Kickboxing @ Keith Cooke Studio

Keith Cooke Studio

Class: Kickboxing

Location: Brentwood

Work-out: Kickboxing

Difficulty: 4

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 60

Sweat Level: Sweaty

Parking: Street parking, free validated lot until 5pm on weekdays, $4 on weekends and nights

Amenities:  filtered water fountain, free glove and wrap rental

Requirements for class: sneakers, towel

This is one of the more under-rated boxing classes around LA. Keith Cooke himself taught the class and as my friend Cassie puts it, he’s a ninja! The class is very welcoming to beginners, but at the same time, most of the clientele seem to know what they’re doing. The studio is no frills, but offers free glove and wrap rentals that don’t smell like other people’s sweat, which is a HUUUUUGE PLUS. It’s basically one big mirrored room with standing punching bags and everyone gets his/her own to do circuits (though I shared one with Cassie). The moves are a combination of standard boxing drills with some fancy kicks and turns, which I personally appreciated. You’re active the entire time, and at the end, you lay down the bags to do a core circuit.

Overall, the workout was great. It pushed you to your limits and incorporated moves that you normally don’t see at other boxing studios. The studio also offers other martial arts classes and it has a vibe of seriousness, without being intimidating. If you want a great workout without frills, this is it!

Flywheel Santa Monica Grand Opening & Free Classes!

Flywheel Santa Monica

Flywheel Santa Monica is officially opening 5/8/17, but this weekend they are offering free classes! For more information and to sign up, head over to their blog.

Class: Fly 45

Location: Santa Monica

Work-out: Indoor cycling/spin

Difficulty: 4.5

Next day soreness: 3.5

Duration: 45

Sweat Level: Sweaty

Parking: Metered street parking, validated lot

Amenities: Towels, showers, filtered water fountain, lockers, free shoe rentals, mints, hair ties, ear plugs

Requirements for class: socks

So this was actually my very first Flywheel class. My friend Cassie had actually previously reviewed one of the other locations, but due to how far the studios were from me, I never got around to trying Flywheel until now. I did the Fly 45 with Victor Self, which is the signature class, and WOW was it hard! Afterwards, I learned that Victor is one of the tougher instructors (which made me feel a little better), but still, I was trailing way behind for most of the class.

First, the fact that each bike had its own screen which showed you your Torq level, your RPM (revolutions per minute), your distance and your power really made you feel accountable. The instructor gave guidelines for you to be at certain levels (such as mid 80s RPM at Torq 20) and I was definitely cruising at 60 feeling like my legs were going to fall off. It really puts in perspective how hard you should be working and how you compare. Ultimately though, you know your body best and Victor gave the advice that when choosing between torque and RPM, always maintain RPM and lower the torque to keep up with the class. If you’re in a competitive spirit, you can opt to have your stats displayed on the “torq board” which shows the 10 highest performing riders (broken down by male and female) in the class. My friend Becca crushed it and was #1 in the female category and #5 in the overall category. Go girl!

What I really appreciated was that Flywheel took service to the next level. When you sign up for an account, you choose what shoe size you are, and once you get to the studio, your spin shoes are already in a little cubby with your bike number. Furthermore, after class, your account updates with the stats from the class you just took including your min and max torque levels, your speed, distance, calories burned and total power. Super useful and definitely something that’ll keep you going back.

If you’re looking for a spin class to challenge you and push you to your limits (without the ability to really slack), this is it! This location will also be on ClassPass once it’s officially open. Free classes all weekend until the official opening on Monday 5/8/17, so now’s your chance to try it out!

TH 101 @ Tonehouse

tone-house

Class: TH 101

Location: New York City – NoMad

Work-out: Strength training

Difficulty: 5+

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 60

Sweat Level: Sweaty

Parking: Not sure this is a thing in NY?

