business review · fitness

Jazzercise College Area Review

I recently had the opportunity to try out Jazzercise College Area (in La Mesa, right near SDSU). If you’re like most people, you probably hear the word “jazzercise” and think of women wearing leg warmers and leotards. The bad news is, you won’t get to wear that leotard you’ve been holding onto, but the good news? It’s nothing like you think it is, and it’s everything you hope it would be.

la mesa jazzercise

This studio is conveniently located right near SDSU (at 6360 El Cajon Blvd), so it wasn’t a surprise to me when I saw a couple of college students at the class I attended. One girl even brought her boyfriend, who felt awkward and laughed a lot in the beginning, but after a few songs, he was winded and running to grab his water bottle.

Like most studio classes I’ve attended (including barre, spinning and yoga), the class was comprised of women and men of all ages – college students, as I’ve mentioned, as well as individuals in their 50s and 60s.

jazzercise college area sdsu

When I walked in, the instructor, Allison, was waiting at the front desk to check people in. She was very friendly and explained the class to me and also helped me pick out weights (I went with 5-pound dumbbells) and a mat. I put that stuff off to the side until we got to that portion of the class.

jazzercise college area la mesa

Each class is about 55-60 minutes long, with a brief warmup, 35 minutes of cardio, and about 25 minutes of weight training/ab work. I’ve never attended zumba, but I imagine the cardio portion is similar to that. We danced our way through several songs, and the energy in the room was infectious. You could tell that Allison really loved teaching the class, and that the people attending really loved the workout – everyone would clap, sing out loud and get really into just having fun and letting go throughout all of our dance moves.

After completing this portion of the class, we grabbed our weights and a mat, and used the weights for some arm strength training, and then used the mat to do some ab work and leg/glute work. The leg/glute portion was similar to what we do in barre, and was definitely a challenge after dancing for 35 minutes. To wrap up class, we stretched it out, using various moves from yoga.

jazzercise college area san diego

After class, Allison checked in with me and some of the other new attendees to see how we liked it. I love when the instructor seems to genuinely care that you’ve had a positive experience, so this was definitely one more thing that I liked about this studio.

Now that class is over, would I attend another one at this location? Absolutely. It was an energizing way to start my Sunday, and I had so much fun getting in a great workout. This is definitely the most fun I’ve had working out in a long time.

If you’re in the San Diego area, I recommend stopping by Jazzercise College Area to get in a fun and challenging workout. You’ll have a great time, leave in a better mood and feeling more energized, and you’ll definitely want to come back.

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Have you ever tried Jazzercise? What’s one workout that you’ve never done but you’ve been dying to try out?

business review · fitness

ClassPass San Diego: My Experience

Last month, I was given an opportunity to try ClassPass. I had heard about this service prior to its launch in San Diego, as bloggers in other cities highlighted it when it launched in their city. When it came to San Diego, I was honestly really excited about it. I had heard a lot about it and was happy that it was finally in America’s Finest City.

ClassPass launched in San Diego in mid-November, and I began my 30-day trial with it on December 1.

For $99 a month, you get unlimited classes at a variety of participating studios all around San Diego (with a maximum of 3 classes per month at a studio). I get bored really easily, so I really enjoyed the variety of workouts I was able to do with my membership.

ClassPass is super easy to use – the website is very user-friendly, and signing up for a class is literally, as easy as a click of a button. You can view classes by day or on a studio map, and also filter these classes by type, neighborhood, and the specific studio. You can sign up for classes (usually) a week in advance, so it makes planning out your next week of workouts really easy.

classpass signing up

Once you sign up, you get a confirmation email and then can add that class to your calendar.

I’d also like to add that customer service is very efficient and helpful – I had to contact them a few times about missing class schedules, etc, and they got back to me within an hour or two.

When you sign up, ClassPass also gives you a friendly reminder about its cancelation policy:

cancel classpass

I’d like to note that I know that some people are really turned off by this feature, because who wants to pay $20 on top of the $99 per month you’re paying for a service? I actually found this feature useful, because I’m an expert at making excuses to not exercise (especially when I get home from work). This held me accountable for classes and ensured that I was going to work out even if I didn’t feel like it that day.

