The Best (& Worst) Studios on CLASSPASS in LA

The Best (& Worst) Studios on CLASSPASS in LA

I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but I am basically a ClassPass connoisseur.  What? I am. I’ve tried every single class offered in the Weho/Beverly Hills/Mid City/Hollywood vicinity and lived to tell about it.  (323 classes since I signed up, but who’s counting?)

I get asked nearly daily for my class recommendations and out of laziness of typing up the same response, I’ve decided to curate a blog post filled with top picks!

 

MY TOP 10:

Y7 Yoga: Innovative. Unlike any other yoga class you’ve taken before.  This is not your typical sun salutations.  It’s a sequence of new moves you learn then practice at your own pace to the beats of Biggie.  Room is dark aside from some candles and heated to a toasty 90-something degrees.

Barry’s BootcampCall me basic, but this staple gets the job done.  The studios are sleek and have smoothie bars, the instructors are attractive, the workouts killer.  I love that you can select which muscle group class you’d like to take so you don’t get stuck building bulky shoulders when all you really care about is a boot-ay.

SpeedplayPenthouse sleek studio with killer Beverly Hills views.  But forget all that, the workout is intense and gets your heart rate skyrocketed.  Go from woodway treadmills to rowers to bosu balls to free weights. Repeat.  On Fridays this studio has complimentary happy hour after class.

Cycle HouseLike an underground rave at 5 AM in NYC, except you’re drinking water instead of booze. Everything else is the same.  Music is epic, lights are low, girls are in full makeup with their mid-drifts showing.  No really.. I’m pretty sure people apply makeup just to come to this class.  But the workout is epic, especially if you take Nichelle’s class.

FitmixThe mash-up is gnarly.. and I’ve never even used that word before.  Half treadmill/half pilates reformer… full body workout. Studio is clean and bright, instructors are great, moves are effective.  The treadmill portion will push you harder than Barry’s, Burn and Sweat Garage combined.

Rise NationSimilar vibe as Cycle House, but entirely on a climber instead of a bike.  Everytime I take this class, I count down the 30 minutes… and run through reasons why it would be acceptable for me to leave early.  But I always stay.  And feel crazy accomplished afterwards.

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Burn 60Like Barry’s Bootcamp, but easier and always full body workout.  In this studio, you’ll have more room, there’s a greater variety of equipment and there’s free fruit available after class. Friday evening complimentary post-class cocktails.  Andrew is my favorite teacher here!

Set and Flow Yoga – Heated & pretty revolutionary for a yoga studio. Every class I’ve taken here is better than the last. The owner is a personal friend, so I’m biased… but this studio really is amazing with a variety of classes from battle ropes to yoga with kettle-bells.  You’ll sweat, you’ll have kombucha on tap, you’ll feel self conscious stretching next to 5’10 models.  Doesn’t get more perfectly Hollywood than this place, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Training Mate –  Maybe it’s the Australian instructors in skimpy shorts cracking adorable jokes, or perhaps that you go through so many high intensity stations that the class feels over before it started… or maybe the fact that I see noticeable change in my booootay after doing ‘thunder down under’… but this studio rocks.

JJ Dancer – Someone recommended this to me in the comments section of this post, so I had to check it out… and oh my God is this class a blast. 90 minutes of non stop sweating, with the first hour dedicated to choreographed booty shaking that will keep your heart rate elevated through the roof. Last 30 minutes or so is Jane Fonda inspired floor work, light weights and resistant bands until your muscles are tingling.

Studio10 Fitness – Love this bright and airy new studio serving up absolutely killer workouts. Expect 10 one minute stations repeated 3 times.  Stations are challenging… your heart rate will be peaked from beginning to end.

 

Classes where you think you might actually die from over-exertion, but then you don’t, and your body looks fucking amazing after one class:

BX at Brick – I nearly throw up every time I take this crossfit inspired cardio-blast class. Think: push ups with the clap between each one (I know, impossible).

Fight Bike – Same. But I think I actually did throw up once.  Another crossfit-esque class, but with assault bikes as the cardio instead of treadmills. KILLER.

 

When you only have 30 minutes, but you really need to get it in…

Rise Nation – Cardio BLAST. This class is a serious struggle and performed only on a climber. Take Adam Goldstein’s class – the best.

PlateFit  – forget that the plate shakes & supposedly makes your workout 20x more effective… these classes are hard! I love the traditional platefit bootcamp class, but I  always save my platefit classes for their massage ones, because who doesn’t want a free (well $189/mo membership) massage?

Lagree Studio – 25 minutes of getting your ass handed to you on a pilates reformer machine that moves all over the damn place.