Amenities: Towels, showers, cold bath, foam rollers, water fountain, water and swag for purchase, big and small lockers and fully stocked locker room

Requirements for class: sneakers and don’t eat anything right before class

What a way to start of 2017, with the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my LIFE! I took Tone House’s intro class (TH101), and cannot even fathom how anyone can survive the regular class, which is supposedly 10x harder than the already-impossible 101 class. Granted, I didn’t know this was THE HARDEST workout that NYC has to offer, and by the end of the class, the “leave your ego at the door” greeting posted at the entrance really hit home. Halfway through the warm-up, any trace of ego was completely replaced by pure survival mode. I was incredibly impressed with everyone else in my class who seemed to go through the activities like it was any other workout.

The warm-up consisted of a series of cardio hurdles..yes mini HURDLES that you ran and jumped over from the front and side. After that, groups of 4 sprinted and bear-crawled across the room in rounds. I’m not sure if this made up the warm-up or if the next series or agility tasks were included as well but at this point I already felt like I might drop dead at any moment. The body of the class took us through lunges and jumps with one leg through TRX bungees, a 4000-meter row (though I don’t think anyone got close to 4000M – speed counted for more than distance on this one) and body weight sleighs. The latter was a brand new concept to me, in which “sleighs” were weighted down and then strapped to your body and you had to drag the sleigh across the room with your lower body tied to it, and then push it back across the room with your upper body strength. Yes, it sounds as ridiculous as it actually was. Finally, the class ended with another round of agility tasks (running in place, jumping up and down, squatting, shuffling, etc.) and then a group stretch. OMG I could not believe I made it to the end and I was still standing… sort of. The good thing was that other attendants of the class (who had obviously been there before) cheered you on and it was clear that there was a real sense of community at Tone House.

Aside from the actual workout, the locker room amenities were nice (talk about that cold jacuzzi tub to help ice those muscles, as well as foam rollers in a big open space and two sizes of lockers). My one complaint is the astroturf that lines the studio floors, which really hurts your hands after spending so much time on the floor crawling and doing push-ups and what not. I definitely wouldn’t recommend this class to people who are new to working out, but those who are relatively fit and looking for a challenge for 2017, this is it!

 

Playlist @ Playlist Yoga

playlist-yoga

Class: Playlist

Location: Weho

Work-out: Yoga

Difficulty: 3

Next day soreness: 3

Duration: 60

Sweat Level: Sweaty

Parking: Metered Street Parking and Validated Lot ($3 for 90 minutes)

Amenities: Towels, mats for rent for $3, water and swag for purchase

Requirements for class: mat and maybe some water

I know people RAVE about Playlist Yoga and I finally found out for myself what makes this place just so awesome. I came here this past Sunday for a #flexfitclub event with Ladies First Events and I have to say, I’m sold. This is officially my new favorite yoga studio. From the cool lockers labeled with names like Britney to Jay Z, to the impeccably curated playlist (get it?), this place is just 100% on point with ambiance and workout.

Studio manager Missy Faul led us through a vinyasa flow that was the perfect balance of challenging and rejuvenating. To its namesake, the music at Playlist perfectly complemented all the yoga, and you could literally feel all the good vibes in the room. One added thing I personally liked about Playlist over other trendy studios in LA was that at no point did we have to memorize a sequence and flow on our own. I can’t wait to come back and try the Remix class, which is Playlist’s version of sculpt!

 

Reformer Core Burn @ Love for Pilates

love-for-pilates

Class: Reformer Core Burn

Location: Santa Monica

Work-out: Reformer Pilates

Difficulty: 3.5

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 50

Sweat Level: A little dewy

Parking: Metered Street Parking

Amenities: Grip socks for purchase

Requirements for class: Must have grippy socks!

I’ve been meaning to try out Love for Pilates for a while now, and finally deviated from my normal pilates rotation to go check it out. The studio was small and well-kept, with no frills. The machines were all relatively new (since the Santa Monica location opened not too long ago), and each reformer was custom adjusted to each person’s height, which was nice.

The class was more challenging than I expected, for a non-megaformer pilates class. Though the class focused on core, we still worked arms and legs in addition to abs, which I appreciated. My abs were definitely sore the next day! In terms of overall difficulty rating, I would say it was a little harder than Speir Pilates and just slightly easier than Pilates Platinum. MDR and Carrie’s are definitely still a lot more difficult.

