My Top Workout Classes in LA
Roki Prunali | Thursday February 22nd 2018
Each time I arrive in Los Angeles, the first thing I do is pre-book all my favorite workout classes. Back home in Milan, the closest I get to a hip, fun workout is Barry’s Bootcamp. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Barry’s – but what I really wish made it its way out there is a groovy dance class. I mean I will chacha the hell out of some Zumba, but I need a little hip hop in my life and a bit more of a challenge.
I am confident in saying that I pick up any workout rather easily. I may not be able to do all the reps in an excruciating sculpt class, but give me a routine or boxing gloves and I try to be the head of the class. The only class that I seem to not be able to master, and that my friends revel in watching me suffer, is Soulcycle. For the life of me, I cannot click in to those dang bikes. Once I am in, I become a cycling queen, but you would never know that I needed one of the assistants to help click me in. One day I will be triumphant. One day.
So back on topic, since arriving in Los Angeles, I made an effort to try my entire bucket list of workout classes and go back to all my beloved staples. While I am still here for a bit longer and try some new ones on for size, these are my top workout classes in LA.
As we established earlier, I love to get my groove on and cannot get enough of dance cardio madness. I may be able to get the choreography down, but I am in no way shape or form sexy when I maneuver the dancefloor. I may think that I am in my head, but who cares, I have a blast and love hearing the latest hits (and even the oldies) to get my mind off the real world.
Body By Simone
One of my hands down all time favorite dance classes on the west coast is Body by Simone. On the dancing scale, it is not so much serious dance moves as it is choreographed routines that make you break a serious sweat. The BBS method uses techniques derived from dance and during the sculpting part of your hour, they only use clients’ own body weight and some light resistance. I have been frequenting this class for years, and no matter where I find myself in Los Angeles, I make the trek to get there.
Just like everyone posts their perfectly plated food on Instagram, same goes for their perfectly sweat filled workout. Honestly, I can’t get enough of it. I found LEK Fit on Busy Phillipps feed, and not only is she a hoot to follow in general, but watching her painfully get through Lauren Kleban’s class made me desperately want to feel her same pain. And boy did I feel the pain. The signature bounce class left me with wobbling legs after spending the hour on the trampoline. Think you are going to be doing simple kick backs, think again. You not only have leg weights on your ankle, but a resistance band in case you were thinking it was too easy.
Since being stuck in Malibu (definitely not complaining), it is hard to get to any of my go to dance classes without spending an hour in the car. After a bit of research I found the perfect spot, with the best hip hop music. Located just behind the Malibu Country Mart, in an infamous Malibu trailer nonetheless, you can find JAM Malibu. Juicy Athletic Moves, meaning just that, offers some butt busting workouts that will for sure leave you drenched in sweat. On my first day, Neda, the radiant owner and teacher, tested her prototype sliding pads, which only made the inner thigh burn that much intense. Also, if you didn’t get the moves the first time, she repeats the song to make sure all her dancing students can follow in tow.
I am the typical cliché, a boxing maniac whose name is Roki. I may not spell it the same way, but the jokes still roll in anytime I try a new boxing class. Letting the jokes slide (I mean I have been getting them since I was a kid), I throw on my gloves and get in that ring and shut out everything else in the world. At Box Union, you get all the boxing moves with air punching and heavy bag work and a high intensity cardio conditioning while listening to some pumping music and Soulcycle-esque inspiration from the instructors.
The first time I took this class, I swear I was going to projectile vomit. I tried everything in my will to not run to the bathroom during our circuit punching because I was already making my fellow group boxers do burpees for my lack of strength while punching due to my complete exhaustion. Sorry guys, I still feel horrible about that. Do you know what a Versa Climber is? One of my personal nemesis, it is a vertical rower/step machine. Not only does that already seem hard on its own, but at Gloveworx you must maintain a certain speed and if even one person slacks, minutes add to your time on the machine. Luckily, I was able to keep up for that one. This nonstop, station circuit training was hands down one of the hardest classes I have ever taken, but definitely the most rewarding.
With the amount of yoga studios to chose from in Los Angeles, studios venture into diverse ways to tweak the practice to reach a certain appeal. Let’s get back to the basics, that is Love Yoga’s philosophy. Their white walls, no heat, no mirrors, no weights and laid back feel is what drew me into this studio. With all the hustle and bustle around us, clean and simple let’s you recharge and focus on your breathing and meditation. But simple does not mean easy. Not a yogi? No worries, while I was practicing, there were all the walks of life in the room. No judgments here.
Ok so this place is on the complete opposite end of the yoga spectrum, but you know that I can’t get that rhythm out of my blood. Playlist is modern, music-based approach to yoga with an upbeat workout that matches your breathe to the movement (basics of yoga), but then bases the movement to the music. Oh and did I mention there is a resident DJ. Yes please!
What are your favorite workout classes?