Dance Cardio @ ModelFIT LA

dance-cardio-modelfit

Class: Dance Cardio

Location: Weho

Work-out: Dance cardio

Difficulty: 3.5

Next day soreness: 2

Duration: 60

Sweat Level: Sweaty

Parking: Metered street parking, valet or paid lot

Amenities: Towels, showers, filtered water fountain, lockers, swag for purchase

Requirements for class: sneakers

I’ve been reading about ModelFIT for years and I was BEYOND excited when they finally opened up an LA location at the end of last year! This super trendy workout is said to be responsible for the bodies of many celebs and supermodels (such as Karlie Kloss, Chrissy Teigan and Taylor Swift) and offers both strength training and cardio without the intensity of a bootcamp or cross fit class. The LA location currently offers Dance Cardio, Sculpt, and Cardio Scuplt (this being a combination of the Dance Cardio and Sculpt class).

When I went in for my dance cardio class yesterday, there was only one other attendee in my class, so it was like a semi private lesson! The studio itself was small, but clearly we had plenty of room. 45 minutes of the class was straight dance cardio (which is about 15 minutes longer than Body by Simone and Tracy Anderson, for comparison). However, the routines and moves were definitely easier than BBS and TA. At times I almost found some of the moves a little too repetitive and not challenging enough, but I appreciate how they kept it easy since pushing through 45 minutes in itself is a challenge. The last 15 minutes was spent on abs, glutes and a stretch. My instructor was Sarah and she was awesome!

I really enjoy classes like these and like to supplement cardio with sculpting classes so I can’t wait to come back and try the others. The showers and amenities also looked really nice (and new!). My only complaint is that parking can be a challenge on 3rd St (it’s right next to Sweetgreen), but supposedly the studio is working on getting parking in the future. ModelFIT isn’t on Classpass, and it’s $32 a class, but keep an eye out for promo packages and new client specials.

 

The Ballet Bod

the-ballet-bod

Class: The Ballet Bod

Location: AIR in Weho: 8474 W 3rd St #200, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Work-out: Ballet based toning and cardio fusion

Difficulty: 3

Next day soreness: 3.5

Duration: 27 min (30 with a stretch)

Sweat Level: A little dewy

Parking: Free lot

Amenities: Water station, blocks provided

Requirements for class: barefeet, bring a mat!

Yesterday, I was able to attend The Ballet Bod‘s U.S. launch event with founders Jenny and Winnie, and was excited to discover a new, challenging workout in 27 minutes. Having a background in ballet, I also really appreciated the fact that unlike barre, The Ballet Bod’s workouts actually incorporate real dance moves that have me feeling SORE today.

The class starts with a stretch and cardio warm-up on the mat, consisting of ballet jobs and grand battements. We then moved to the bar to do elevated tendus in first position with one leg on a block. These were KILLER! Finally, we ended with ab work on the mat and a nice stretch. I didn’t think 27 minutes of a ballet-based workout could be so intense, but it was!

The Ballet Bod also has an app subscription that allows you to do their workouts at home. The workout first started in Australia, and is now held for the first time in the U.S. Classes are from 8:30AM – 9AM at AIR in Weho, AND the best part is that they’re only $10 a class! If you’re short on time (and/or cash), this is the class for you!

 

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.

Reformer/Barre Burn @ Speir Pilates

Speir Pilates

Class: Reformer/Barre Burn

Location: Santa Monica

Work-out: Reformer pilates and barre combo

Difficulty: 3.5

Next day soreness: 2.5

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level💦 Moderately Sweaty

Parking: Free street parking on side of studio, metered parking on opposite side

Amenities: Lockers, showers, swag for purchase, filtered water, free coffee and tea bar

Requirements for class: grippy socks

It’s tough competition for pilates studios in LA because there are so many to choose from. But, I have to say WOW, bravo! to Speir Pilates, the chicest pilates studio I have ever set foot in. I’m a sucker for clean, cute design and this place is absolutely gorgeous. The coffee and tea bar in the back is definitely a huge plus, but being in this studio just makes you feel good.

As for the workout, it was great. It wasn’t as intense as megaformer or supraformer pilates, but it was a good workout nonetheless. The barre combo was also a nice unique change from the norm, and the class was everything I expected it to be. In addition, because these are not megaformer pilates machines, we also got to use the jumpboard, which is a great leg and cardio workout. For those of you who’ve never used a jumpboard before, its a flat wall that attaches to the end of your reformer, allowing you to “jump” on it by lying down and pushing away from the carriage. Everything else was pretty standard pilates and barre moves. We did half the class on a mat – planks, leg lifts, abs, weighted arm exercises and barre thighs, and half on the reformer. I can’t wait to go back and try their other class formats!

