I don’t want to say I’m back, but I am feeling inspired. With the kid at sleep away camp (and having a blast) I find myself with more free time than usual. This week I took full advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to be home by a specific time or pay a sitter. We tried two new restaurants (well new to us) and I went not once but twice to a relatively new gym in Santa Monica, Gloveworx.
Friday morning I tried the brand new Orangetheory Fitness in Brentwood. I was told to arrive 15 minutes early to get the heart rate monitor set up. This meant arriving at 5:15am. What was I thinking?
Parking was a breeze. The check in process was easy. Sign a waiver, get a moist heart rate strap (don’t worry it isn’t residual sweat…they wet the straps to make it less abrasive on your skin and it helps facilitate the Bluetooth transmission to the PODS) and put around your chest. Snap on a Polar monitoring component.
Here is a run down of my 60 minute class (I may have missed a few details):
Minutes 1 – 10:
On and off the rowing machine. Doing short bursts on the machine then getting up and doing full body squats. What am I doing wrong. My feet are getting stuck when I try and get out of the rowing machine. My heart rate (there are mounted flat panels with your name and % of exertion listed) is not going up. I woke up at 4:45am for this? The instructor needs to explain more up front and walk us through how to set the machine, proper rowing technique etc.
Minutes 11 – 30:
On the floor doing two different circuits. The first involves TRX and burpees. I hate burpees (but I know they are good for me). What am I doing wrong. Instructor is saying heart rate should be in the orange zone. I’m still nowhere near there and I can tell by the monitor other people are getting their heart rates up. The second circuit is with dumbbells – chest fly, skull crushers, and then abs. Okay, I know I’m getting a workout but maybe I’m just flat out bad at this class. Do I like it? Am I glad I came. Hmm … Still not sold.
Minutes 31 – 56:
Treadmill time. I can do this. I can run on the treadmill. We do a set of intervals. Medium pace for two minutes , faster pace for one minute , fastest pace for one minute, walk. Now I’m getting it. My heart rate is 96%. Awesome. Yay me I must really be doing a great job. I can’t remember all the different combinations we did on the treadmill. I was too out of breath to think about it. This is good. I’m panting and dripping with sweat. This was a great idea. I’m so glad I got up.
Minutes 57 – 60:
The moment of truth. Our stats are put up on the screen and we are led through some stretches. I’m too distracted by the data. I have real data about my workout in the form of a bar chart showing how many minutes I spent in each of the zones and total calories burned. I’m kind of bummed by the calorie count – 404 calories. Seriously is that all. A tad depressing seeing some of the men burned more than 700.
The teacher explains what the results mean and I’m asking a bunch of questions. Mainly I want to know how I optimize my workout in order to burn the most calories. Answer, Orangetheory (spend your time in the Orange Zone). Interesting so maybe I shouldn’t try and run so fast?
I leave class and within a few hours I have the results of my workout emailed to me. This is good. I now have a benchmark and you better believe I will be back again this week to beat my results.
With the studio just opening on Friday, I expect it to take a bit of time for the instructors to find their rhythm. One thing I hope they add ASAP is towel service.
So if you are looking for a new workout to try Orangetheory is it and they have over 400 locations.
I know you’ve been doing Bar classes for years now. I could never get my head around spending a hour doing something where I wasn’t dripping with sweat. Cardio was my mantra for years. I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you sooner when you told me how amazing Bar Method is. Well amazing may not be the right word, but I can see why you were hooked. Holy sh&T that is one tough workout. I’ve been going once a week for the last 3 months (well that is what I’ve been trying to do). I’m fairly certain I’m always the worst in the class. I have zero flexibility so things like getting my leg up on the bar pose a bit of a challenge. That being said, I don’t care and I’m certain nobody else in the room cares either. We are all too busy “pushing our limits” and “experiencing the shake.” I kid you not, at time it feels like I’m my own earthquake but they say that is “when the change really starts to happen.” Oh and there are pretzels at the Bar but you don’t eat them. Instead, I think they eat your fat away.
Bottom line is I get it, I understand why people hit the Bar. In fact, I wish I could do a 30 day Bar challenge as I truly believe I would see changes in my body.
You can find me at Bar Method Brentwood @ 6:10am on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
So cheers! Take a shot at the Bar.
I’ve been in NYC for an eternity. Okay only since Sunday but I swear one day in NY feels like 3 days to me. I was busy with work so sorry to my friends in NYC if I didn’t reach out. I’ll be back. Anyhow, I had lofty ambitions outside of work. I was going to try and different workout every day. #Fail
However, tonight on my last night, I made it to Flywheel. It was awesome. There are 2 Flywheel locations in LA (West Hollywood and Larchmont) but I’ve never been. Flywheel is indoor cycling but in my opinion it is vastly different from SoulCycle and I firmly believe you can like both.
Here is what I loved about Flywheel:
– I got super sweaty (sweat is fat crying)
– It was over in 45 minutes
– Accountability – Each bike has a little computer that measures your resistance and speed (no more cheating and pretending to put on a full turn)
– Torq Boards – You can choose to have your performance display on leaderboards in class so you can see how you rank against other riders. This was super motivating as I wanted to be first.
– Performance metrics provided in your own private account (snapshot from my account below)
Looks like I’ll be heading East of the 405 more often
I know I’m nuts. I’m okay with it. Last week I ran into Raphael Verela, owner and creator of Circuit Works in Los Angeles. I’d been to Circuit Works a few times in 2009 and decided it wasn’t for me. Raphael told me a lot had changed since 2009 and I should give it another shot. I told him I would and then learned the only class I could make that he was teaching was 5:30am on Tuesday at the Main St. Santa Monica location. When I give someone my word I stick to it. I had a bit of anxiety on Monday night. Why in the world would I wake up at 5am on purpose. I wake up early but 5:00 for some reason seemed like the middle of the night. When my alarm went off I think some expletives left my mouth. Getting from Pacific Palisades to Main St Santa Monica that time of day was a breeze (10 minutes door to door/no speeding). When I arrived I was warmly greeted by Raphael and happy to see there were other suckers ready to get their butts kicked along with me.
