New Balance Girls Night Out WeHo Event

If you’re looking for something fun, free, and fitness related, look no further. New Balance is hosting Girls Night Out events at stores around the United States and Canada.

I attended the West Hollywood GNO fit party last night hosted by Frontrunners, a store where you can buy everything from new running shoes, to energy gels, to GPS watches.

During the event, Body By Simone instructor Erica Hood led us through a dance inspired cardio workout. Although we used nothing but the beat of the music and our own body weight, I was absolutely drenched in sweat just five minutes in.

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I usually despise any class that requires coordination because, well, I have none, but I loved how easy it was to pretend you knew what you were doing. That might have something to do with the fact that I was literally in the back behind a wall, but either way, there was so much bouncing that whether or not my moves were correct didn’t even matter.

The music, played by Erica’s DJ boyfriend, was so positive and uplifting that it immediately urged you to get moving.

Once class was over and we were all way sweatier than anticipated, we munched on acai bowls by Amaze Bowls, sipped drinks by WTRMLN WTR and Go Girl, and reenergized with mini Cliff Bars and Gu Energy Gels. There was a sports masseuse, caricaturist, and a photobooth.

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Unfortunately I wasn’t lucky enough to win any of the raffle prizes including tanks, socks, make up bags, and even a brand new pair of New Balance sneaks of the winner’s choosing (ugh, my fingers AND toes were crossed for that one!). Nonetheless, this was the perfect way to spend my Wednesday.

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Interested in checking out one of the upcoming events? Find one in your area here. Check out photos using #nbgno!

Things I’m Loving Lately — May

lululemon athletica “Naked” Leggings

I was fortunate to attend a lululemon preview event at a stunning home in the Hollywood Hills this past weekend. After a calming yoga class, we were shown the gorgeous looks that lulu will be rolling out this summer—including a swimwear line! Each attendee was gifted a pair of the Naked Sensation crop leggings. I’ve basically been living in them ever since and could not recommend them more. I love the high waist and the Nulu fabric literally has me double-checking if I even put pants on! You can shop them here.

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Hello Fresh Delivery

I’m not a cook and I might never be, but with Hello Fresh I’ve been able to actually feel like I know my way around the kitchen. Hello Fresh delivers ingredients and recipes for three meals each week, but you can pause whenever. Even as a picky eater, I’ve enjoyed each of the concoctions we’ve received. Although the amount of packaging is a bit frightening, it’s nice to have everything at your fingertips and to create something delicious in around thirty minutes.

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Plain Oatmeal

I go through so many breakfast phases. From overnight oats, to chia pudding, to a simple container of Greek yogurt, my routines change every few months. Currently, I’m on a plain oatmeal kick. Sometimes I’ll add fresh berries or a pack of nuts for some extra protein but I’ve noticed that oatmeal keeps me full up until lunch and is a great source of fiber.

NBC Strong

Featuring some of LA’s favorite trainers, Strong has sent me on emotional rollercoasters each week. Yes, I really do cry while watching. Instead of trying to lose weight, the goal is to make each contestant as strong as possible—both mentally and physically. The women work as a team with a trainer and compete in difficult challenges each week. Strong airs Thursdays at 8/7c on NBC.

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My Kindle

I stuck by real books for a while, turning up my nose to the digital way to read. Even when my husband surprised me with a Kindle for my birthday a few months ago, it took me a while to decide to take advantage of my new gift. Well, I changed my ways and I don’t think I’ll ever look back. Books are delivered within an instant and ready to be devoured. I can carry it with me wherever I go because it’s so lightweight. I also love how I can turn off my lamp before bed and still read because of the built in backlight. If you’ve been considering making the change, do it!

5 Ways to Make Your Workout Count

This post is written by guest blogger Lauren McAulay.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of working out. I grew up playing sports so being active was part of my life. I played soccer up until college and after my soccer days I was conditioned to work my butt off so I continued going to the gym. I started taking hot yoga sculpt classes that kicked my butt and then moved on to ClassPass and only chose classes that left me insanely sweaty and down right exhausted. If I wasn’t dying at the end of my workout, I didn’t consider it a workout at all. Not saying this is a bad thing but it really depends on the mindset you have around working out.

In the last year I heavily got into the body positive movement. I am a Body Love Coach and self-love advocate. Since I promote positive body image, I started having a different mindset around working out as well.

So here you have it. In my opinion, five ways to make your workout count!