My only complaint about the studio is that neither the studio nor my instructor were particularly warm or welcoming. There were definitely the “regulars” that were greeted with more enthusiasm, but overall, I got the vibe that newbies and Classpass attendants were not part of the “in crowd” yet. With so many other great reformer pilates studios nearby, I’m not sure I would go back. I will note that I attended class the day after the election, so maybe that was affecting people’s moods.

 

Hot Pilates Sculpt 60 @ Set and Flow Yoga

set-and-flow-yoga

Class: Hot Pilates Sculpt 60

Location: Hollywood

Work-out: Mat Pilates

Difficulty: 3

Next day soreness: 3

Duration: 60

Sweat Level: A little dewy

Parking: Free underground lot

Amenities: Water station, lockers, showers, kombucha and juice bar, snacks and swag for purchase, mat rentals, towel rentals

Requirements for class: barefeet, bring a mat and towels

This was my first time to Set and Flow Yoga and the facilities are GORGEOUS. Talk about amenities galore! However, be warned that if you are looking this studio up on Classpass, they don’t tell you that mat and towel rentals will cost you! Other than that, the facilities were exceptional.

The class itself was not too difficult. It involved your typical mat pilates moves that worked your core, glutes, legs and arms. The studio was full, but spacious, and there is a little room at the end of the hallway where you can grab your desired weights and blocks before heading in. Unlike a traditional mat pilates class, I also liked that this class incorporated small cardio bursts into the routine, but nothing too rigorous. The class ended with a cool down stretch, which is always appreciated.

After class, you can cool down with some kombucha on tap, as well as an assortment of juices that the studio sells. There are lots of products and snacks that you can browse, and I definitely recommend spending some time to check out everything that’s offered. This studio has been open for less than a year and it’s one of the best spaces I’ve seen. I would love to check out its other, more intense classes, such as barefoot bootcamp.

Hot Pilates Cardio Dance @ Hot Pilates

Hot Pilates Cardio Dance

Class: Hot Pilates Cardio Dance

Location: WeHo

Work-out: Dance Cardio, Pilates

Difficulty: 4

Next day soreness: 3.5

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level💦💦💦 Drenched

Parking: Free lot at Sunset Plaza

Amenities: Shower, towels and mats provided, water and swag for purchase

Requirements for class: grippy socks and lots of water

Hi All! First I apologize for the stall in reviews lately. Life has been getting busy so I’ve just been sticking to a few usual classes and studios. But one of the new favorites I’ve recently tried is this heated dance cardio class at Hot Pilates.

Hot Pilates is already one of my favorite studios, but when I discovered the Cardio Dance class, I knew I was going to come back every week. I’m not a regular cardio (running) person so dance cardio, you could say, is totally my jam. Cindy is amazing and will make you feel like Beyoncé during class, even if your moves aren’t quite exact. Which is okay! Everyone has a great time.

If you’re wondering how the heck does one do dance cardio in a heated class without passing out, that is a great question! I thought the same thing. However, Cindy pushes you just hard enough so that when you get to the point where you think you might faint, the class format gets switched up so everyone has active recovery. Each class is also different so you won’t get bored, and I guarantee you will pick up a few moves you can use outside of class (at the gym or going out :P). Class starts with about 5 dance cardio routines and then switches to ab and/or glute work and then ends with an extended stretch. I 100% appreciate the long stretch at the end and I feel like most classes don’t spend enough time stretching everyone out, which is essential to recovery and helping lean out your muscles. The class is offered every Monday and Wednesday night, so check it out!

 

Platform @ Pure Barre

Pure Barre Platform

Class: Platform

Location: Brentwood

Work-out: Barre

Difficulty: 3.5 (mainly because the moves were unfamiliar)

Next day soreness: 3.5

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level:💧💧A little dewy

Parking: Private lot, 90 minutes free with validation

Amenities: Water fountain, swag and water for purchase

Requirements for class: socks, a small towel

I was so excited to try Platform now that it’s on ClassPass, but man was this class a frenzy! I arrived about 10 minutes early, signed in, and was told that I NEEDED a towel. I was surprised because I never HAVE TO HAVE a towel in barre classes. The receptionist said I could purchase one for $13, but then later said for first timers, could use a sweatshirt or jacket. I ran downstairs to my car to grab one and barely made it back to class on time.

