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: Megaformers Take Over The Valley!

I have been patiently waiting for the past few weeks for Pilates Plus to switch from the regular reformers to the Megaformers I so love to be tortured on. I had called about trying out one of their classes the other week and they said the new reformers would be in that next week…and so they came…and so I went.

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This studio is located on the corner of Ventura Boulevard and Woodley in a shopping complex. Had I not seen the California Pizza Kitchen it was shown next to on the Class Pass map, I might have missed it. The parking structure has multiple levels. The annoying part about that is you go down and the attendees want to park your car. I am not a fan of that, so I drove around them since it was early enough in the morning. For anyone else who is interested, this studio does validate for the first 2 hours you are in the building, so you can feel free to leave your car with the lot attendees. If you don’t want to and it is early, however, you might be able to slide by them.

This studio is undergoing remodeling, so the door where you walk in is where the actual class takes place. I happened to be early so I practically walked into someone on their reformer. The room is small and there is plastic draped over everything since they are remodeling. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when they are done, because right now it seems a little crammed and clustered in the areas surrounding the workout equipment.

The teacher was bright and bubbly and was eager to assist first-timers in various exercises. The workout was hard, as usual. Lots of planks, plank to pikes, standing lunges on the reformer, standing lunges with weights. My balance/core stability is forever challenged by these classes that use the Megaformer. I curse myself under my breath and shake like crazy, but then I feel amazing after I leave.

If you do this sort of workout often and eat nutritionally sound most of the time, after a few classes, I guarantee you will see definition in places you never thought you would have definition. My shoulders are getting more cut…a nice look for tank tops in the summertime!

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This is one of a few Pilates Plus locations, but if you are looking to use the Megaformers, call the studio ahead and make sure they have them. As mentioned before, they are brand new at this location.

PILATES PLUS -ENCINO

16101 Ventura Boulevard

Suite 210

Los Angeles, CA 91436

CLASS PASS SERIES: More Megaformers, Megaformers, Megaformers!!

I have driven past this busy intersection of Melrose and La Cienega probably a thousand times, and never once would I guess there was a pilates studio inside. The windows are blacked out, so that would be part of the reason why! Also, I don’t live in West Hollywood, so I wouldn’t typically be inclined to look for places to workout while driving in the area.

But I am glad I found Carrie’s Pilates Plus, which is considered a combination of strength training and Pilates in one 60 minute session. It is essentially the same sort of workout as The Studio MDR in Marina Del Rey and Culver City, except it is on the other side of town. The workout space is a lot bigger…actually enormous! There are double the amount of Megaformers (Pilates reformers on steroids, essentially) in the room so that means there are more opportunities to get into one of these classes.

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There is a little room in the front of the studio where you can check in with the receptionist, who sets the tone for the vibe of the studio in sexy heels and tight clothing. There is also a bathroom in the front room. There are no showers to my knowledge. The studio is very clean and like most Pilates studios I have been to, you must clean off your own equipment after the workout.

So…let’s talk about instructors. I have heard about Pilates instructors who walk around the room screaming at the class participants who aren’t using the correct form in their movements, but I have never actually experienced this phenomena. My luck of the draw today (although he didn’t scream at me, just kept picking on me!)  The instructor I had at Carrie’s Pilates Plus was the first male I have ever encountered in a Pilates class. Maybe it was because he hadn’t seen me in the class before, but I felt like he was underneath me the entire time, making me squat lower, moving my leg in different uncomfortable directions until I was shaking like my own personal earthquake. It was a good thing he reprimanded me, because I wasn’t doing some of the movements correctly, but also very intimidating!

This is how the class works, you are supposed to work these smaller muscles in smaller movements that strengthen, lengthen and tone and essentially, if you do this enough, can reshape the body. If your body is not used to these movements, you will shake…a lot. It is supposed to be a good thing, but when you are in a room with seasoned Pilates Megaformer users…it can be quite daunting. This is the workout du jour in Los Angeles right now, from what I have seen. The movements are rapid and non-stop, like push-ups and lunges using the Megaformer so it takes the pressure off of your joints and spine. Although you are not running around, you will be sweating at the end…and shaking. I am still shaking hours later as I write this blog.

Oh yes…parking. Parking over here is not fun. More than likely you will want to grab a meter wherever you can and pay for an hour or so of parking. You can also park underneath the building for 2 dollars for an hour, but I didn’t like the vibe I got from the attendants there, so I found something on the street. If you go on Sundays though…you can park for free.

CARRIE’S PILATES PLUS

8500 Melrose Place

Suite 104

West Hollywood, CA 90069