1. Move your body with love

You may tell yourself why does this matter? I get my workout in, kick my butt, and get out of there. It doesn’t matter if I’m loving it or hating it. But no, IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS! If you are sending signals to your body and telling it that you hate working out, you are suffering, the only reason you are doing it is to burn calories, or just so you can have dessert after dinner; your body knows!

When your body is in a state of hate believe it or not your body is resisting. It’s not shedding the calories, it’s not letting go of the negative energy, it honestly isn’t really doing anything for you. If you are hating yourself or hating your workout you are wasting your time putting yourself through all that suffering. You would benefit 1000x more if you just rested on a yoga mat breathing deeply for an hour. Sending love to your body is a must if you want to make a workout count.

2. Move your body with favoritism

This is when favoritism is actually a positive. The magic of working out is that you get to CHOOSE what you WANT to do. You don’t have to choose a class that makes you run if you hate running, you don’t ever have to step a foot inside a yoga studio if you just don’t enjoy yoga, you can stay away from circuit classes, or Pilates. The beauty is that you get to decide what is your favorite way to move your body!

It doesn’t matter if your favorite thing to do in the entire world is just take a nature walk or a long hike or a restorative yoga class because if you love how you are moving your body that’s all that matters. Your body will react to the love and enjoyment it’s receiving!

3. Move your body with encouragement

When I workout I love listening to audio books that help me grow. It could be a personal or business development book that gets my morning started in a positive direction. When there is encouragement in your mind, your workout is much more enjoyable. You can also make a playlist of songs that make you feel good, happy, motivated…if you love workout classes I would only choose classes that have positive teachers that make you feel inspired! Being encouraged during a workout is absolutely necessary to make it count!

4. Move your body without a time limit

You don’t need to set a time when working out. I used to think that anything less than an hour didn’t count as a workout. How silly right? It doesn’t matter if you can squeeze in a 15-minute at-home workout; it’s still moving your body! I would rather move with the time I had than skip it all together because I couldn’t fit in an hour or more that day. On the flip side over working out is unnecessary. Move your body with the amount of time that makes you feel good!

5. Move your body with self-care

Moving your body with self-care means listening to your body when it needs rest. It’s okay to take a couple of days off if that’s what you need. Don’t feel guilty that if you don’t workout every day you have failed. If you still want to move, it’s okay to take a restorative yoga class or a nice walk. Resting is just as important as moving. We need balance in our life and in our workouts. Self-care will make your workouts count!

The next time you sign up for a class, hit the gym, or go for a run, remember to make your workout count!

With (body) love,

Lauren

_DSC1173Lauren is the founder of The Body Love Tribe, a Body Love Coach, and self-love advocate. Her goal is to help women love themselves, love their body, and love their food. She is writing her first book, to be finished by December 2016. When Lauren isn’t spreading her passion, she is cuddling her two puppies, Chai and Livie. Visit her blog here.

The 12 Movement Costa Mesa

This weekend, some ClassPass friends and I all jumped in the car and headed an hour south to the land of pristine streets and perfectly trimmed palm trees: Orange County.

ClassPass teamed up with one of the most popular fitness studios in the area, The 12 Movement, for a killer workout complete with some post sweat treats.

We arrived to the studio and I was surprised that it was half gym, half fitness studio, kind of like Reebok Cross Fit Lab in LA. They showed us the women’s locker room complete with four showers and complimentary towels. After stashing our things in the lockers (make sure to bring a lock!), we headed into the room where the class would be taking place.

Stepping into the studio made me panic a little…I was here for an event not so much a killer workout; joke was on me! There were free weights, weighted balls, treadmills, trx-style bands, stationary bikes, and giant parkour style boxes spread out throughout the room. Written on the mirrors were fun words like “burpee” and “sprint”.

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Our instructor, Ryan, was motivating from the get-go, giving us some insight into his training (he’s been stationed overseas in the military a few times) and his past (including when he was in an accident and woke up paralyzed for four months only to be told he may never walk again). Listening to these stories helped push the fear out of my head and prepare for one tough workout.

Ryan led us around the room explaining each of the stations before we broke into groups. Similar to Training Mate, the class was separated into seven stations with two exercises per station. We rotated between each exercise for 40-seconds six times before moving to the next station. Some of the workouts included sprinting on an incline, pedaling up a hill, burpees, tricep dips, and wall sits while passing a weighted ball.

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Once the class officially started I loved how Ryan continued to offer motivation as he circled around the room hyping everyone up. Although the moves were tough, 40 seconds was completely doable.

