Dance Cardio @ ModelFIT LA


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.



Reformer Core Burn @ 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 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!


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!


Supraformer Class @ Lagree Fitness Studio

Lagree Fitness

Class: Supraformer

Location: Weho

Work-out: Reformer Pilates

Difficulty: 5

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 25 min

Sweat Level💦 Moderately Sweaty

Parking: Metered street parking

Amenities: Bathroom, water fountain

Requirements for class: pilates socks (though I’ve seen a few people do barefoot)

I had heard about Lagree Fitness prior to taking the class, so I was mentally prepared for the Supraformer. I was glad that the class was only 25 minutes because it went by quickly, but it was incredibly challenging. The machine is like a megaformer pilates machine, except it also tilts up and down on all four sides. The moves on the machine are like what you would do at a megaformer studio, such as donkey kicks, runner’s lunges, reading the paper, etc. However, after a few reps, the instructor will click a button on the remote and all the machines will automatically start to incline.

I was excited to take a class with Mr. Sebastian Lagree himself (who invented the Lagree method on Megaformer and Supraformer) and he did not go easy on us! At one point, there was a move where the machine was tilted up to the highest level (6), and we held on in our lunges with arms outstretched. You would definitely fall off and probably hurt yourself if you let go. My advice is, if you don’t think you can hold the positions when the machine is elevated, take the weight level down! Mr. Lagree saw me struggling at a few points and helped me decrease the spring weight, which is better than falling. The good thing is, he was good at spotting who needed assistance, since once you’re in the position, you can’t really move out to change the springs yourself. Also as a note – the second from the right machine in the row facing the mirrors is a prototype, so the spring loads may be a little different. If you feel like your springs are extremely heavy, I would check with the instructor to make sure you’re on the right ones because the colors on that one are different from the others.

Check this class out, it’s a super efficient 25 minutes and you will definitely be sore the next day! Also, if it’s your first class, the check-in desk is located in the back hallway, so be sure to go through the studio and sign in there.

Semi-Private Training @ Ballet Bodies

Semi Private Ballet Bodies

Class: Semi-Private Training

Location: Weho

Work-out: pilates

Difficulty: 3.5

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level💦 Moderately Sweaty

Parking: metered street parking, small tandem lot behind studio (fits 4 cars)

Amenities: Towels provided, water fountain with cups, shower

Requirements for class: socks or barefoot

I won a semi-private training session at Ballet Bodies through their Instagram contest a couple of months ago and I came here with a friend. My trainer was Kate Highstrete who teaches the ballet stretch class and is also a dancer with the Los Angeles Ballet. She was great at listening to your needs and individualizing. Even though there were two of us, she was still able to personalize some of the moves for us depending on our strengths. And for a fan girl moment, I also think it’s cool that Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Miranda Kerr and Rosie Huntington-Whitely are all part of Ballet Bodies’ normal private-training clientele.

The class consisted of work on two reformer pilates machines (not the M3, but I believe these were the standard kind). Normally, you can go in and tell your trainer if you’d like to have a specific area of focus, but we did full body. We started with leg work that focused on inner thighs, then moved to abs, arms, glutes, calves and finished with a stretch. BTW, my thighs are BURNING today!

It’s nice that Ballet Bodies offers the option of doing semi-private with a friend so you can both push through the pain together. When I told Kate that I felt like I was bulking up from taking too many megaformer classes, she offered the insight that maybe I was doing the group class exercises with too heavy weights (since group classes are not modified to the individual and I am on the smaller side). Light bulb! I’m going to have to remember to adjust going forward. Overall this was a great experience, and I’ve loved all the trainers I’ve had at Ballet Bodies. If anyone is seeing Don Quixote by the Los Angeles Ballet, be on the lookout for Kate! And in case you guys were wondering, the move in the picture above was not part of the normal private training lesson :).


Abs & A$$ @ Carrie’s Pilates Plus


Class: Abs & A$$

Location: West Hollywood

Work-out: Megaformer Pilates

Difficulty: Level 4

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 50 min

Sweat Level💦💦 Sweaty

Parking: Underground lot for $2 with validation (enter on La Cienega) or metered parking

Amenities: Water fountain with cups, grippy socks for purchase

Requirements for class: Grippy socks or barefoot.

