CLASS PASS SERIES-Run, Reform, Repeat!!

As you may already know I am a huge fan of these combination classes certain studios have on ClassPass. There are a few with spin (cycle) and pilates, one with spin and TRX and one with TRX and boxing I have been to, and they were all pretty cool. So someone mentioned Fitmix on La Brea and said I would love it, so I made a point to try it out.

This studio is located on the corner of La Brea and Clinton in the West Hollywood area. Be careful looking for it because I passed it a few times. There are 3 first come, first serve parking spaces. If you can’t snag one of those, you can park at a meter or on a residential street, but make sure you READ THE SIGNS.

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As soon as you enter the studio you will be greeted by a row of treadmills. Then, off to your right, you will see 10 customized pilates reformers. On your left, past the treadmills, are bathrooms. If you look upstairs past the treadmills, the Fitmix studio has a little lounge area. I didn’t go up and check it out, but I like the idea. It makes the studio as a whole more welcoming.

I actually recognized the instructor of this class as the instructor of a spin class I recently took. A very friendly female, so I was immediately excited to take the class. Not to mention, other class goers were chatty and friendly, and that always makes a workout a little more pleasant, in my opinion.

Fit Mix has two class options. One is endurance pilates, which is an entire class strength training and core stabilization moves on the pilates reformers. The other class is called the Mashup, which is 25 minutes of cardio intervals on the treadmills and then 30 minutes of endurance pilates. I signed up for the mashup class, since I wanted to see what a workout with running and pilates combined would feel like.

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In this class, we started with 15 minutes on the treadmill, pushing up the incline and speed minute by minute. It was tough and I definitely worked up a sweat. Then we went over to the reformers and did about 10 minutes of pilates based moves. Then, we went back to the treadmills for about 10 more minutes and then spent the last 15 minutes of class doing more pilates moves.

I really enjoyed the variety. I get more of a sweat from the intensity of the interval running. The reformers don’t really do it for me as far as intensity goes, but I know they are good for balance and core strength.

This is definitely an enjoyable class, and you can chose to kick back your speed on the treadmill if sprints aren’t really for you. I liked the variety, music and ambiance. I will definitely be back!

FIT MIX

601 N. La Brea Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90036

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: 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