We ended class with one more cardio blast as a team and then headed into the lobby to taste juice by Project Juice and shop clothing by Reva Wear. My fellow ClassPass pals and I fell in love with the black and white striped jacket and will now be #twinning around town. You can shop our look here.

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Post class we treated ourselves to some fancy soup filled dumplings at the South Coast Plaza Mall…the mother of all malls! It turned out to be the perfect Saturday!

NBC Strong & SoulCycle x Sweetgreen Event Recap

I had every intention of today’s post being an exciting recap of the two events I attended this past weekend. Unfortunately I decided to forgo one of said events for brunch…whoops. But, either way, I had a great couple days of rest, relaxation, food, and, of course, sweat.

There’s a brand new show airing on NBC tomorrow called Strong where contestants are paired up with trainers in order to lose weight and transform themselves both mentally and physically. I’m actually 99% sure that they reached out to me when casting the show—I had to turn it down because of the time commitment (I have a full time job, people!). Unlike the Biggest Loser, the show aims to display how regular people who don’t have 100+ pounds to lose also have the ability to change their ways and reach their full potential.

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All of the trainers are LA based including some of my favs, Wes Okerson from LIT Method and Ky Evans from Studio Lagree. I would say other than the airing of Hollywood Cycle filmed at my go-to spin studio Cycle House, this show really reminds me of how funny it is to live in LA and be surrounded by “the industry” every day.

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The event took place on Saturday at The Grove, one of our many outdoor shopping plazas. Of course, typical dry and sunny LA decided to shed some rain, forcing the organizers to set up a tent—however the tent was smaller than the workout space. Since it was chilly and many of the yoga mats were soaked, I stayed for the meet and greet and then headed to 3rd street for some brunch followed by a killer Supraformer class at Lagree.

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On Sunday, two of my favorite brands teamed up for a SoulCycle x sweetgreen ride to welcome the new seasonal salads. The event took place at the SoulCycle in Hollywood—a shopping center that I would do anything to live above because it’s packed with my favorites: Barry’s Bootcamp, Pressed Juicery, Dunkin Donuts, Greenleaf Chop Shop, and even Shake Shack and a nail salon (both coming soon!).

Unfortunately, I was given a bike in the back row but that didn’t stop me from riding my little legs out and trying to take in every second of the motivational class. I’ve noticed that hitting up SoulCycle on the weekend really helps me get in the spirit for the upcoming week.

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Upon finishing, we headed into the lobby and grabbed salads. I gravitated towards the “spring chicken” packed with organic mesclun, kale, zucchini, squash, asparagus, basil, shredded carrots, parmesan crisps, and chicken with pesto vinaigrette dressing. Um…YUM! The other two options were the Strawberry + Feta and Umami Grain Bowl.

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This was one of those “so LA” weekends and I loved every second of it! Even waiting in line for 90 minutes on Sunday night to try out the brand new Shake Shack in West Hollywood.

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Cheers to a great week!

Five Things I’m Loving Lately — April

Healthier alternatives to not so healthy dishes.

Now that summer is coming, I’m trying to be a tiny bit more aware of what I’m eating. Unfortunately, I’m still left craving some of my high calorie favs. Thankfully, it’s 2016 and bloggers and recipe inventors have been busy trying to tone down our favorite dishes to make them less caloric but still tasty! Right now I’m loving buffalo cauliflower (an alternative to buffalo wings) and buffalo chicken stuffed spaghetti squash (to replace buffalo chicken dip). Both are amazingly delicious! (Although the pizza and wine isn’t necessarily hungry, here’s a pic of the yummy cauliflower I had this weekend at Mohawk Bend in Silverlake)

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Curling my hair with a straightener.

I have naturally curly, frizzy, and unruly hair so when I finally mastered the art of straightening during my junior year of college, I thought I was set for life. That is until the trend turned from straight locks to casual curls. I went out to TJ Maxx and got a curling iron and tried time and time again to become a pro. It usually involved me and my curling iron and flat iron and ended an hour later with some burnt finger tips and crazy looking hair. Fail! I stumbled upon this video while reading some new blogs and knew I had to try this technique. After three trials, I can finally say that it is easy and creates gorgeous curls with my Chi!

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Spending more time outside.

