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: A Little Downtown Spin…

I had plans on Friday to attend the IDEA Fitness Expo to see a few friends who were in town that work in the fitness industry and do some networking. The Expo is held in downtown Los Angeles and I really wanted to get in a workout beforehand, so I decided to look up some exercise studios downtown that were near the Los Angeles Convention Center that had showers available for use, so I could clean up before heading to the expo.

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I found Bespoke Cycling Studio. This is a very cute boutique studio located on the bottom floor of that new (or relatively new, at least to me!) outdoor mall on Figueroa and 7th street. You do have to park in the structure that  is off of 7th and it is kind of a pain to get to, but the studio will validate you for 90 minutes of free parking. After that, it is a dollar for the first hour.

The actual cycling class was, in my opinion, not too much different than others as far as the actual routine. High intensity, low intensity, isolating muscles, doing “sprints” on the bike…and of course they have the free weights so there is a one song segment using the weights. I didn’t feel all that challenged but I did get some good cardiovascular exercise in. The bikes, however, are brand new and tattooed with the Bespoke logo on the front. The facility is rather small but very clean and well taken care of. You are given spin shoes for your ride if you do not own them. Towels and filtered water are also on site for the taking.

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The one thing that stuck out the most to me, well, two things. They give you plastic bags with their logo to put your sweaty gym clothes in if you choose to shower and change. I had to shower and change and so that was a nice bonus for me. Not to mention the hair dryer, hairbands and moisturizer that is available to the clients of this studio.

This is going to sound silly but the kicker for me was these disposable toothbrush packets they carry from L’Occitane. Inside the box is a toothbrush and a teeny mini toothpaste. They have a whole stack of them. I have never seen a gym stock an item like this and thought that was very generous and awesome, Of course I took one for the road…these are great for travel!

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BESPOKE CYCLING STUDIO

735 S. Figueroa Street #105

Los Angeles, CA 90017

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: Revolutionizing Fitness Brick By Brick!!

I consider myself a versatile athlete. I enjoy all different types of workouts. Although I will admit crossfit is not my favorite, I find there are more cross fit gyms nowadays that offer classes that are also cardio and interval weight training combinations. Brick Los Angeles is one of these gyms.

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Brick is located off one of the busiest intersections of Santa Monica Boulevard (near Fairfax) and thankfully they have their own parking lot! Otherwise I might have turned around and left because the parking and traffic in that area is horrific.

This gym is focused on crossfit, but they also have endurance classes, barbell training, muay thai boxing and a class I took called B/X. If you want to try this gym on ClassPass, pretty much the only classes offered are the B/X classes, which is fine with me. These classes are 60 minutes, focusing on a high energy cardio workout with interval weight training. It is similar to a boot camp.

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We started the class with a few laps around the parking lot, which isn’t all that big. I can tell you right now the cardio focus is minimal at this gym…in fact the receptionist who showed me around actually shuddered when I said the word cardio. Your heart will get pumping from the high intensity interval exercises more than anything else.

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After the warm-up, there were 5 different stations. We spent 6 minutes at each one. The first ones were those huge battle ropes and a few sets of burpees. The second station was this Assault bike, which is a spin bike with rower handles, kettle bell swings and a push and press move with dumbbells. The third station were those old school rowers and then a kettle bell squat where you hold the kettle bell to your chest and get up and down on each knee 20 times ( harder than it sounds!). The fourth station was leg lifts with an elastic band tied from weights on the floor to your waist and then thrusters, which is a front squat with a push press with a barbell. The fifth station was a weighted bent over row done on a platform. If you aren’t out of breath from just reading this I don’t know what to tell you…NOT EASY. AT ALL.

This is the kind of workout I would not want to do all the time, but it definitely tests my strength and challenges me because it is not as cardio centric as spin classes or running.

The gym has three rooms. The two bigger rooms are dedicated to crossfit and I assume the kickboxing when it is in session. All the usual crossfit gym equipment is here. There are bathrooms and showers. I am sure if you came often enough you could get to know people, but the only person who spoke to me today other than the instructor was a girl visiting from Texas.

If you are in the area and want your backside handed to you…it’s definitely a worthwhile challenge.

BRICK LOS ANGELES

7811 Santa Monica Blvd.

West Hollywood, CA 90046