That being said, my work schedule is pretty reliable, but if I had a job that sometimes required me to unexpectedly stay late, I’d be frustrated by the $20 fee. I’d love to see ClassPass maybe do a smaller fee for a shorter window of time (such as $5-$10 for 2-4 hours before) and then maybe the $20 fee if it’s less than 2 hours until class time, or something like that. Things do come up sometimes (such as meetings or other work-related events, illness or, especially in SoCal, traffic), so it would be nice if ClassPass could figure out a way to accommodate things like these. At the same time, I would love it if ClassPass would offer an opportunity to switch classes (for example, switch an earlier class with a later one at the same studio, or vice versa) when there is availability, without being charged the $20 cancelation fee.

Here are the issues I ran into:

Kayla and I went to a kettle bell class at a studio nearby. Upon arriving, we learned that we needed to take a required intro class prior to our first class. This information was not listed anywhere on the ClassPass site, so we weren’t aware of this requirement and we wasted our time going to this studio, but not being able to take a class.

– Some of the studios were missing schedule information (including the kettle bell studio noted above), but I imagine that this issue was because ClassPass was still new to San Diego and was getting itself established.

In the end, I attended seven classes at six studios:

The month I had to try out ClassPass is over, but I loved it so much that I signed up for it. The thing I enjoy most about ClassPass is the variety of classes I can take, but as I mentioned, I also like the accountability it creates through its cancelation policy, and it also gave me an opportunity to explore different parts of San Diego. I’ve already gotten a few friends on board as well, so attending classes together has been a lot of fun and something I’m definitely looking forward to.

If ClassPass is available in your city, is it something you’ll look into? If it’s not currently offered where you are, is that something you’d want access to?

business review · fitness

Yoga Six Point Loma

Last month, as part of my having a ClassPass, I got the opportunity to do one of my favorite workouts: hot yoga. Keep in mind, I tried out Bikram in the past and enjoyed that it was hot but I really didn’t like that it’s 90 minutes long and everything (down to the words the instructors say) is the same regardless of what class you go to. I decided to try out Yoga Six in Point Loma, located in Liberty Station at 2850 Womble Road.

yoga six point loma entrance

In my first month of ClassPass, I went to Yoga Six twice and really enjoyed the classes both times. Here’s what I loved about this studio:

  • It’s clean…and seems kind of luxurious. You can exchange your car keys for a padlock so you can keep your belongings in a locker. In the actual locker room, there are showers (with shampoo, conditioner and body wash), and the whole environment is really calming.

yoga six showers

  • They had little bags in the locker room that you can take to put your dirty (or sweat-soaked, if you choose to do a hot yoga class) clothes, which prevents other stuff in your gym bag from getting gross. I loved this.

yoga six locker room

  • Everyone is really nice. The first day I arrived, the woman at the front was very friendly and gave me a tour of the studio. She made me feel comfortable from the moment I walked in, as did the instructors.
  • In the first hot yoga class I took, the instructor started out by asking if there was anyone who didn’t want to be touched (pushed further into poses, etc) during class. I really appreciated it and have never been to a class where an instructor asked this; some people really don’t want that extra push or to be touched during their class, and I loved that she respected that.

In the end, I took two hot yoga classes, one on a Sunday morning and the other on a Thursday evening. Each was taught by a different instructor and the environment in each was completely different. I especially loved the Thursday evening class; the things that Jen, the instructor, said really resonated with me, and the room was dark, with candles lit. It was a perfect way to begin wrapping up a stressful week, and as I happened to be dealing with some personal issues on that day in particular, I found that class really special and helpful.

Will I return to Yoga Six? Obviously. The instructors were really great, the studio is beautiful, and I’m excited to begin incorporating hot yoga into my routine.

Have you ever done Bikram or hot yoga? Which do you prefer? 

Disclosure: ClassPass provided me a complimentary month of service in exchange for sharing my experience with it. All opinions, as usual, are my own. 
business review · fitness

Pure Barre Hillcrest Review

Earlier this month, as part of my having a ClassPass, I finally got the opportunity to try barre.