Each platform is set up at the barre already, you just need to grab two sets of weights. Then the class kicks off. It’s fast-paced, but the repetition rounds are relatively short. This actually reminded me of Cardio Barre. To be honest, I anticipated a lot more jumping and stepping on and off the platform, but instead, it was a lot of doing the barre moves with one leg on the platform. At least half the class looked lost. But the rounds moved so quickly that it was hard for the instructors to correct everyone before the next round started. At this particular Pure Barre location, it’s also hard to see what the instructor is doing if you’re located against the backside of the studio. Overall, it was a decent workout – a little different from regular Pure Barre due to how fast paced it was. I did not understand why they were so adamant about needing a towel since I was barely sweating. But, I was still pretty sore the next day so maybe I worked harder than I thought. The good thing is, with the amount of people who were lost, you would all be in it together.

FUBAR @ Sirens and Titans

Sirens and Titans

Class: FUBAR (stands for “F-ed up beyond all recognition”)

Location: Westwood

Work-out: Versa climber

Difficulty: 4.5

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 30 min

Sweat Level💦💦 Sweaty

Parking: Street parking

Amenities: Lockers, towels, filtered water

Requirements for class: sneakers

With a class titled FUBAR, you pretty much know you’re signing yourself up for a tough workout. But luckily, it’s only 30 minutes of pain and then you’re done! I’ve done versa climber workouts before (at Rise Nation), and it was hard. Admittedly, I’ve only been to Rise twice since cardio is not exactly my thing. This class is a little different from Rise because you do three rounds of intervals with breaks in between and you’re allowed to step off. The climbers themselves are also slightly different than Rise – I do find the grips to be a bit more comfortable.

The class started with 8 sets of 20 second sprints followed by 10 second breaks on the machine, lasting 4 minutes total. Then, you’re allowed to step down for a few minutes and the instructor goes around the room to ask everyone how many meters they’ve climbed. The next set consists of 45 second sprints followed by 30 seconds of rest in between, with a few min. off the machine. Again, you announce how many meters you’ve climbed. The third set consists of 90 second sprints with longer breaks and the last sprint of the third set is 2 minutes. You announce your meters and finally end with a last round of 2 min. of 20 second sprints with 10 second breaks (half of the first round). Your goal is to beat half the meters you got in round 1. The announcing of the meters keeps you accountable to keep pushing yourself. 600 in any round is considered impressive. I definitely liked this class more than traditional running cardio because there were personal goals to beat. It was tough but doable!

Dancefit @ Platefit

Platefit

Class: Dancefit

Location: Weho

Work-out: Dance cardio/toning on a powerplate

Difficulty: 2.5

Next day soreness: 2

Duration: 30 min

Sweat Level:💧💧A little dewy

Parking: Street parking

Amenities: Filtered water, towels

Requirements for class:  grippy socks or barefoot

This was my first power plate class ever and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but this was a quick and easy class that tickled my insides. It was fun and high energy, and I wish it had lasted twice as long. The class consisted of basic dance cardio moves on the power plate and then ended with ab work lying down on the plate. Because the plates were limited in size, you have to work to balance on your machine, but other than that, it didn’t feel harder than a normal class because of the vibrating plates. Though I hope my muscles worked harder and I just didn’t notice. My friend took a Bootcamp Fit class and thought it was quite difficult so I’m assuming the difficulty varies depending on the type of class you take. The machines also turn off every 9 minutes, so you just have to keep hitting the on button to keep it running. It feels like you’re the only one vibrating because you can’t see anyone else moving, but in reality, everyone else is also vibrating.

The studio is new and clean, and the staff is very friendly. It is a tiny room though, so classes fill up but street parking was surprisingly easy to find.