Hello, my name is Amy and I am a ClassPass Addict. I first joined the ClassPass Tribe when we were living in New York and wanted to try to get more out of my work out - and I quickly became addicted to studio fitness. I had never taken fitness classes prior to joining besides the occasional yoga or zumba class at my gym, and I had never experienced the fanciness and lavender towels of boutique studios. In my first couple of months with Classpass, I tried Barre, Spinning, and Hot Yoga, all for the first time. Scheduling my classes ahead of time and making the commitment to go made such a huge difference in how much and how hard I was working out - and I immediately saw changes in my body, my mindset, and my fitness levels.
When we left New York, one of the things I missed the most was the variety in my workouts, and the forced commitment of scheduling. When I set my alarm at 6:30am to go out for a run, I only actually get up about 50% of the time. When I set my alarm for a class I've booked, I get up 95% of the time - the difference is massive. When we finally settled into our home in Santa Monica, one of the first things I did was reinstate my membership - and I was so pleasantly surprised at how many options there are within 1-2 miles of my apartment!
Over the past year I have taken over 200 classes. I refuse to drive to another neighborhood, so I have worked my way through almost every single studio in Santa Monica - I have tried them all so you don't have to! Read on for my absolute favorite tried-and-true work outs that keep me in shape and camera-ready. Every year that I get older, I have to work just a little bit harder, and these work-outs are what is keeping me in check.
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1. Megaformer at Pilates Platinum
My first experience with a MegaFormer was at Brooklyn Bodyburn - notoriously known as the Hardest Class in New York. I would force myself to go because I knew it was an amazing work out, but the class was simply too hard, and the instructors were not kind about offering modifications. Pilates Platinum is by far the best Pilates studio I have found in the neighborhood - the reformers work you HARD, but the instructors are very positive and are great at offering you options to get the class to your level. It's a nonstop 50 minutes of burn, but it's worth it! And a good amount of times are offered at 7 credits, which is very reasonable for pilates.
2. Pylo Jam at Be Crystal Clear
The first time I took a class here, I questioned why I hadn't been doing it all along! Plyo Jam is a one hour follow-along dance class that really brings the sweat. The dance routines incorporate lots of jumping, squat pulses and hip shakes that you make you feel the burn as you're going. I burn just as many calories as I do at spin class, and have way more fun doing it! Be Crystal Clear also offers yoga, sound baths and a new Cardio Ballet class that I need to try!
3. Sean Phelps's Yoga 3 at YogaWorks Montana
Sean's 90 minute weekend class is unlike any yoga class I have ever taken and an experience in itself. The class is not a standard flow. Sean incorporates a lot of deep stretches and deep strength moves with yoga technique and handstand/balance prep work. This is one of the few classes that Brandon regularly joins me at and when I asked him to describe it he just said "hard." We always leave Yogaworks feeling great, but also like we really worked for it.
4. Method 45 at Flywheel Sports
There are a number of Spin options in Santa Monica, but Flywheel is one of the few Fancy Spin Studios that is available for 7 credits, putting it to the top of my list. I used to take Flywheel classes in New York, and the Santa Monica studio is just as great. Flywheel is a much more technical ride than some studios - offering exact torque and RPM numbers on a screen on your bike - but is still dark, loud, dancey, and a great time.
5. Sweat Chizle at Sweat Yoga
What came first, the Sculpt or the Chizle? I first tried this style of class at CorePower, loved it, and was so happy to find something similar on ClassPass. All of Sweat Yoga's classes are heated to 100 degrees, dimly lit, and without mirrors. Chizle starts with a vinyasa flow, and then incorporates hand weights, squats, plyometrics and other strength moves for a heart-pounding and strengthening work out. This is one of my favorite classes to take, and I spend all of my Sweat credits at Chizle.
6. Mighty Male at Training Mate
Picture a strength and cardio circuit class, but taught by the most cheerful, upbeat, cheerleaders of instructors you have ever met. And they are also very, very Australian - the entire Training Mate studio has an Aussie theme with classes such as "Bondi Burn" and "Thunder Down Under." The 45 minute circuit classes are tough and well-executed, but adjustable to your level, but most importantly the studio is about the happiest, brightest, most fun gym you'll ever walk in to.
7. Cardio Sculpt at Burn Fitness
Like Barry's Bootcamp with out the price. I love Burn Fitness - it's not a fancy studio, the class room is in the middle of a standard gym, but the classes are always great. Cardio Sculpt is a newer offering from Burn and it is INTENSE! One class I did had us running up and down stairs and across the roof of the gym between every circuit, and another one had us running half mile sprints on the treadmill in 4 minutes - I was sore for days from that one. Also at Burn, I am a big fan of the Bikini Booty class (a lower-body focused class that runs you through a number of different stations to work every side of your legs and glutres) and the Pilates Bootcamp class (a mix of strength and cardio boosts, with a strong core focus.) The classes here are an amazing value for their 3-5 credit price, and as a bonus you can use the gym and sauna after if you like.
8. Power Ryde45 at RYDE4
On the roof of Burn Fitness is Ryde 4, the little spin studio that could! Ryde is not the same kind of stadium cycling as Flywheel - the studio only has around 25 bikes total. The classes here are heart-rate focused, which is a different approach to spin than I have experienced before and really made me much more aware of my heart rate in all of my other workouts. The studio gives you a heart monitor before you enter, that displays your heart rate on the screen and which of the 4 working zones you are in. The different parts of the rides are focused on getting you to different heart rates, getting your heart rate to the highest you can in your sprints, and then seeing how fast you can reduce to a lower zone. Not only do I really enjoy the classes here, they are very worth the 4-6 credit charge.
9. Jet Fuel at Double Ops Functional Training
Every class at Double Ops is a challenging, sweaty strength circuit, but I always find myself drawn to Jet Fuel. During the 45 minute sessions, you work your way through 15 different circuits, varying from box jumps to TRX rows to lifting weights while balancing on a Bosu, without stopping. Then you run the course again... and again. By the end I always feel every muscle burning.
10. Knock Out at Basecamp Fitness
One Minute of boxing punches, followed by one minute of sprinting on the assault bike, and repeat. Throw in a couple of sprints down the block and core strengtheners to mix it up. I'm in pretty great shape, if I do say so myself, and this class has me huffing and puffing from about 10 minutes in. All of Basecamp's workouts are a great cardio and strength work out wrapped up in a 45 minute explosion. I make my way through a variety of circuit classes, and I like the boxing focus on this one - it's different enough to keep it interesting.
11. Barre at Exhale
Barre isn't the only work out I would choose to do, but I always take a couple of Barre classes a month to keep my muscles burning in a different way than the heavier power classes, with micro-movements and isometric contractions. I find Exhale to be a bit more challenging than some of the other Barre classes in the area, and I always feel like I get a great burn here. The Exhale Barre + Cardio and HITT classes are great too!
This post is not sponsored and contains my 100% honest opinions. I will receive a small commission if you choose to sign up to Classpass through my link.