It’s something I’ve heard people rave about – it’s challenging and works your body in a really unique way that helps you tone up. I also know several runners who do it and they feel it’s a strengthening activity that really complements the muscles you use during running. So, after months of wanting to try it out, but not being sure where to start, my friend Kayla and I signed up through the ClassPass dashboard (which is super easy to do), and made our way to Pure Barre in Hillcrest (3650 5th Avenue, Suite 102) on a Sunday morning.

I’m going to keep this short and simple…

Here’s what I liked:

  • The studio was located in a really awesome location, near several brunch spots (which was great, since we fully intended to drink mimosas and eat good food after this class).
  • Parking is probably a pain for some people but we were able to find a spot on the street around the corner.
  • The woman at the front desk was really friendly. She asked us to fill out a basic form and asked if we were new; when we told her that we hadn’t done barre before, she excitedly introduced us to the instructor who had just walked in. She also helped get us set up.
  • The cubbies for us to put our stuff in had fabric drawers, which I liked because then people couldn’t just see my bag or cell phone laying around. These were also in the same room as the studio, as opposed to unattended in a hallway.

pure barre hillcrest cubbies

pure barre hillcrest weights

  • The studio was clean and looked newish.

pure barre hillcrest inside

  • The class was definitely challenging, and I can see where this would be a great workout for your legs, particularly your inner thighs.
  • When we were done, the nice woman at the front desk asked how we liked the class and if we had any questions.

Here’s what I didn’t like:

  • Remember when the woman at the front desk introduced us to our instructor and told her we were new? Our instructor couldn’t care less. When we were introduced, she immediately proclaimed that she was going to get coffee. Not quite what I’d hope for when being new to a class, and new to a studio.
  • The instructor didn’t fully demonstrate what she wanted, nor did she offer any sort of modifications. As someone who has never taken barre before, I really would’ve benefited from modifications or ways to adjust my form since I’ve never worked out in that way. Her lack of instructions was also confusing for me…and let’s be honest, I still have no idea what “tucking” is.
  • There was only one kind of band. I would have liked to see more options that offered various levels of resistance.
  • When we were done with class, the instructor just left; she didn’t ask how we liked our first class or if we had any questions (something I’ve noted other instructors do at other studios). Quite honestly, she wasn’t very friendly and I didn’t feel comfortable in her class.

Fortunately, ClassPass does offer barre classes in San Diego at several other locations, which is something I’ll consider based on what Kayla said about her experience at another studio. I’d also consider returning to Pure Barre in Hillcrest, but if I do, I won’t take another class with this instructor because I didn’t feel welcome in her class, and I felt that she was getting frustrated that I was having a hard time with some of the movements, despite it being my first barre class.

Have you ever done barre? Do you recommend I try a different studio?

Disclosure: ClassPass provided me a complimentary month of service in exchange for sharing my experience with it. All opinions, as usual, are my own. 
business review · fitness

Club Pilates San Diego

As I mentioned in a recent post, ClassPass is officially in San Diego!

Last week, I took full advantage of my ClassPass since San Diego finally decided it wanted some (much needed) rain. All day Tuesday and Wednesday, it rained, meaning that traffic was a nightmare (SoCal people don’t know how to drive in the rain since weather conditions are perfect 95% of the time, so they just panic or drive right off the road) and I wasn’t going to be running outside.

After looking through all of the studio options, I decided on Club Pilates in Bay Ho (4901 Morena Blvd, Suite 210). It’s located very centrally, and just a short drive from my house, so I knew it would be convenient for me to get to, and I’ve also been wanting to try pilates reformer since they offered it at my old job but I never had the opportunity to do it.

I signed up for the 7:10 pm class (on Wednesday with Caleigh) through the ClassPass website, which was really easy, and got my confirmation email right away.

On Wednesday, after a terrible commute home (spent listening to Serial, so let’s be real: it actually flew by) and hanging out with Maeby for a couple of hours, I made my way over to Club Pilates.

Upon entering, I noticed how clean and bright the space was, signed in and put my shoes and keys in the cubby at the front.

reformer pilates san diego

Seeing the machines and others stretching on them was also a little intimidating for me, but I sucked it up and found a machine in the corner of the room.

club pilates san diego

clubpilates san diego

pilates reformer san diego

Class started right on time and I found it easy to catch on to what we were doing based on others around me and the instructor paying close attention to everyone’s form. Throughout the class, we used free weights, a yoga mat, and the reformer machine to get a full-body workout. I only took the Reformer 1 class (since it was my first time ever doing it) so I found the class easy-to-understand, but still challenging. The next day, my arms, legs, and especially my abs were sore…a feeling that I love.

