You can do anything for 30 seconds. Seriously! It doesn't matter if it's the fastest sprint of your life, a set of box jumps, or a rip on the rowing machine; 30 seconds is manageable for pretty much anyone.
That's the idea at Speedplay — one of the most fun, challenging, and dynamic workouts I've ever had the chance to try. A conditioning class that's part high-intensity interval training, part strength and resistance training, and part race against the clock, Speedplay offers a structured but mixed-format class that keeps you on your toes for the fastest 60 minutes of your life.
I first tried Speedplay over the holidays — once at the Beverly Hills studio with trainer Meagan Fulps, and the other at the Downtown LA location with owner and creator Xavier Quimbo. Each class left me breathless, yet wildly energized (and sore). Not only were the instructors exceptional and detail oriented, but they were just the right amount of motivating without being scary or intimidating.
Here's how it works. The class is broken up into three parts: the Woodway Curve treadmill, the C2 rowing machine, and floor work with different bodyweight and weighted exercises. Depending on how large the class is, you'll be broken up into two or three groups, and rotate through these circuits. Before the actual workout, you'll do a warmup, and at the end you'll do a cooldown.
A bit about the machines. The Woodway Curve is not your ordinary treadmill: there's no need to set the pace with buttons, just your feet — it's completely self-powered and electricity-free! Xavier told us that he used to have these machines in his physical therapy office, and he uses them in this class because they're safer machines that provide a more effective workout. Then there's the C2 rowing machine, which provides one of the best total-body workouts you can possibly get.
The class I took with Meagan in Beverly Hills had my group start on the treadmill with some sprint training, taking active recovery breaks with a resistance band. Our group then rotated to the floor to do some burpees, push-ups, and plyometric moves, before finishing the first round on the rowing machine, where I did more interval training. Then it starts over, with slight adjustments — so you're not just doing the same thing over and over (see the photo below for that class's rundown). And if you feel like you're hitting a wall? You can take a lap outside. It's great.
In Xavier's class we did box jumps and used barbells and walked backwards on the treadmill. Because each time is so different, you're getting as much of a mental exercise as you are a physical one — so you can't check out. This is an ideal class to take if you need to take your mind off something stressful — you won't have a single moment to think about anything but the task at hand.
We're seeing mixed-format classes like this pop up everywhere; it's ideal if you get bored easily or are possibly intimidated by less structured classes. The short bits of interval training make it feel more manageable, and it's always different no matter how many times you go.
The class also has a pretty even distribution of men and women — it's definitely not a barre class and it's definitely not a CrossFit gym, but it seems to be like a cross-section in terms of clientele. This also contributes to the class not feeling too intimidating; it's all different types of people in class (with different levels of fitness), and everyone's pretty focused on their workout, yet still positive and friendly. Class prices vary based on location and membership, but your first class is $15.
We know that mixing up your workouts and combining cardio with weights is the most effective way to lose weight and see physical progress, so why not get it done in one class? Speedplay does so effectively in a fun, energetic environment that doesn't feel like a bootcamp or scary, militarized format. The instructors are attentive, skilled, and unbelievably motivating. The studio ambiance is high-end without being pretentious.