CLASS PASS SERIES: Combination Classes Rule!

When it comes to workouts, I think I have done it all…seriously! Everything from Crossfit to Pilates, to HIIT training workouts to hot yoga, to spin class, dance class, boxing…you name it I have tried it! While I do love many of the classes I have tried, at some point you get bored and it is time to mix things up.

Well, some of the programs out there are literally mixing things up by having combination classes. What that means is that an hour long workout class is not dedicated to ONE but TWO different workouts. Studio Elevate Los Angeles in Culver City does a class like this called Reform and Ride, where it is half Pilates with a reformer and half spin class…and now I found Evolution Fitness, which is located in Culver City on the border of Playa Del Rey.

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This fitness center is partially a physical therapy clinic, with adjustment tables located on one side of the facility and class area/equipment taking up most of the rest of the room. There are personal trainers there who take clients one on one, indoor cycling classes, circuit training classes and TRX classes. TRX is a suspension trainer, which is a portable performance training tool that leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to complete various exercises. A person can do anything from jumping lunges, bicep curls and  planks using the TRX. It makes the exercises much more challenging, in my opinion.

Evolution Fitness offers a class called Sunset Cycle/TRX mash-up, which is a class with 25 minutes of indoor spin/cycle, and 25 minutes of TRX training. The spin part was relatively unchallenging for me, but being that I have done a million spin classes at this point in my life, that is to be expected. I like the fact that one of the walls rolls up in the building so you get fresh air while doing your workouts. Sometimes spin classes are so hot and crowded! This class was not.

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After the spin, each member is guided over the TRX equipment for 25 minutes of training. We did everything from rows and curls to planks and pull-ups. This was definitely the more challenging part of the workout for me, utilizing my core stability, which is something I am working on and getting better at (thanks to pilates with the reformer!!). It was also nice that the last few minutes of this class were dedicated to cooling down and the instructor had us get out foam rollers and stretch.

I highly recommend trying a combination workout class, you get the best of both worlds!

By the way, Evolution Fitness has a parking lot down the street from the facility that is ONLY for members to use, which is a nice benefit so you don’t have to go crazy looking for parking. They have bathrooms onsite but no shower.

EVOLUTION FITNESS

6826 South Centinela Avenue

Culver City, CA 90230

CLASS PASS SERIES: Words Can Be Decieving…

When looking for new classes to try on Class Pass, every class has a CATEGORY and an ABOUT section. The category will usually tell you if the class is based around strength training, cycling, pilates, yoga, etc. In the about section, there will usually be a brief description about what the class entails. For example, if a class is going to be a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout, it will tell you that in the description, usually along with the type of equipment the class will use (treadmills, rowers, kettle bells, etc).

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So when I saw a new gym in my immediate area had joined Class Pass and was offering what sounded like some cool classes I was eager to try it. A class this morning called POUND started at 7am. The category is pilates and strength training. The about section says “produce sleek, toned bodies using strength, core stability and endurance training.” Sounds enticing for someone who wants to get in a good workout, right?

I get to the gym at 6:50am. The first thing that sets me off is that the gym is on the corner of Robertson Place right before the freeway off and on ramp and has terrible parking. If you don’t know exactly where you are going, be prepared to go around the block again…and even if you do know where you are going, prepare for their to be no parking…or pray to park in front or behind someone who is taking the same class as you are.

The inside of the gym is cool. Hayden Gym probably has just about everything you could ask for. At least one or two of every kind of gym equipment. There are rowers, rings, treadmills, bosu balls, punching bags, free weights…you name it, it’s there. The gym has a very…gym like smell, and it permeates every inch of the facility, including the mats we used for the class. It would be nice if they cleaned those mats…it didn’t seem like that is a thing that happens here.

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So, about this class. POUND…in my opinion, and based upon the class description, would make me think there was strength training with weights, or something along those lines. It would NOT make me think I would be given neon green plastic drum sticks to POUND on the ground as part of a workout. Yes, that is what happened.

Don’t get me wrong. This was not a completely worthless workout. I did sweat and I did learn some new drumstick techniques, but I feel like the description is false advertising, and anyone who was looking for a hard core workout would be very disappointed by this. This is definitely a class for people who are relatively new to fitness. I don’t consider pounding drumsticks in various fitness positions a workout I would spend 40 minutes doing, but it is something others might really enjoy. I actually ended up back at the gym and ran on the treadmill for a bit after this class. Cool idea, Hayden Gym, but maybe in the ABOUT section you should re-vamp the description of this class to include the plastic drumstick usage.

For the record, this gym does have HIIT workouts and boxing…which I WILL be trying next time (they have their own boxing ring). There are cubby holes for your personal belongings and a bathroom but no shower.

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HAYDEN GYM

3390 Robertson Place

Los Angeles, CA 90034

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