 

Personal Training Session @ Crunch Gym

Tashe Private Training

I have to admit, every time I’ve joined a gym and been offered a private training session, I’ve made every excuse to back out of it. But when Tashe (pronounced Tash-E) reached out to me on Instagram after reading about my first experience at Crunch gym (where I wasn’t too sure of what I was doing since I’m normally not a gym person), I knew I had to take the opportunity to try it. I met her last Thursday night for my first private training session at a gym.

Tashe (who is also a figure skater trainer) first did an initial assessment of my body, asking the standard questions regarding injuries, health, etc. before we began our session. I told her that one of my hips tended to click when I did leg raises (does that happen to anyone else?). From there, she had me do a few squats and could see that my hip was very tight and my lower ab area around it was weaker than the rest of my body, causing my hip to click when I did leg raises. Tashe then showed me a few stretching and foam rolling moves to do before and after each workout to help open up my hips and strengthen that area of my body. Then, the hard work began!

Tashe asked what I normally liked to do at the gym (LOL), and I told her, I didn’t like machines or know how to use them and generally like floor work, so that’s what my session consisted of. We used a mat, a bosu ball and a set of 10lb weights, and did a full body workout including cardio. I was sweaty and out of breath by the end of it. The best part was that the cardio portion had the same intensity as doing intervals on the treadmill, but I didn’t even have to think about it while doing side skier intervals. After that, the session ended with a stretch and cool down where Tashe did a mini should massage to help my alignment.

I was definitely sore the next day! My favorite thing about the session was that Tashe was so knowledgable about body alignment and injury prevention, especially for dancers (she also has a dance and figure skating background). The session felt like it was part training and part physical therapy, and it was nothing like being yelled at to lift and squat like I had previously pictured. I would definitely recommend a session with Tashe to find out where your weak areas might be, and ways to strengthen and correct your body and workouts going forward. You can shoot her an email directly to get set up. As an added bonus, you don’t have to pay the gym membership if you’re doing a session with her!

Strength @ Uplift Studios

Uplift Studios

Class: Strength

Location: Weho

Work-out: Strength Training, HIIT

Difficulty: 4

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 55 min

Sweat Level💦 Moderately Sweaty

Parking: Metered street parking (or free residential on side streets north of Melrose, but read signs!)

Amenities: Bathroom, water and swag for sale

Requirements for class: sneakers, bring your own towel if you need one

I came here last night to celebrate Uplift Studios’ grand opening in LA (not to be confused with Uplift Health and Wellness, which is also on ClassPass). The studio is located where Xtend Barre used to be. The studio manager, community manager and my trainer, Leslie, were all there and very warm and welcoming. ClassPass Founder and CEO Payal was also in town, so it was awesome to meet her in person!

Uplift is unique in that it is a women’s only studio, and it is wildly popular in NYC. My class was only 5 people, and there was a lot of personalized attention. The workout was tough! We worked every muscle in our bodies using weights (recommended 5-12lbs), and did tabata cardio bursts in between. I am definitely sore everywhere today. This is one of those workouts where you can fit your cardio and strength in at once. Although Uplift offers three types of classes, Strength, Sculpt and Endurance, each class will still give you a well-rounded workout. AND, they have a great motto: “Strong women uplift each other.” Love it!

Normatec @ Great Earth Sports Performance

Normatec

Class: Normatec

Location: Brentwood

Work-out: Leg recovery – compression massage therapy

Difficulty: 1

Next day soreness: 0

Duration: 20 min

Sweat Level: No sweat

Parking: Validated lot

Amenities: N/A

Requirements for class: socks and comfortable clothing (no dresses/skirts)

This place looks like the inside of a spaceship and when I come here, I definitely feel like I am stepping into “the future.” This place focuses on helping athletes and active people recover and make the most of their performance. Normatec is a type of massage therapy that uses compressed air to squeeze your muscles. You sit in a chair and put on these leg cocoons that massage you. You can also control how much pressure you want. The highest setting was a little too much for me so I think I took it down a level or two. But, if you are someone who likes very firm massages, and can take the pressure, you’re going to love doing this on the highest setting.

From there, you are just chilling and letting the pressure move up and down your legs, from your feet to thighs. It’s quite nice. The “studio,” if you can call it that, also offers cryotherapy, along with biomechanical movement analysis (identification of faulty movement patterns and limitations of the musculoskeletal system), and CVAC sessions which are rhythm-based changes to pressure, temperature and air density that happen in these pods. These three offerings are currently not on ClassPass (though cryo at one point was). If anyone needs a rest day, this is the place to be!