So now the important question: Would I do it again? Yes, and I plan to! I loved that we stayed moving throughout the entire class, that it was challenging, and the fact that it really was a full-body workout. It was also really different from anything I’ve ever done before, and that kept it interesting for me.

Have you ever done pilates reformer? What fitness class should I try next?

Disclosure: ClassPass provided me a complimentary month of service in exchange for sharing my experience with it. All opinions, as usual, are my own. 
business review · dog things · product review

October PetBox: Review + Promo Code

dog likes petbox

I might be in England but Maeby got her PetBox Saturday morning, before I left. It’s our second month of receiving PetBox and this month’s box did not disappoint!

What is PetBox?

PetBox is a monthly subscription service for toys and treats for dogs and cats. With every PetBox purchased, PetBox helps to feed a pet in need.

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PetBox was great at keeping in touch with us, letting us know when the box was shipped, and communicating with us throughout the shipping process.

cat petbox

petbox coupon code

Here’s what was in our box this month (clockwise from left):

petbox toys

Once I opened the box, Maeby actually ran up to the opened box, pulled the toy pictured above out and ran off with it, but I made her wait so we could take pictures.

As usual, all of the treats are all natural and made with real ingredients. The Old Mother Hubbard dog treats, for example, have whole wheat flour, honey, canola oil, apple puree, and oatmeal, and the Emerald Pet treats are grain-free. And Maeby has sampled all of the treats in this month’s PetBox and she gave a strong nod of approval.

The verdict? This box was a win.

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Are you interested in PetBox for your dog or cat? Get 10% off your first box with code MAEBY.

business review · dog things · product review

Maeby’s First PetBox: Review + Discount Code

I didn’t formally announce it, but I did tweet about it, so in case you missed it…

Maeby is officially a spokesdog for PetBox!

petbox spokesdog

What is PetBox?

PetBox is a monthly subscription service for toys and treats for dogs and cats. With every PetBox purchased, PetBox helps to feed a pet in need.

Obviously Maeby is all about toys and treats, but what really got me was the philanthropic angle of things, especially since Maeby was brought in as a stray and eventually saved from a high-kill shelter. At one point, she was a pet in need.

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Just a few days after our first PetBox shipped, it arrived in the mail. I got home from work, and saw this lovely blue box sitting on our stoop.

Maeby and I immediately headed to our backyard, where I began opening the box.

petbox 1

I loved the attention to detail. Everything was wrapped in black tissue paper, with a round PetBox seal of approval.

petbox promo code

Something smelled good, because Maeby was all over the box right away.

petbox dog

And once I opened up one package of treats, she didn’t hesitate to help herself.

petbox treats

Here’s what was in the box:

inside of petbox

Clockwise from top:

– Petz info QR ID tag (in case your dog/cat gets lost)

– Evanger’s canned all-natural chicken dog and cat food

– Wellspring Pets Bionic Bones water nutrient (contains glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which help keep your dog’s joints healthy)

– PetSafe Lawn Protector to filter your pet’s drinking water

– Bark+ waste pick-up bags (which is necessary because Maeby “produces waste” 3-4 times a day)

– Loving Pets natural chicken jerky

Clearly there was a nice variety of items, all of which we will be using

I want to point out that just because Maeby’s a dog, it doesn’t mean that she deserves to eat food that has fillers or other processed materials. I like to feed her the same kind of food I would want to eat, and even though I’m sure she’d prefer bacon all day everyday (and really, who can blame her), I give her the next best thing: Canidae, which is an all-natural, grain-free food made with real meat. In keeping with these beliefs, I’m really quite impressed with PetBox and love that all of the treats are natural and made in the U.S. And, as I mentioned above, Maeby is already enjoying some of her newest treats and had no trouble helping herself.

I think it’s safe to say our first month of PetBox was a success.

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Are you interested in PetBox for your dog or cat? Get 10% off your first box with code MAEBY.

Do you have any pets? I kind of love all animals everywhere and would love to hear about them.