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!

 

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Cross Over 3 @ XO Fitness

XO Fitness

Class: Cross Over 3

Location: Sherman Oaks

Work-out: Circuit Training, Boxing, Rowing, Reformer Pilates

Difficulty: 4

Next day soreness: 3.5

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level💦💦 Sweaty

Parking: Street Parking

Amenities: Mats, towels and wraps provided, water and swag for purchase

Requirements for class: sneakers, bring water if you don’t want to buy

Hi! Sorry about the long break in posts! Over the past couple of months, I quit my job and started grad school so my schedule has been crazy busy with traveling and back to school related things. I’m hoping to keep the blog going, but my posts will probably not be as frequent. Hope you guys understand!

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a launch event at XO Fitness (called “Cross Over Fitness”) in Sherman Oaks. The concept is incredibly cool. It basically consists of 3 circuit training stations that have 3 different exercises at each station, and incorporates activities that you normally would not find as part of a stand circuit training workout. For example, there were two stations that consisted of reformer pilates, bosu ball and weighted ab work, and TRX strength training. Another station had two rounds of boxing and a round of rowing on water rowers. Class then ended with some more core work on mats and a stretch.

There were definitely a lot of moving pieces so you had to realy pay attention when the instructor explains what is happening at each station. However, the concept was so cool and a lot of fun! I loved having boxing and reformer pilates be a part of the circuit workout because those are two activities I love and you can’t really get that as a segmented workout in other places. Sara Lewis, the founder and creator of XO, was very high energy and kept you motivated the whole time. In a class like this, it can get crazy and hard to see if everyone is doing what they are supposed to, but she was great about making corrections and going around to everyone. One piece of advice – definitely size up on the hand wraps because otherwise your hands might get scuffed up like mine (I didn’t listen to the advice :/).

I definitely recommend this class as it was a ton of fun and something different from any other workout I’ve done.

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!

 

Fithaus w/ Style Firm LA @ the Parker

Stylefirm Fithaus

Last weekend, I also had the chance go attend Style Firm LA’s Fithaus experience at the Parker in Palm Springs. Any time there’s an event at the Parker, you know it’s bound to be a good time, but Fithaus went beyond a beautiful location and delivered a great workout with delicious brunch and treats.

Fithaus brunch

Fithaus is a series of wellness events around large music festivals such as Coachella and Stagecoach, this particular one was centered around stagecoach. This particular event was cohosted by Style Firm LA and Qalo. Style Firm is a line of body shaping activewear, available on its website and Bloomingdales, and Qalo is a silicon wedding band concept that takes the place of your normal wedding band when you’re doing activities such as working out. I might also add that they have the cutest logo! (See below on the black tote.)

Qalo rings Qalo rings

The day kicked off with a workout by Best U studio. You incorporate the metal U’s throughout class as you would dumbells, and don’t let the pretty colors fool you into thinking it’s easy. They come in 4 and 8 pounds and I could not even lift the 8 pound one while trying to do abs.

Fithaus Best U

Post workout, everyone was treated to a beautiful and delicious brunch with sips and a slew of different fun station for flower crowns by Cake & Punch, flash tattoos by Annabee Jewelry, coconut body oils by Kopari and other swag.

Cake and Punch

Cake & Punch specializes in event production and I have to say their flower crowns made from real flowers are possibly the most flattering ones I’ve ever worn. In fact, a week later and my flower crown still looks beautiful and fresh. (insert basic joke here :P)

Flower Crowns

Guests were also treated to some very pretty flash tats by Annabee, who had a station set up to get you ready for the festival.

Annabee

My friend and fellow blogger Amanda also came with me and we had a blast lounging at the Parker. Qalo had a cute little area set up, and Stylefirm also brought a pickup truck full of their latest styles

Qalo loungeQalo Lounge

Stylefirm truckStyle Firm Truck (with DJ in the background)

Style Firm LA definitely knows how to host a fun wellness event, and they actually hosts these pretty regularly. Best part? It’s all free! Be sure to follow them on Instagram and Facebook to RSVP for their next event!

Yoga for Bad People + Q&A w/ Gunnar Peterson @ Propel Co:Labs

Made to Move Propel

Last week I was invited to go check out a 4-day experience put on by Propel Water. The experience, called Propel Co:Labs, was housed at a beautiful residence in Venice where a number of different workout programs and brands came together to host classes and other fun wellness activities.

