CLASS PASS SERIES- CrossFit Elements With A Cardio Kick

You probably wouldn’t ever know it was there if you didn’t a)take a walking tour of the neighborhood and casually stroll by on your way to Brick and Mortar or b) look it up on ClassPass, but located in the back corner of the Edgemar building on Main Street in Venice is CrossFit Santa Monica. It looks boutique-ish, but be warned, your a** is about to get kicked.

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I stumbled upon this place when I was working an event in the area and wanted somewhere to workout around 430pm. Believe it or not, depending on where you are, there are not a lot of open classes last minute near that time…but this one was, and they were doing a class called Cardio-Fit, which is supposed to be more about repetition and less about super heavy weights.

The first thing I have to say about this gym is although it is small, everything is stacked in its place, which is nice. Most of these boutique spots do pride themselves on having the members put away whatever they use after class. Secondly…the men are hot in this class (sorry guys who read this, just being honest). And many of them take their shirts off, so at least you get some eye candy while you are dying on the pull-up bar.

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Most importantly is the workout, and I have to say, this is not for everybody. The workout for our Cardio-fit class consisted of a short warm up and stretch period followed by 5 different exercises. The first (and I cannot remember the exact name for it) was a push press type of movement with a barbell. The second was getting on the rowing machine. The third was box jumps, where you jump and land with both feet on the top of a box that is is a few feet tall, many times. The fourth was wall balls, where you take a ball that is anywhere from 10-20 pounds and squat and throw it up against the wall, then catch it. The fifth movement was a sumo style squat with a kettle bell in your hand. Now here was the catch…this was timed, and the first round started with 42 REPS of each exercise. YES. 42. The second round was 30 and the third round was 18…if you made it there, as this was a timed event, about 35 minutes. In your mind, you think, yea, that is enough time to get throughout the whole thing…yea…no. If you are a seasoned cross fitter, perhaps this is nothing to you, but to me, while I consider myself somewhat of an athlete, I only made it to the first exercise on the sets of 18 reps round. Phew!

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I highly recommend this place to people who enjoy Cross Fit, or just high intense shorter workouts. The people are all super nice and happy to make modifications on exercises if, say you need to kneel during pushups or just step up and down on box jumps because you have a bad knee, etc.

They have bathrooms and a shower. You can park in the Edgemar parking lot and they will validate your car for 2 hours, which is a nice perk, given the area is right by Urth Cafe and gets extremely crowded.

CROSSFIT SANTA MONICA

2433 Main Street

Santa Monica, CA 90405

Magical Myofascial Tension Release Balls

So this website is supposed to be primarily about food based nutrition, but I felt a need to post about something that is nutritious to my physical and mental well-being.

I was actually introduced to the whole myofascial release technique by a friend of mine who coincidentally introduced me to the cleanse I did last October as as well. Just incase you are wondering, myoactually means muscle and fascial means connective tissue. So myofascial tension release means releasing the tension in the connective tissue muscles. I was at his home and he showed me how to use these balls, which look a little like foamy golf balls, to release tension in my upper and lower back and shoulders. These balls can also be used on the legs and calves and even the balls of your feet. Sounds awesome, right?

Basically, this tension gets built up over time. We stress, sit at a computer far too long, lift heavy weights, etc. But most of us would never think we could possibly release some of that tension on our own, or at least I wouldn’t have known had my friend not shown me the first time. So, you can use these balls to “unstick” muscle tissues that have glued themselves together and help them return to their normal slide and glide relationship. The therapeutic relief, which may include extreme relaxation, or even crying (there is sometimes emotional release, this happened to me!!!) indicates a healthy release of the tissue to its natural position.

I was working out at Equinox Fitness club this past week and one of the trainers was nice enough to do an informal coaching after an exercise class of how to use these balls in certain areas of your body for the best releases possible. As soon as she brought the balls out, I remembered using them with my friend, and decided it was time for me to get a set of my own so I could do the releases at home.

These balls run anywhere from 12-15 dollars a set, and worth every cent. For those who are active and can’t afford a real live massage every week, using these for 30 minutes a week is like giving yourself your own massage. You can buy them online or at some health clubs, including Equinox. Time to get the ball rolling! 🙂