Dance Cardio @ Body by Simone

Body By Simone

Class: Dance Cardio

Location: Weho

Work-out: dance cardio, abs and arms conditioning

Difficulty: 3.5

Next day soreness: 1.5

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level💦💦 Sweaty

Parking: metered street parking, 1 hr FREE parking @ 901 Hancock Ave. (Corner of Santa Monica Blvd.) Adjacent to Tender Greens $0.75/30 mins thereafter. Open weekdays 7:30am–2:30am Weekends 9:00am–2:30am, AFTER 6:00pm there is a flat fee of $6

Amenities: Mats and towels provided, water for purchase, free filtered tap water, lockers and showers

Requirements for class: Sneakers

I have literally been waiting and praying for the day that Body by Simone would pop up on ClassPass and now my prayers have been answered! I took my first class last night and it did not disappoint. It was exactly what I was expecting – about 40 minutes of dance cardio that consisted of 4 dances, one plié sequence (though this sequence can be push ups, squats, planks, etc. depending on the instructor), and one final song that mixed all four of the dances together. The last 10-15 min. of class consisted of arm toning with 3 pound weights and then ab work on the mat, followed by a stretch.

BBS is like a less crazy version of Tracy Anderson’s dance classes, which are INTENSE. What I liked about the BBS class is that the trainer tells you what the moves are so you can follow along more easily (the rule of TA is that there is no talking so you just watch and try to follow). There are a list of set dances that all the instructors do, so the more you go, the more you will get them down. This class reminded me of a slightly more manageable JJ Dancer class because there is a recovery sequence mixed into the 5 dance cardio songs. My trainer was Bridget and she made all the new students feel welcome and comfortable. And yes, we were wearing the same pants! 🙂

BBS also offers a trampoline cardio class, a full body class (that incorporates cardio into full body conditioning) and then a Hips, Thighs & Buns class that focuses on the lower part of the body. Can’t wait to try them all!

Signature Lit @ LIT Method

Lit Method

Class: Signature Lit

Location: Weho (same plaza as AIR)

Work-out: Rowing/strength training

Difficulty: 4

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 50 min

Sweat Level💦💦 Sweaty

Parking: Free lot, metered street parking

Amenities: Mats and towels provided, water for purchase (didn’t see a fountain)

Requirements for class: Sneakers

I came here for my friend Rachel’s (Sweat and Repeat) event yesterday, though the studio is also now on ClassPass. This is one of LA’s newest studios and LA’s only all rowing studio. After I had checked out CityRow in NYC, I was sad that LA didn’t offer a similar workout. And then LIT opened! LIT stands for Low Impact Training, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you won’t get a tough, heart-pounding workout. I hate running, so I love classes that offer me cardio in every other form, and LIT does exactly that.

The class is a mix of cardio intervals on the rower and strength training. Every rowing circuit is followed by conditioning for abs, legs and arms using the equipment at each station, including TRX bands, ankle straps with weights and a yoga mat. The 50 minutes is nonstop and we squatted, planked, crunched, lifted, rowed and rolled through the class, hitting every major muscle group. I LOVED that we ended class with a bit of foam rolling followed by stretching to really help muscle recovery.

The studio also has a nice patio area where you can relax for a bit after class, and it’s great for events! The owners Taylor and Justin are very friendly and will push but encourage you in a non-threatening way. Justin also regularly teaches classes and adjusts his classes to the energy of the room. I definitely recommend everyone go check out this unique studio!

Cardio Barre Fusion @ Modern Barre

Modern Barre

Class: Cardio Barre Fusion

Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

Work-out: Dance cardio and barre

Difficulty: 3.5

Next day soreness: 3

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level💦💦 Sweaty

Parking: Street parking, small lot behind studio

Amenities: Mats provided, grippy socks and water for purchase

Requirements for class: Socks (preferably grippy)

I can’t seem to get enough of this class! I tried Modern Barre when I was in MA for Thanksgiving, and I first did their Signature Modern Barre class, which was a solid barre class. However, I then discovered their Cardio Barre Fusion class and now I’m hooked. The studio is owned by dancer and former Patriots cheerleader Julia Robinson, and the dance and cheer influence really comes through in this class (and I love it!). Half of the instructors are also currently Pats cheerleaders, so cool!

The first half of class is a dance cardio portion – it’s simple choreography that doesn’t require a dance background to pick up, but still a lot of fun and definitely gets your heart rate up. For someone who hates running like myself, this was exactly the type of cardio I like to do. In addition, most barre classes I go to in LA are low impact, and since I don’t do enough cardio, I found this to be a great way to get in both the toning and cardio I need in my workout routine. The remainder of class consisted of thigh and glute work at the barre, followed by arms and abs in the center of the room. One of my other favorite things about this studio is that each class ends with a signature lavender cool down, and the instructor comes around to gently give everyone a shoulder rub. Super relaxing! They also have an Ultimate Modern Barre class that is supposed to be more like a bootcamp, so I can’t wait to try that one! I just wish there was a class like this in LA (let me know if you know of one).