Drone Play

Happy Earth Day! For celebrating our Earth, this post isn’t so much being active at the gym as it is being active outdoors. (That and I’ve been rather busy with other life things…) I found some pretty cool climbing buddies at the PG Sunnyvale and we have gone on a couple hiking and climbing adventures outdoors. One of them has a drone adventure company, called Heighten Cinematics, and brought their drone on our outings. So cool! Can you spot me in the videos below?

If you like his stuff, and want your own drone adventure video, please feel free to email him here.

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Shout Out To Kuli Kuli

A little different from my usual gym post…

So last year, Kuli Kuli decided to revamp their website and brochures by adding real people to their adverts. I was lucky enough to be chosen to work with them. It was such a fun day hanging out with such amazing talent. Fast forward a few months, ét, voilà! Now, my face is plastered on their website, with all the pores for people to stare at!

During the shoot, I got to meet Lisa, who is the founder of the brand. She is a Peace Corps volunteer who learned of the amazing moringa plant and its kale-like properties. It’s great for vegans who need that extra boost of protein, and great for those with stomach issues (it’s gluten-free). I have yet to try their energy shots, but my favourite bar would be their dark chocolate flavour. I was also able to sample their teas, and they were so yummy!

Shout outs, especially to:

Jordan and Cimarossa Winery

Anne Tsuei, Creative Design Chief/Director

Liz Chang, Shoot Art Director (who is also hair and makeup artist)

Mark Toung, Photographer

Inna Matthews, Hair and Makeup

Katelyn Johnson, Wardrobe

I also have to give major props to the entire background team, though, who helped with photographing new bar and energy shot photos. I didn’t know how much work went into revamping a product, let alone starting from scratch!

 

Barre3 – Los Altos

So this location popped up in the middle of 2015, so everything is super brand new. It’s not really a gym, more like a huge studio space with a front desk.

This was my first introduction to barre. I must say, it was interesting and surprised! I woke up the next day after my class actually pretty sore. The workout is kind of like…ballet dance with calisthenics and small weights? I’m not really sure how to describe it. You have a stretchy band that helps with core exercises, a bouncy ball that I can’t really get to stay where I want it to be, and light weights (up to 4lb, I think) to give you that extra burn. Each class is an hour long, which the teachers use that time optimally for a work out. Not too long, not too short! You can also reserve your classes online, which I absolutely love.

On their website, they say that a couple who now live in Oregon, decided to start this company, due to their frustrations with the corporate fitness industry. That’s really funny to me since Barre3 is HUGE with 91 locations, some outside of the US as well. Each location, I believe, is a franchise, so if you’re interested in opening up your own, you can contact them about it.

You can also subscribe to the Barre3 online program created by the founders, where you can get meal plans and extra workouts that you can follow in the comfort of your own home. It’s a good deal, if you don’t have the time to go to the gym. (Especially since the gym can be so expensive these days!)

There are two other locations that opened up recently in Northern California (San Mateo and San Jose), totaling 10 locations in all of California.


 

Parking: Whole Foods next door has agreed to let gym guests park in their underground lot, and they have parking in the weird apartment complex behind them.

Waiver: Standard info for an emergency contact, but you’re not signing your life away.

Amenities: Two bathrooms that are spotless! No showers, though. They’ve got cubbies and lockers you can put your things in. (What’s cool is that they have a water fountain that is a water dispenser for your reusable bottle. Not all small gyms have that.)

Children: Childcare is provided for the 9 and 10:15am weekday classes, for $6 per child. There is a limit for 6 children in each class.

Classes: Each class is an hour long. The owner, Gillian, also teaches some class. I took classes from 4 different teachers who were all great and had their own style. Personally, I think I like Natali Arteaga’s style the best.

Members: Heavily female-oriented. I think I saw one guy out of all 4 different classes I went to. I guess this is normal, since the base of barre classes originate from dance and ballet. If you think about it, most women feel intimidated coming into a regular gym, so this is nice for the more shy female folk. But, please, if you’re a guy, don’t get intimidated! Everyone is very friendly and nonjudgmental so you don’t have to worry. It also seems that the teachers remember your name and face when you come in more than once, so it’s got an intimate feel.