The class flew by as we went from 2 minute intervals on the treadmill to various strength stations on the floor. The class had changed a lot since I was last there and I really enjoyed myself. My idea of enjoying myself might be different from yours. When I work out I want to feel like I’m getting my butt kicked and if I’m paying for a class then I want to feel like I’m being pushed and challenged. Raphael provided the right amount of motivation and helped keep me in the moment. I guarantee you I would never do 95% of what we did in class on my own.
This morning I woke up a little sore but that is a good thing. I’ll definitely be spending more early mornings at Circuit Works. 5:00am wake up is early but seriously the benefit and endorphins I get from working out make up for it. Besides with my schedule if I don’t work out in the morning it won’t happen.
If you want a challenge and are easily bored I urge you to try Circuit Works. Oh and they have classes throughout the day in both Santa Monica and Brentwood so no need to be a rooster unless you have to.
I’ve been salivating over my friend Christina’s (and her business partner Corrina Wall) new line of workout gear, Chillbywill, for a few weeks now. You can only imagine how excited I was to check out her trunk show at Burn60 on Saturday morning. I’d seen a pair of pants (New Power Crop with skull insert) I wanted on her Instagram feed @chillbywill. Saturday morning these pants became mine. Upon returning home from my workout, I decided to put my new pants on. Even though I’d already worked out my afternoon would be spent at the park playing handball and practicing baseball, thereby justifying my choice in workout clothes. Okay who am I kidding if I could I would wear workout clothes all the time. After all I do live on the Westside of Los Angeles and have a child. Isn’t workout attire the default uniform? All joking aside, my new pants fit me like a glove. The material sucked me in (this is a good thing) and they were beyond comfortable (not sucked me in like Spanx where I get a stomachache). The pocket on the side was also a great place for my phone and keys. Running around these pants performed well (meaning they stayed in place, the waist didn’t fall down, etc). I can’t wait to buy a few more pairs. Speaking of buying them, you can order them online http://store.chillbywill.com/.
By the way the picture above is the picture I saw on Instagram. Those are my new pants but that is not my body. And if you don’t like skulls don’t worry there are other styles to choose from.
I recently tried Shape House Los Angeles on Broadway @ 10th Street in Santa Monica (there is also a Larchmont location). The only thing I knew about it was it was an “urban sweat lodge.” I didn’t do any research and I did not know anyone who had been before. I like to sweat and I like to try new things so I figured I’d give it a try. I bought a coupon on Yelp thereby getting me the sweat session at a discount. I didn’t bother to read the reviews. I booked my appointment and I showed up excited to sweat away stress and toxins.
Upon walking in the door I felt like I entered a “boutique hotel.” I think it was the color scheme – orange and gray. The relaxation room that I had the option to use after was directly in front of the reception area. The chairs didn’t look very relaxing and I found it a bit odd that from where I was sitting I was staring directly into the relaxation room. That being said, the woman I saw in the relaxation room did look very sweaty.
The women who worked at Shape House were nice and the facility very clean. One showed me where to change into my sweats (I brought my own but I believe they also had them available for a fee). Dressed in sweats, socks, and a long sleeve shirt I was shown into my little area. There was a curtain surrounding a special bed and a private TV mounted on the wall in front of the bed. I was instructed to get in the bed which had some plastic and metallic like material to wrap around my body. This is when I began to freak out inside. I hate sleeping in a bed with a flat sheet firmly tucked in to the corners. In my own bed I don’t use a flat sheet and the first thing I do at hotels is untuck the sheet. Sleeping bags forget about them – totally out of the question. I need to be able to move freely. So now I’m laying with my arms by my sides feet firmly enclosed and material on top of me. It is warm and it proceeds to get warmer. I’m given headphones and a remote. The TV has ROKU so there is no shortage of things to watch. Mentally I’m talking myself through my distress and trying to distract myself with the programming on TV. I decide to watch a documentary on Chipotle – the Mexican fast casual (I learned that phrase) restaurant. It was interesting and motivating in a way. In my head I was thinking that all this sweating would definitely earn me some Mexican food. (I also learned that Chipotle is an interesting and socially responsible company). Each time I took my arm out of the bed to drink water (they provide endless supply of alkaline water) I was calmed by the cooler air temperature and reminded that I could leave at any time. However, there was a part of me that was determined to overcome my phobia and see how long I could stay in a mummy like position. When I started the woman explained the bed would only get hotter and that she would be by often to check on me and offer me more water. In the 45 minutes I was in the bed, I drank 3 Liters of water. I got sweaty, very sweaty. I never felt relaxed as I was trying to talk myself through the experience. I didn’t last with my entire body wrapped under all the material. I had to keep my arms out as I was too hot and felt too confined. You know what it is like when your in a hot tub and so hot that you decide to sit on the edge but still keep your legs in the water, that is what taking my arms out was doing for me. When the session ended I wasn’t sad. I went into the relaxation room to cool off and was treated to more water and delicious orange slices. I kept thinking of the movie Cocoon but I think that is only because I felt like I had been in one for the past 45 minutes. While I do like to sweat I realize sweating while exercising is my preferred method. Second would be going to a spa where I can walk in and out of a steam room or sauna at my leisure.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad I went. I love to try new things. Shape House LA just isn’t for me. If you go or if you’ve been, I’d love to hear about your experience.