5 Tips for an Epic Fitness Event

Much to my dismay, I’m not much of a party planner or a hostess. When people come over I’m usually in charge of simple tasks like tidying up the apartment while my husband preps the food and makes sure the guests have everything they need. There’s something remarkable about people who are able to provide incredible experiences—from planning to executing—and have what it takes to make visitors feel special while creating memories that last forever.

It’s been almost a week, but I am still floating on clouds when I think about the Propel Co:Labs event for their new Made to Move campaign. After popping some Advil to soothe my sore muscles, I think I’ve just about recovered enough to share the experience. I’m unbelievably impressed with the long weekend and have five “simple” tips for planning a killer fitness event:

Step One: Rent out an amazing home in Venice

Was this space real life?! A lap pool, rooftop with a view, and an entry system to rival even the most exclusive bank, it’s hard to imagine that this place is an actual home. Venice is the ideal location for a fitness event because it screams low key, beach vibes without compromising any amenities. Take a look at this live video on the Propel Facebook page where I take viewers on a tour of the building!

Step Two: Work out with the best in the business

From sweating with celebrity fitness trainer Gunnar Peterson, to feeling zen with Yoga for Bad People, to rowing my heart out with Speedplay, the Co:Lab pop up had an amazing mix of workouts for guests to enjoy.

My personal favorite, of course, was the one-on-one session with Gunnar where he and his team led me through some interval training including TRX, ropes, boxing, and weighted medicine balls. With a camera and film crew following along, I was quickly sweaty and out of breath. It was a great mix of cardio and strength training with short rest periods in between intervals. Gunnar was so positive despite my hatred of the ropes (I swear having small hands is a major disadvantage!) and my awkward boxing stance (I don’t have that boxing intuition that tells you which foot is supposed to move when!).

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Gunnar Workout 2

Step Three: Have a private concert

Once we were done with the mash-up workout, none other than NICK JONAS walked onto the stage! I’m pretty sure I’ve never been so close to a live performance by a major celeb. He was eager to get into everyone’s selfies and even belted out some of his ballads on the floor less than a foot away from me. All of us twenty/thirty-something women quickly morphed into teenage fan girls and it was definitely a sight to see!

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Step Four: Give away amazing swag

Propel Ray-Bans and a gorgeous outfit from Bandier are just a few of the cool things I picked up during the four-day long event. I think my favorite, however, was the personalized duffle bag that will be holding all of my workout clothes from now on (I currently just use my hundreds of Lululemon bags). They had artists on site who used bright paint markers to graffiti bags with your name or brand. Another cool swag item was the tank that exposed the campaign slogan “Made to Move” when coming in contact with sweat. Seriously—coolest thing I’ve ever seen! When you sweat, the words show up all over your shirt!

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Step Five: Rehydrate with unlimited amounts of Propel Electrolyte Water

With so many sweat-inducing workouts at the Co:Labs event, it was super important to make sure my body was always hydrated. When we sweat, we lose more than just water and Propel helps us replenish those electrolytes. The best part is that it’s zero calories and comes in nine flavors! My favorites were peach, black cherry, and kiwi strawberry. Every workout space was prepped with ice-cold Propel water and there were stations all around stocked with Propel.

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Propel Drinking

Let’s be real, this type of extravaganza would be pretty hard to recreate, even with my five tips. I am so thankful to have been a part of it and can’t wait to see what Propel is planning for the future!

This post is sponsored by Propel Electrolyte Water, but all opinions are my own.

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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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.

Feeling the BURN

The popular and effective Eagle Rock workout, completeBURN, is finally moving west and setting up shop at the swanky Mondrian hotel on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.

I had a chance to attend the media preview on Tuesday and have had trouble walking ever since. CompleteBURN, created by Leah Purcell, is a high intensity interval-training program that uses bodyweight, kettlebells, and a stability step with resistance band to torch calories and skyrocket your heart rate.

Photo by Josh Reiss ( http://JoshReiss.com )

Photos by Josh Reiss ( http://JoshReiss.com )

Although we were going through a shortened class, I was dripping sweat about two minutes in and it never slowed down. Our class sampled each of the three classes that will be offered: power bodyweight, power weighted, and core.

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SoulCycle x Target Pop Up

In partnership with Target, SoulCycle has been bringing its heart pumping classes to the masses—for free. For the last month, these classes have been literally popping up in ten cities all over the US, including Miami, DC, Seattle, Nashville, Minneapolis, Chicago, and of course, LA.

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For three days, Soul Cycle bikes take over a super cool space in each city, offering local residents a shot at spinning with the best!

The pop-ups also allow riders a special chance to shop the exclusive SoulCycle + Target collaboration that includes a sweatshirt + sweatpants and a tank with the famous Soul wheel logo. There’s also a variety of the C9 by Champion gear—Target’s line of active wear—well, more like athleisure with how cute it is.

I had the opportunity to check out a class this past Saturday in the penthouse of the downtown AT&T Center that offers incredible views of LA. The experience was exactly what I would expect of both brands—seamless check in, great swag, and countless insta-worthy photo ops.

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For 45-minutes we tapped it back and spun like crazy—per SoulCycle fashion—to awesome beats with an even better view. It threw me off a bit to spin in broad daylight because I love being able to close my eyes and really get into the moment, but the energy in the room and from the instructor made up for it.

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On the way out, we were given a swag bag with a Suja juice, KIND bar, and coupon for $5 off some c9 gear!

Thank you to SoulCycle and Target for an incredible event and for choosing such a picture-perfect spot to sweat!

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Barefoot Bootcamp at Set and Flow Yoga

At a Glance:

Website: setandflowyoga.com
Address: 1619 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90028
Length: 60 minutes
Price: first class free or five days for $5, day pass/$25, month unlimited/$79.99
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: medium

There’s a brand new studio in the heart of Hollywood that happens to be literally across the street from my apartment. It doesn’t get any better than that! Oh wait, it does… Not only do they offer classes like barre, TRX, and hot yoga, they also have amazing amenities that encourage studio go-ers to stay forever.

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