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Studio where you’ll feel out of place if you don’t already have a six pack & head to toe lululemon… and a face full of makeup.  No, like put your fake eyelashes on for this class: 

Cycle House – doesn’t get any trendier. I’m pretty sure chicks come here with the intention of meeting their husband and don’t actually spin so they don’t mess up their make up.  But my sentiment is what the hell, the studio is pitch black anyways? So I spin my heart out in a baggy tshirt and just lip gloss for makeup. (what, I’ve still got some pride.)

 

Best Butt workout.  Because really. What are we here for, you know?

Thunder down Under at Training Mate

Eden Pilates Booty Burn

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Legs and ass at Carries Pilates Plus

Glute Lift at LIFT

 

Studio that make you want to hashtag #GirlPower: 

Swerve: There is just something so positively radiant about this empowering little gym serving up fiesty, fun & soulful workouts.  You will have fun though in a safe environment where everybody and every body is accepted.

 

Studios where you get free cocktails on Friday afternoons:

Speedplay  – Woodway, rower, floor exercises…. in an open air penthouse. enjoy libations. take selfies.

Burn 60  – Again, like Barrys bootcamp, but a bit easier and a bit cleaner with tons more space. and free fruit. and free drinks. and free water. and towels. So… better than Barrys.

Uplift Studios – Although not even a free drink could get me to this studio. Sorry I’m not sorry.

 

Closest Classes to getting a massage with your classpass membership:

Ballet Bodies – Stretch

Platefit – Cellulite Blast/Massage Release

GST Body – Stretch

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When you’ve used up your 3 Y7 classes this month and you need some namaste: 

Corepower Yoga – Heated. You’ll get some serious yogis doing some serious handstands in these serious classes.

Earth Power Yoga – Heated. Dark with psychedelic light shows on the ceilings.  This place is not for everyone.  Feels dirty, kind of smells…. not that boutique posh vibe in the least… but the class is one of my favorite releases.

Aura Yoga Heated.  Never too crowded, always a good flow.

 

Studio worthy of an instagram post:

Aireform Arts – yes. the silks like the girls drop down from at clubs.  The class is actually challenging and fun… but who are we kidding, we go for the photos.

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Speedplay – All about that BH view!

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Studio I secretly like even though I’m way too old to be dancing in a crop top to house music with 17-19 year olds getting ready for #festys:

Body By Simone – First class will feel weird if you’re over 21. But for some reason I have a blast in the HTB class.  It’s a bit of dancing and a whole lot of muscle over-exhaustion

 

Ballet/Barre Classes that aren’t horrifically pretentious: 

Ballet Bodies – Feels like a NYC authentic ballet studio to me.  Instructors are amazing, especially Romi

Flybarre – Fun, clean & creative, never the same class twice.

 

Ballet/Barre classes that ARE horrifically pretentious, but everyone else loves so I go when my class-pass squad drags me:

Pop Physique.  It’s tough, and if you’re already slender, this class will tone you up fast

Pure Barre.   less pretentious instructors than Pop, but a bit more boring.  Every single class feels exactly the same.

Bar Method. Same deal, except worse because the studio feels dingy.  So every barre class instructor and most pilates ones are toe sox nazis and lose their shit if you forget yours… but at bar method, you’re not allowed to wear toe-less sox. Like huuuuge no-no.  The regulars will ostracize you if you make such a grave mistake.  Consider yourself warned.

 

Studios I frequent, but didn’t make any of my lists: 

Harmony Studios  – Go to Jennifer Martin’s classes!

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Claudia Martin Studio – This studio is intimate and boutique with stretching and strengthening moves.

Sweat Garage – Treadmill/Weights class similar to Barrys & Burn, but just not as trendy.

Den Meditation – Melt away stress and reconnect in this serene spa-like studio.  Check your cell phone at the door and enjoy loose leaf tea before class. This place is a must-visit for anyone from a meditation newbie to someone who practices twice daily.

Cave Crossfit – I only take Cave Cardio, less heavy lifting, more fat burning cardio.

Flywheel – Loooooove the letter-board where you can track your class progress and compete against classmates.  The studio is cold, so you won’t break a huge sweat… but I only really love Adam Goldstein’s class here.  The other teachers don’t do it for me for some reason.

Reebok Crossfit Lab – I’m intoFX – it’s a treadmill/weights class

Hot Pilates  – Heated. (duh).  Take Arielle McFadden’s class… leave feeling inspired & sore.

Xcceleration Station -Not worth taking any of their ‘work out’ classes, doesn’t even hold a candle to PlateFit.  But I come here for the cellulite blast/massage classes, which can take off some of that lactic acid burn and fix your over-training woes.

Phoenix Effect-  Crossfit style classes, but at a faster pace.

Agni Yoga – Not heated.  Not challenging, but the best way to clear your mind and reconnect with your breath through easy series of movements.  I only take this class when I’m too sore to do anything else or so stressed I’m worried my head might pop off.