Staff: Usually, there’s only about 2 or 3 people working – one teacher, one or two front desk staff. All are friendly.

Price: Holy cow! It’s $180/mo for members, or $26 for a drop in class. HOWEVER, you can check out their online schedule for free classes that are offered by their teachers in training. They also have a new member special, and Groupon was selling a special earlier this month. (Things are getting too expensive in the Bay Area for me…time to move…I miss old days of Mountain View… 😥 )

FINAL RATING: 3 stars – It’s not for me, I probably won’t be back. But don’t let that deter you! This gym environment is very welcoming to all sorts of people. It’s nice if you are on the larger side, and want something low impact but still want a good burn.

Planet Granite – Sunnyvale

 

So, we’ll start off with one of my home base gyms: Planet Granite Sunnyvale. I go to this location at least once a week to get my climb on. (Love climbing, by the way!)

It is one of the three Planet Granites in the Bay Area and the one of the major climbing gyms in the South Bay.

**IF YOU ARE NOT A CLIMBER, SKIP TO THE NEXT PARAGRAPH** The routes don’t change much here…I’d say every week, maybe a 1/5th of the walls get changed, which is not enough for the avid climber. I top-rope and boulder here, but there are lead climbs, as well. I want to say the Hueco ratings are kind of all over the place, but I don’t mind. I just like to climb V Fun and Interesting routes. 🙂 The only thing that bugs me about this location is that they decided to do monochrome routes, where there are no tapes, just same coloured holds. Sometimes, I get confused if something is a dirty white vs. black hold, dirty pink vs. faded orange/red hold, etc. I have perfect colour vision, so I can only imagine how hard it is for colour deficient people.


 

For those who want to just ogle at the climbers and do other workouts at the gym, PG SV offers Crossfit, Cycling, Yoga, and a variety of other climbing classes. If you don’t like to work out in groups, there are the usual gym suspects, like the treadmill, elliptical, weight machines, as well as free weights.

Parking: You’ll always find parking in the big lot, but it might be a bit aways from the gym door. Be prepared to walk.

Waiver: You can sign your life away before you get to the gym here. The front desk can get pretty swamped helping out the gym patrons so doing this might cut your time checking in.

Amenities: Sauna!! ❤ Showers! Towels! Changing rooms! Lockers and cubbies! (I don’t know why I got so excited talking about all the amenities…) For the women, I have seen blow dryers and other tools after showering. Not sure what the men have, though…

Children: No childcare, but you can stick your kids into one of their after school programs and they can learn to monkey correctly with helmets on.

Classes: The climbing classes cost money, but the regular yoga and cycling classes do not. I really enjoy Zeus’ Total Body Fitness, and the yoga classes have a good ratio of men to women.

Members: Most are pretty friendly. Expect to meet someone new every time you climb. Just smile and say hello! I think the people here make up the feel of the gym. It can get quite crowded on weeknights and weekends. Sometimes, I have to wait for a wall or route to open, and that can be annoying.

Staff: Friendly and pretty chill staff. They could definitely add maybe one or two more people during weeknights.

Price: *ugggghhhhh* It’s expensive. A day pass will cost $24, although if you come before 1pm on the weekdays, it is $18. These passes do not cost rentals, which you will need to climb. The good thing is that the day pass covers any classes you might want to take that day. If you get the membership, you can climb at the other gyms as a courtesy, which is nice. The membership is $85/month. Sometimes, you can get lucky and see a Groupon being offered. However, this is only valid for new members, and recently, the fine print of the Groupon says the Sunnyvale location is excluded.

FINAL RATING: 4-/+ stars (It depends how crowded the gym is and how antisocial I am feeling that day.)

Intros

Aloha! My name is June and I am going to try a different gym in the Bay Area every week for 2016. I love doing different workouts, and I want to see what else is there besides my current gym. There are so many varieties of workout classes and gym memberships just in the South Bay alone, that I thought it might be nice for me (and maybe, you, the reader) to try them all out.

Of course, you should take my reviews with a grain of salt. Depending on your workout style, it might be very different from mine. And that’s just fine. As long as you get up and move, and feel good about yourself, that’s all that matters. 🙂

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