I had been a roll for the two weeks leading up to my hip injury, and a company called ClassPass was a major reason why. ClassPass is based in New York, but recently expanded to Los Angeles, and it’s an awesome idea. By signing up with ClassPass, you get access to loads of independent workout studios and facilities all over town. If you like taking yoga at one place, spinning at another, and a cardio dance class someplace else, then ClassPass is perfect, because you don’t need memberships at each individual place – just one ClassPass membership covers it all. And the ClassPass website handles reserving spots for you, cancellations, and providing you with schedules and such, so it’s really one-stop shopping for lots of fun exercise experiences.
ClassPass invited me to their Los Angeles launch party about two weeks ago, and I gladly went. It was awesome, because while they called it a party, it was really a spin class! I’ve taken no more than 5 spin classes in my entire life, and none in the past 2 or 3 years. I had forgotten how tough they were.
This class/launch party was at Flywheel in West Hollywood, and it was by far the fanciest spin class I’ve ever taken. First of all, they lend out spin shoes, that have special cleats that lock your feet onto the pedals, which I’ve never worn before:
The spin room is built in levels, so there’s stadium seating. The bikes have display screens that show how fast you’re spinning, how much resistance you’re using, and how much power you’re creating. All the bikes are linked to a network, and you can opt in, beforehand, to have your stats projected on a leader board that’s displayed to the class, so you can compare your workout to the others around you. (I’m a competitive sonofabitch so of course I opted in!)
Our class was led by Victor, who pushed us hard. He’s a very charismatic and motivating instructor, who kept me sweating while encouraging us to do more, go faster, dig deeper. At one point, he told us “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you,” and that’s a motto that has stuck with me ever since. Victor’s class definitely challenged me.
After class was over, there were a couple vendors passing out samples in the lobby, and I tried a delicious product called ProYo: high-protein frozen yogurt.
Mine was banana/vanilla flavored, and it had 20 grams of protein, 160 calories and 2 grams of fat. It was delicious. The perfect after-workout treat.
It turned out that the spin class was even harder than I first thought, because while I was driving home, I started feeling queasy. Uh-oh. Thankfully I made it home in time, and shortly after I walked in the door, I threw up. I don’t think I’ve throw up after a workout ever before, so that’s saying something. I wasn’t sick otherwise, so when my business at the kitchen sink was done, I felt much better.
The next day, I got an email from ClassPass: they had set me up with a free month-long trial! What? Awesome! I took them up on it, and decided this would be a month where I’d try new things. I started that weekend, and kept notes on my classes.
Sunday 6/8 – Barry’s Bootcamp: I’ve taken boot camp-type classes before, but never at Barry’s, which has locations in 5 states and 2 European countries. I chose their Oslo, Norway location. Just kidding, it was Sherman Oaks. This class had 20 or so people in it, and we were divided into two groups: half of us started on the floor (including me), while the other half started on treadmills. We did 10 minutes of exercises with weights (squats, rows, curls, etc.) before switching with the folks on the treadmills. Then came 10 minutes of running, including lots of interval work and sprints. Next came 10 more minutes of weights, followed by 10 more minutes of treadmills, and then some abs and stretching. It was a little confusing at times, because the instructor, Mike, was simultaneously telling two different groups of people what to do, but I bet I’d get used to that if I went again.
It was a brutal class, and I felt great after. Some of the weights-based stuff was very tough, although I was probably over-ambitious when I chose 15-pound weights at the beginning of class. And I’m proud to say that I hit a new personal best speed on the treadmill: I did a sprint at 8.5 miles per hour!
After class I was too tired to even smile during my own selfie:
Wednesday 6/11 – Rock It Box at Rock It Fit: My first kickboxing class. I don’t think I could throw a good punch to save my life, so the Rock It Box class at the Rock It Fit studio in Pasadena was particularly appealing. Rock It Fit offers a variety of classes, from spinning to barre to dance to kickboxing, and they have a live DJ at every class that’s in charge of the music. That’s pretty sweet.
The Rock It Box class was pretty small – there were 9 of us, and I was the only guy. The instructor, Jeff, was able to provide lots of one-on-one guidance, and was incredibly helpful. I finally know the difference between a jab, a hook, and an uppercut! It’s not a great picture, but here I am rocking a boxing glove:
The class was thoroughly exhausting. There were lots of cardio components, including jumping rope, as well as fight routines to learn and execute. Plus, it was fun to beat the crap out of a punching bag for the better part of an hour! An awesome stress reliever.
Saturday 6/14 – Barry’s Bootcamp: Back to Barry’s, this time with a different instructor, Christian. This class was smaller, so we were all in one group that moved from treadmills to floor and back again. This time around, I started with 12-pound weights, but bumped down to 10-pounders mid-way through class, because Christian doesn’t mess around. Remember how I sprinted last time at 8.5 mph? I beat that record, and sprinted this time around at 9 mph. New personal best!
Week of 6/15: The plan was to take three more classes this week through ClassPass, including another Rock It Box class and a boot camp-style class that was held inside the Rose Bowl, which I was super geeked for. Unfortunately for me, my hip had different ideas, and until I’m all healed from this injury, I’m staying off my feet and out of the classroom.
My hip, by the way, is feeling much better. There’s still some pain, but my mobility has increased, and simple actions like getting up from the couch and picking something up off the ground has gotten way easier. I’m dying to get some physical activity in, but I’m not going to risk it. I’ve aggravated injuries in the past by returning to the gym too soon, and it’s not worth it.
Keep it up, David!