Bascamp Fitness – An easier & trendier Fight Bike. Half 1 minute sets on the Assault bike/half 1 minute exercises

Playlist Yoga – Not heated.  A little to tight on space for my liking… and I don’t dig the windowless room, but my dear friend Elise teaches there, and she’s basically a namastae rock star.

Lit Method – Innovative. You’re on a rower in the dark, rowing your little heart out while the instructor comes around and beats on the illuminated base of your machine.  Between rowing pushes, there’s a variety of low impact exercises – all killer.

Natural Pilates – The instructors are not what you’d expect in this dimly lit Beverly Hills studio.  They’re cool and creative and will make every class fly by!  I just love that this studio has a little canister of complimentary almonds too. It’s the small things ya know?

Barbazoa Method – I want to not like this class.  The instructor is a on the highest of horses.  Like on a Clydesdale. But I do like the class. A lot.  It will tighten your core immediately.  And then at the end of class she helps teach you how to walk with correct posture, which sounds odd… and is odd.. but extremely useful.

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Exhale – There are two studios. One is located inside the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, the other is in the Loews in Hollywood.  What’s not to love about having the opportunity to work out in a posh hotel studio?

Bodyline Pilates – They’ve got a bit of the elitist barre studio vibe… but most of the classes are taken on the reformer.  Be prepared to sweat and get an actual workout in.. this is not your typical pilates lengthening and stretching class where you get to relax.

 

Studios that don’t do it for me:

Sandbox Fitness.  Sand smells like feet. Workouts are stale.  Parking is a bitch.

Aura Cycle.  Fine… if you like feeling like your suffocating watching the mirrors steam up.  Be prepared to pay for your shoe rental and spend the class basically sitting on your neighbors lap.

Melrose Private Pilates.  Feels dirty, dingy and rudimentary.

Jenny Tate Pilates. Same deal.

Flux by the Training Loft. Everything about these classes annoy me.  Typical moves, jubilant instructors, poorly designed space.

Crunch.  The spin classes are exactly what you’d expect from a $50/month gym membership.

Pink Iron.  Great class if you’re into an all-woman cross-fit class. I’m not.

Gracie Jiu-jitsu.  I think I just hate jiu-jitsu classes, but something about rolling around hugging another human in an oversized karate outfit just doesn’t do it for me.

Uplift Studio – boring. Just some handweights and burpees in an all women atmosphere.

Rise Movement – Yoga room is small. Like closet small.  And not heated, just unnecessarily hot.  Or maybe it is heated, but either way I didn’t like it.  Typical yoga flow without any belles or whistles.

 

 

There are so many other studios I’ve tried out that just didn’t leave an impact on me one way or another.  If you want me to review your studio to add to my list, please contact me through the ‘411/about’ tab! 

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Comments

  1. LOVED your post. I, like you, am a classpass “connoisseur” – 493 completed in the weho area. You and I are pretty much on the same page with our rankings. Always looking for new classpass buddies! Let me know if you ever want to take a class.

  2. Cycle house, Rise Nation, or JJ Dancer, I’d say. I don’t know if you’ve taken from JJ – I LOVE her Sunday class. P.S. Did you get the e-mail today that they are getting rid of the unlimited option?! I am so upset/frustrated.

    • chelseagilson Says: November 5, 2016 at 6:28 am

      I’m devastated. Like absolutely beside myself on what to do!! I’m going to go to JJ next Sunday!! This Sunday I can’t make it

  3. I totally missed this – e-mail me!

    Did you end up going to JJ? I was there on Sunday.

  4. I’ve been twice, but not last Sunday – I’m hooked!! Thanks for the recommendation, i added the class to my fav list!

  5. I’m so glad you feel the same. She is the best! I’m out of town this weekend, but maybe we can go the following weekend.

  6. So…I’m dying. We have the exact same feelings about LA studios, good bad an ugly (pretentious, relaxing, shitty Sandbox Fitness. Hilarious). Just reviewed my 419th class, and came across this blog while hoping to find another studio that does lifting only (like Phoenix Effect LIFT or Lift Society). Mourning the loss of Unlimited as I’m sure you are as well.

    One thing, you have to go back to Aura Cycle and see Peter Tucci. He does mornings, evenings and Saturday at noon. Best cycling instructor of all time (and I use my classpass when I travel too lol). He teaches 23 classes in LA every week this is just the only one near me.
    Give peace a chance 🙂 He is an excellent time.

    Keep movin out there! xx

    • chelseagilson Says: December 21, 2016 at 1:20 am

      Hi! i’ll definitely check out his class – thanks! And SO distraught with no unlimited, I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do

  7. So I’m dying to know what you ended up doing about CP!

  8. Hi,
    I’m new to the LA area and a loyal ClassPass user originally from NYC, spent a year in the DFW. This post in awesome and I’m still trying to figure out all the studios on CP in LA. Would love to meet some friends to do class together!

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