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: 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