I finally made it to Carrie’s Pilates Plus for the last day of the #ClassPassChallenge. Let me start with the con: the front desk girl (Jocelyn?) was LESS than helpful. She was on the phone when I walked in so she didn’t say anything to me (or look at me), so I just initialed my name. I sat down and waited for her to be done with the phone, and then I told her that I was new and asked if she could give me a rundown of the studio. She looked at me like she had no idea what I was talking about and then handed me a waiver to fill out. She then got back on the phone and after waiting for a while and not having her acknowledge my presence or instruct me one way or another, I just went into the pilates room.

Luckily, the instructor (Kate Kuendal, subbing for Jessica Lee), asked if there were any first timers and seemed surprised when I said it was my first time because it wasn’t on the sign in sheet (surprise). Since I had used the Megaformer before at Studio MDR, there wasn’t too much of a learning curve. I really enjoyed the class – it was hard but not as hard as the MDR classes. Kate paid attention to form and corrected as she went along. I’ll come back, but hopefully won’t have to deal with the girl at the front in the future. From reading other reviews, it seems like she’s not really welcoming to other people either.

Reform & Ride @ Studio Elevate LA

Studio Elevate LA

Class: Reform & Ride

Location: Culver City

Work-out: Hybrid Pilates + Spin

Difficulty: Level 3.5

Next day soreness: 3

Duration: 50 min

Sweat Level💦💦 Sweaty

Parking: Free lot behind studio and metered parking out front

Amenities: Water fountain, bicycle pedal cages so you don’t need spin shoes

Requirements for class: Grippy socks recommended but not required, and sneakers for spin if you don’t have spin shoes

I’ve been meaning to check out this studio since it opened a few months ago and I’m glad I finally did! The girl at the front desk was super helpful for my first time, which is something I appreciate as so many studios have neglectful front desk staff when it comes to giving the rundown for first timers. The studio is new, clean and minimalistic.

The workout itself was unique because it combined 25 minutes of pilates on the proformer machine with 25 minutes of spin. It wasn’t as challenging as some of the other reformer pilates or spin classes I’ve taken, but I like the tone and cardio combo and it might be great for someone just getting into a regular workout regimen. The spin bikes though, I was not a fan of. It was hard for me to tell what resistance I was at and the cages for my sneakers made me feel a little off balance. I’ve read that Leah, the owner and a former Pilates Platinum instructor, leads great classes so I’ll probably come back and take just a pilates class with her.

Pilates @ Xtend Barre


Class: Pilates

Location: West Hollywood – UPDATE: Xtend Barre Weho is now closed as of 2016.

Work-out: Mat Pilates

Difficulty: Level 3.5

Next day soreness: 3

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level: 💦Moderately Sweaty

Parking: Street Parking, or you can pay $5 to valet with Crossroads and that money can be credited towards your next class or Xtend merchandise

Amenities: Merchandise for purchase

Requirements for class: socks and water

This class pleasantly surprised me after an initially stressful parking situation. The class is right on Melrose, so street parking was difficult but I ended up finding free parking on a side street perpendicular to Melrose (La Jolla, I believe). Amber, the instructor, was very sweet and what I especially liked about this class that differentiates it from other pilates/barre classes was that stretching was incorporated throughout the entire class, and not just at the end. Having been a dancer for 15 years, this really appealed to me.

The workout was also different from a lot of other studios, and the use of a resistance band and a heavy rubber ball was incorporated. I left with my booty on fire, and appreciated Amber taking the time to check in with me, since it was my first class.

Pilates Booty & Abs @ Eden Sassoon Pilates

Eden Sassoon Pilates

Class: Pilates Booty and Abs

Location: Beverly Hills

Work-out: Reformer Pilates

Difficulty: Level 3.5

Next day soreness: 3.5

Duration: 50 min

Sweat Level: 💦 Moderately Sweaty

Parking: Metered street

Amenities: Socks, swag and water for purchase. Kitchen/sink to fill up your bottle

Requirements for class: Bring water and socks!

This was a nice little change from my normal megaformer Pilates classes. Alexi was a wonderful teacher who was attentive and knowledgable about appropriate form. The class was tough but not unbearably challenging like some of the other Pilates classes I’ve reviewed. It would push you just until you felt like quitting and then the exercise would switch so you really could stick it out through everything. The Pilates Booty and Abs class worked exactly those two areas, which was perfect for me since I feel like I’ve gotten bulkier in some places I don’t want to be bulky from taking other full body Pilates classes.

The studio (owned by famous salon guru Vidal’s daughter Eden) is very well-maintained, beautiful and clean. It is located right above Scratch Bar on La Cienega’s restaurant row, so parking may be a bit tough during dinner hours. However, for people who enjoy Pilates, it’s definitely worth checking out!