I have a 9-5 full time job that keeps me inside ALL DAY LONG. Coming from teaching in an elementary school where I rarely sat down and was able to get out during recess, this has been very challenging. Since the time change means more light in the evening, I have been hungering for time outside. In the past few weeks I’ve hiked, run, and taken walks all after work gets out. Just a PSA though, Runyon is temporarily closed until July.

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Snapchat.

I thought I was already addicted to social media but I’ve become even more obsessed—it’s about to turn unhealthy! I love Snapchat because it gives insight into what really happens behind the scenes. While Instagram shows one perfectly crafted pic, Snapchat uncovers a bigger story. It’s also funny to see people do goofy things like singing along to their radio! Add me: sweatandrepeat.

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Barry’s Bootcamp.

I go through a lot of Pilates funks where I take so many reformer classes each week that I never spend time getting unusually sweaty. Barry’s used to intimate me but now that I’ve become more confident in class, I’ve realized how beneficial it is for my body. I spend so much time lifting three-pound weights most of the week, but it’s the heavy lifting that actually changes my body. The cardio component is also so important and I walk out feeling so accomplished every time!

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Running to a New Beat with TomTom Spark

It may surprise you that I used to get my workouts in primarily by running outside. I moved to LA from Memphis, Tennessee almost two years ago. My neighborhood there was right on the Mississippi River—it was safe, affordable, and (most importantly to me), flat.

Since we didn’t have a lot of fitness studios in Memphis, my regular source of exercise came from either visits to my local gym or running along the river. When the weather was just right, I used these outdoor runs as a time to mentally check out from my daily stresses from my elementary teaching job that was always throwing unexpected curve balls. Running was the best escape.

Moving to Los Angeles brought with it completely new experiences, and a wide range of fitness classes were now at my fingertips. Although I went for runs every now and then, having to dodge the traffic on Sunset Blvd scared me to death. So slowly but surely, my workouts moved off the streets and indoors.

Sometimes all we need is a new gadget to get back in the game. I recently received the new TomTom Spark Cardio + Music and decided to let it reignite my love for running and sweating outside.

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Using this watch has reintroduced me to running as a form of therapy. This fitness watch is unique because not only does it do the obvious and monitor your heart rate and track your activity, but it also holds up to 500 songs and connects via Bluetooth to wireless headphones. That means you no longer need to carry your phone everywhere you go and can finally unplug while you run! I’ve always hated bulky phone arm straps and cramped hands from squeezing my phone too hard, so this is huge for me. It finally pulled me away from social media, allowing me to separate from sounds notifying me of a new text, phone call, or email—those things can wait until I’m done.

Having an all-inclusive fitness tracker also allows me to keep track of my stats and improve. TomTom MySports Connect opens right when you plug the watch into your computer and is easy to use. It breaks up each workout into heart rate zones (a form of data that I’m familiar—and obsessed—with because of Orangetheory Fitness classes), shows a map of the workout, average heart rate, elevation, and more. Check out the details from my Hollywood hike below.

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A lot of my exercising is still done in group-fitness settings, but the watch allows me to switch between modes of exercise including run, bike, swim, gym, and treadmill.

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While sweating in silence is some people’s jam, I’m all about getting pumped up through music, and find that I run fastest to a heavy beat. If you’re looking for a playlist that will get you in the mood to PR your next run, download this playlist of favorites from LA’s hottest fitness instructors!

Blake Raymond from Speedplay LA – “Tonight Belongs to U” by Jeremih

Wes Ferguson from Sweat Garage – “Fix This” by the Chain Smokers Remix

Lindsey Duggan from AIR – “Be Right There” – by Diplo and Sleepy Tom

Jake DuPree from CompleteBURN – “Work ft Drake” by Rihanna

Taylor Gainor from LIT Method – “Open Wide” by Calvin Harris

Andrew Nunez from Vie2 – “Lean On” by Major Lazer

Rush Kemp from Reebok Crossfit Lab – “Secrets – Diplo Remix” by Tiesto

Shannon Decker from Aura Cycle – “I don’t get Tired #IDGT” by Kevin Gates

Edwina Cheer from Training Mate – “Cheap Thrills” by Sia

Paris Alexa from Solocicla – “Faded” by Zhu


You can keep up with my TomTom Spark Cardio + Music journey on Snapchat (sweatandrepeat) and Instagram.

This post is sponsored by TomTom, but all opinions are my own.

