I’ve been gone a long time and a lot has been going on around here. Let’s just dive right in.
I signed up for ClassPass at the beginning of May. My first month has now passed, and I wanted to write a reflection on my experience so far! I signed up for ClassPass because after belonging to various gyms for so long I found myself bored with the same old machines and workouts. One of my very favorite ways to stay fit (and have fun) in college was to go to group classes offered at the campus gym. ClassPass offered the same type of fun alternative, only now I can go to studios all over Los Angeles! So far, I’ve loved it. Trying new workouts has kept things interesting for me and I’ve been much more excited to sweat it out than I used to be. Also, trying studios in different areas of LA is a great way to explore the city. Here are the classes I visited (some repeatedly) in my first month and what I thought about them.
Kickboxing At Night at Keith Cooke Studio. My experience with kickboxing has been so far limited to a couple low-key classes and those Tae-Bo videos from a million decades ago. This was much more intense. A full hour of high-energy combinations containing kicks, jabs, jumps, while using a real punching bag! I was soaked in sweat but it was so much fun I didn’t care. The instructor (Danny) was so nice, supportive, and encouraging and the more we worked the more amazing I felt. It is now totally obvious that kickboxing is an amazing workout and a great release after a long and stressful day. A+.
Athlete Fit at Velocity Sports Club. Okay, so I might be a little biased with this one since it was taught by my boyfriend. We both knew I would be taking the class and agreed that we would behave as if we didn’t know each other, so as to have a less biased experience. The class was hard. He had me and one other guy do a series of exercises using tools that athletes use to train (I guess, I really have no idea) all the major muscle groups. One that totally burned was pushing some weighted sled across turf. It worked my abs and my legs/butt in a way I had never felt before. I’ll be honest, I don’t think it was the type of workout that I would normally be drawn to, but it was so fun to see my man in action! He really knows how to kick some butt!
Heated Yin Yoga at SoCal Hot Yoga. Yoga has been one of my favorite activities for years. I like the multitasking aspect of working my body but also silencing my mind for an hour or so since it is always racing. I’ve never done heated yoga before. I’ve always been kind of scared because I sweat so easily and I have the worst sweaty palms, two facts that don’t really go well with holding poses like down-dog. I was soaked 10 minutes in, but the heat actually felt really nice for my muscles! The instructor also burned incense during the class, so it felt like a really soothing experience. Yin Yoga is apparently about holding poses for much longer than normal, which was a new challenge but the slower pace made taking on the heat a lot easier and contributed to the feeling of relaxation. There was also a short massage during savasana. Overall an amazing experience, I’ll definitely be going back to the incredibly tiny and adorable studio!
Cycling at Kinetic Cycling. A while back I tried SoulCycle and it was honestly the weirdest experience ever. I had no idea what I was doing, it was dark, an incredibly fit instructor was like…gyrating on his bike at an impossible speed and shouting supposedly inspirational hallmark card sayings at me, and I was so spooked by the experience that I almost swore off cycling all together. I’m so glad I didn’t and tried Kinetic Cycling! Instead of being pitch black it’s lit up by neon purple lights, there’s a big TV at the front of class where the instructor sits that shows music videos to the fun dance music they play during the workout to keep you pumped/entertained, and the instructor actually walks around and high fives you throughout class. I hate how I feel 20 minutes in, but I love how I feel walking out of there. I’ve gone once a week since discovering this place and cannot get enough. The only bummer is the $2 fee for renting shoes, but it could be a lot worse and there’s free parking. So it balances out.
Pure Barre at Pure Barre Brentwood. I LOVE my pure barre classes. I had an unlimited membership here for many months and just fell in love with the whole concept. Pure Barre focuses on isometric movements and long-term holds that exhaust all major muscle groups to the point of them literally shaking. It’s a very low impact workout, but it’s a lot of work and so challenging. Your muscles will sing afterwards. I have some favorite teachers including Lisa, Jessica, and Meryl, and Allison. I was so happy to return to my studio after taking a hiatus to try other options out, it really felt like coming home. I cannot write enough nice things about this place or these classes. If you haven’t tried barre yet, go. Now!
Pilates Reformer at Harmony Studios. I’ll be honest, Pilates has intimidated me in the past. It just looks so crazy and technical with the machines! Plus you’d think that a workout with such amazing results would be pretty brutal, right? When I told my instructor that I had never been to a Pilates class before, she was obviously doubtful of my ability to keep up during class. I really hate being underestimated, so I immediately forgot about my intimidation and became determined to show her what’s up ;). Luckily all that pure barre I had been doing gave me a really good foundation for all we did! I actually enjoyed the class a lot, which was challenging but not completely exhausting. Honestly a lot of the moves were fun! And using the reformer machine was awesome. Within 20 minutes of class my instructor was singing my praises with “Are you sure you’ve never done this before? You are amazing!” So there. Definitely going back, but maybe to a new studio that’s a little more beginner friendly!
Air Foundation at Aerial Fitness. Mark gave me a great piece of advice when I first signed up for ClassPass. I expressed to him that I was worried my fear of doing anything out of my comfort zone would prevent me from taking full advantage of ClassPass. He said to just pay attention to when I don’t immediately like a workout because it’s hard and I’m not used to it, and when I don’t like it because it’s just not something I enjoy. I genuinely thought I would love aerial yoga. I mentioned above that I love yoga, and it looked so easy and fun to be suspended in air by big silk cloths! Turns out it’s not so fun, actually kind of painful, and I hated it. There was pretty much no yoga involved and the silk dug into my flesh in such a horrible way that I almost burst into tears! Also, apparently I do NOT like being upside down. Everyone else seemed to be having a good time, so maybe it’s just a me problem. But I don’t think I’ll be going back for a while.
PlateFIT + CelluliteFIT at PLATEFIT. PlateFIT is a workout done using something called the PowerPlate. I don’t totally understand the science behind it, you can read about it here, but you essentially do normal exercises on it like while the machine sends vibrations through your whole body that amp up the workout a bit. We did things like push-ups, squats, burpees, mountain climbers, and various crunches. The vibrations felt reaaally weird, especially during the ab circuit (had to focus real hard on not yakking everywhere), but you get used to it. Plus the class is only 30 minutes, a HUGE bonus! After PlateFIT I took the immediately following CelluliteFIT. This was also 30 minutes but it was more like a strange massage session. The focus was to essentially relax and lay on the plate in different poses that allowed contact between problem areas that accumulate cellulite and the vibrating plate. In theory, the vibrations diminish the appearance of cellulite. I’m not too sold on it, but hey. It felt really good and it was 30 minutes of me pretty much lying around. I’ll take it.
Whew. That was a lot. But there ya have it! In addition to all the above I’ve also been running a ton. Just yesterday I upped my game to 4.5 miles of non-stop running, all in under an hour! Do any of you have any workout classes you love + highly suggest?!