At a Glance:
Address: 6015 Santa Monica Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90038
Class length: As long as it takes (45-60 min)
Price: first class free, 1 class/$15, 10 classes/$120
Sweat Scale: high
Energy level: medium
I’m always looking to try something new and get out of my comfort zone with my workouts. In LA, where there is no shortage of fitness studios, this is a pretty easy task. The Changing Room is a unique gym that offers DIY circuit training daily.
This studio is located right on Santa Monica Blvd directly across from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. I actually drove right by it initially and had to give them a call for help. John answered and led me in the right direction. They do not have a parking lot but there is plenty of free street parking in the neighborhood.
When I walked in, John introduced himself and already knew my name from my reservation. I noticed that it was a smaller place with a bunch of exercise contraptions and equipment. I put my purse in the cubby and grabbed a towel. Although I was running a couple minutes late from getting lost, the class times are pretty meaningless because The Changing Room is open nightly from 5:30 pm to 8 pm and visitors come whenever to guide themselves through the designated workout.
John explained how the gym worked and let me know that if anything seemed to be too much (or too little…ha..ha) he could modify it accordingly. I began with a few minutes on the rowing machine to warm up. Next, I did 100 counts on a jump rope followed by 10 burpees, repeated 3 times. Jump roping always confuses me because it seemed SO easy when we were in elementary school and now it is just about the hardest workout I know. I broke a sweat quickly and my heart was racing. When the warm up was complete, it was time to begin the circuit of the day.
The daily exercise is written in chalk and changed daily (hence, The “Changing” Room). I was to do two rounds of 60 step-ups (stepping on and off of a tall stand), 60 sledgehammer tire hits, 60 squats with a kettle bell, and then 60 kettle bell swings. John demonstrated each one and then gave me a chance to try it out. When he gave me the sledgehammer to hit against the tire, it brought my whole body down from its weight. After trying and failing a couple times, John thankfully decided it would be better for me to do 60 leg-lowers (laying down and bringing your straightened legs down to 6 inches off the ground then back up again) instead.
While completing this circuit I noticed some things.
- Sixty is A LOT.
- It took all I had not to cheat and skip any numbers.
- I took breaks when I needed to. Since no one is watching you the entire time, you can really go at your own pace.
- I started doing a lot of mental math with the number 60. “So I can do 2 sets of 30, 3 sets of 20, 6 sets of 10.”
- It helped to make eye contact and show mutual signs of distress to the other class goers.
It took me an hour to finish the entire class and, when I was done, John got me a foam roll so I could stretch my exhausted muscles.
Honestly, I wouldn’t call this the best area to walk around. However, just one mile south you have Larchmont Village where you MUST make a visit to the Portland based ice creamery, Salt and Straw. Salt and Straw is an extremely popular, unique ice cream shop that opened in LA in September and features interesting flavors like pear and blue cheese, honey lavender, and the seasonal Dracula’s Blood Pudding (with…real…blood).
Tricks of the Trade
- This is somewhat of a personal training session because there is always a trainer there who can help you with your form or suggest another exercise.
- Make sure to bring water (I didn’t and was parched!).
- While this workout is great for anyone, it’s one of the only fitness studios I have been to that offers a really manly workout (think sledgehammer tire hits). Encourage your boyfriend to come along!