Express Cycle at The Sweat Shoppe

At a Glance:

Website: http://thesweatshoppe.com
Address: 10620 Riverside Dr, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Length: 45 minutes
Price: first class $10, one class/$22, 10 classes/$200, month unlimited/$300 (first month/$149)
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: high

Although The Sweat Shoppe got off ClassPass a while ago, it’s one of the few studios that I still see pop up on my Instagram feed. Yep, people love this place so much that they’re willing to pay out of pocket to get sweaty here. Obviously I had to find out for myself what the hype is about.

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BeatCycle at Vie2 Cycling

At a Glance:

Website: http://vie2cycling.com
Address: 1708 19th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Length: 45 minutes
Price: first class free, first two weeks unlimited/$49, first one month unlimited/$99, one class/$25, 10 classes/$210, month unlimited/$159
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: high

As you can probably guess, I’m running low on new studios in my neighborhood so every once in a while I love to venture west and seek out a new place to sweat a bit closer to the ocean. I love when I hit the jackpot and this time I did!

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How ClassPass Helped Me Through Unemployment

Written by contributor Angela M

Highs and lows – you can’t have one without the other. Sometimes life can throw us curveballs and lead us in directions that we hadn’t planned for. This is how my 2016 started when I found myself laid off from my tech startup job in Santa Monica.

While I was sad to leave my position and company behind, a part of me was eager to see what this next chapter had in store. Selfishly, I was also excited about all the ClassPass classes I was going to be able to take advantage of while I was looking and interviewing for a new position.

I am excited to announce that I have recently accepted a new position, but while I was thinking back through my time of unemployment (roughly two months) I’m not sure I would have been able to get through it without ClassPass.

At the time, some of my friends were surprised and asked, “Well, since you’re unemployed, are you still going to keep ClassPass?”

During times of the unknown and “crisis” it’s completely normal and most of the time necessary to cut costs wherever you can. For the majority, group fitness classes are probably not a necessity. For me, this was a no brainer. I knew I would be experiencing a good chunk of down time and wanted to have an outlet to help me get through this transition – not only physically but also mentally. And boy was I right!

Thankfully in Los Angeles it’s not strange for people to have unique schedules – rather not your normal Monday through Friday, 9-5 sorta gig. With that being said, there were so many classes at my disposal during the day. When I wasn’t applying for jobs or taking part in interviews, I was excited to browse through and see what was available.

I’m not going to lie – some days were tough. Whether it was receiving a rejection or patiently waiting to hear back from an interview, I needed to get my mind off things. Going to classes was a huge help for me mentally, as I would step into a studio, begin class and immediately forget about everything else going on in the outside world.

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The social aspect was key as well. When you are not going into an office everyday, it’s nice to socialize and be around people. Through ClassPass I have been able to meet (and network) with so many friendly and motivational class goers, not mention the incredible instructors. If I was feeling down, hearing, “Angela! So excited to see you and have you in class!” from one of my favorite instructors really got me in a positive mindset when everything else seemed like chaos. While I’m an avid spinner, it was also a great time for me to check out yoga to work on my “namaste” and help center or calm my thoughts before or after interviews.

Sometimes things were fun! This was a time where I had the flexibility to try new classes or participate in others that I enjoy (like dance!) that I might not have had the time to do previously. Since I talk about ClassPass all the time with friends, I had converted a lot of them to the service. With some of them having unique schedules, I was able to coordinate a lot of catch-ups with them via classes and stay connected/social without having to go out and spend money on meals or drinks all the time.

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Lastly, how could I forget the actual physicality of it all – the sweat! Leaving classes sweaty made me feel so accomplished. Which at the time was a welcomed feeling. My health and fitness journey has been a crazy ride. While that might be another story for another post, I was grateful to have the time to work towards my health and fitness goals.

As I’m about to start this new chapter, I am very appreciative to have had ClassPass to help get me through it. It would have been easy to just sit around on the couch, go through the motions of job searching, etc, but ClassPass was able to keep active and motivated. Thank you ClassPass!

Here are some of the studios that I loved during my time off and I encourage you to check out:

  • Training Mate
  • Hot Pilates
  • Playlist Yoga
  • Moore Dancing – PlyoJam
  • Air Aerial Fitness

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About the contributor: Angela is originally from Upstate NY but has called West Hollywood home for the past five years. When she isn’t keeping up with pop culture and social media trends, you can most likely find her at spin class or having a glass of Pinot Grigio at The Den on Sunset. While Angela’s passion and career is in HR/Recruiting, she is also the co-creator of the blog I’m Moving to Los Angeles.