Yoga for Bad People

I attended a session with Yoga for Bad People founder Heather Lilleston, who specializes in leading yoga retreats at beautiful destinations around the world. Currently, they only offer classes in NYC. Although we were not on a tropical beach halfway around the world, the setup at Propel Co:Labs felt like a serene little getaway, and combined with Heather’s practice, I felt completely zen post class.

Gunnar PetersonImage by Propel

After the workout, everyone headed upstairs for a much anticipated Q&A session with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson. You’ve seen his work on Khloe Kardashian (talk about an amazing transformation!), as well as on J.Lo, Angelina Jolie and Sofia Vergara. He debunked some common myths about fitness (giving the advice that if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is!), and I was hoping that he would tell me that you DON’T need intense cardio to burn fat. But alas, that one holds true. The heart is a muscle, after all, and you need intense aerobic exercise to strengthen it just like any other muscle.  Fun fact from Gunnar: he does not consider basketball intense aerobic exercise because the players are always stopping and going, and the way he sees it, cardio means a continuous exertion. I guess that will remind me not to take breaks during my treadmill sessions in bootcamp then. In addition, Gunnar reminds everyone that if you do try something new in your fitness and wellness regimen, be sure to do it in isolation. If you are trying too many things at once, you won’t know which one is actually effective.

Propel Mocktail

Following the Q&A, the roof deck was set up with a delicious and healthy post-workout lunch. Propel also made these beautiful mocktails with their new flavored water line. We got to mix and mingle with the fellow attendees, many of whom were also bloggers, editors and fitness instructors. Big thanks to Propel for putting on this amazing event and for the invite!

NYCers, don’t miss the chance to go check out this event when Propel Co:Labs hits NY!

 

 

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.

Get Fit @ Coachella

Coachella Fit guide

If you’re headed to the desert this weekend or next, it’s quite the strenuous activity, and generally a hiatus from healthy lifestyles. From past experiences, if you go to the festival for 10 hours each day, it comes out to around 10 miles of walking, which is a lot of activity in and of itself. (That is, if you’re not being shuttled around on golf carts in the festival.)

However, if you’re looking for more opportunities to stay fit, or if you’re just around for the party scene, here are some more chances:

Barry’s Bootcamp: Pop up at the Saguaro (1800 E Palm Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92264) Saturday and Sunday (weekend 1) from 10AM – 11AM. RSVP to niki@barrysbootcamp.com

The Sweat Shoppe: If the desert heat isn’t enough and you want things a little hotter, the Sweat Shoppe popping up with their heated spin classes at both weekends of Coachella at the Riviera Palm Springs (1600 N Indian Canyon Dr, Palm Springs, CA 92262) Book your bikes here.

Of course, swimming in the pool counts too! 😉

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.

Iron Signature Boxing @ Iron Boxing Brentwood

Iron Boxing BW

Class: Iron Signature Boxing Bw

Location: Brentwood

Work-out: Circuit Training Boxing

Difficulty: 4

Next day soreness: 4

Duration: 60 min

Sweat Level💦💦 Sweaty

Parking: Street parking (they will have validation in the building lot for a few dollars, but that hasn’t happened yet as of 3/18/16)

Amenities: Lockers, showers, filtered water, towels, gloves and wraps

Requirements for class: sneakers

This is a brand new studio that just opened last week and the locker room is BEAUTIFUL. I have been meaning to try Iron Boxing in Santa Monica, but never made it over there, so I was beyond excited that the Brentwood location opened less than a mile from my apartment! I went last Friday evening with a friend and there were only 6 people total in the class, so there was a lot of personalized attention. Ask for a walk through of the studio because the front desk didn’t really give me the rundown until I specifically asked (even though they knew it was my first time). There is only one bathroom for women and one for men, but these are separate from the locker rooms. The locker room is clean and big and full of amenities, with combo locks and 2 showers.

The studio itself is part gym, part boxing studio and there is also individual gym time offered where people can go and use the machines (treadmills, etc.) and the equipment. The boxing class takes place in a ring area and there are punching bags and a series of circuits set up. The class consisted of a cardio warmup, three circuits total that included boxing, punching bags, weights and cardio, and finished with ab work on mats and a stretch. It was an intense workout (kind of like Prevail, but with less people and more instructors). There were 3 trainers total for the 6 of us, so the ratio was pretty good. The area below my right shoulder blade was really sore the next day, so I hope that means I’m working a muscle I don’t normally work! I brought my own gloves and wraps but my friend rented hers for free from the studio. Overall, it was a nice and intense workout with a lot of personalized attention.