie” for me, because again, once upon a time when they had an online deal a few years back, I decided to try it out. It was a few months before I was getting ready to go to Brazil to visit a friend and wanted to get into tip top shape. Let me tell you, a few weeks at this boutique studio will whip you right into shape.

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Every day at Sweat Garage there is a different workout. Like many other HIIT programs, they have a set of treadmills (they use the Woodway ones here!) and an area on the floor where free weights, resistance bands, med balls and kettle bells can be used. All of their workouts are based on the AMRAP system. What is that, you ask? This means AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE. For example, today, the class rotated three minutes on the treadmill with three minutes on the floor. The treadmill segments were varying from sprints, to incline runs/jogs, to incline sideways jogs in a squat position (not easy!). The floor segments ranged from 3 minutes of 15 chest and 15 shoulder presses AS MANY REPS AS POSSIBLE to 3 minutes of squat jumps and boxing punches with free weights of your choice. Very sweaty. Very challenging. You definitely want a little bit of a fitness background before attempting this class.

The room is small and they shut the “garage” door when class starts, so it gets pretty hot in there. Be sure to bring your water and a towel, or you have to pay for one. There is parking underneath the building and a bathroom, but no showers.

SWEAT GARAGE

801 N. Fairfax Avenue Ste. 104

Los Angeles, CA 90046