Money Well Spent {Topic 2: Gym}

We’re back at it again, talking about how I think you should spend your money. Isn’t this fun!

The second item on my list is the gym.

I get it. It sounds douchy.

But if your body isn’t magically god-like (which fuck you, by the way) you have to work. So much of this side of the camera is body shapes and you are kind of a wardrobe hanger at one point or another. So here is my thoughts on affordable fitness in LA. *Side Note: My personal fitness ins and outs will be another post!*

If you haven’t already realized, LA is a mecca of fitness. Some thinks it’s the weather: their in no “Bikini Season” when its almost always 70s and sunny. Some think it’s the business: “the camera adds 10 pounds” is so true it’s scary. Whatever the case may be, working out is as common a denominator in this town as riding the subway is in New York City.

And it can be as costly as owning your own black car + driver.

But it doesn’t have to be and that is a godsend to a lot of actors. Especially newer ones.

Let’s start with the basics, there is incredible hiking in LA. I would have never believed it when I first moved here. I didn’t understand where these “trails” were amongst the apartment complexes and undefined street parking meters. Turns out, they are literally everywhere.

⇒Some favorites:

-Runyon: this is probably one of the best known ones, it’s directly behind Franklin in Hollywood, between La Brea and Curson basically. There is several trails, most of which take about an hour. There is also s semi-secret entrance (or I pretend that it is) behind Wattles Mansion on Curson and Hollywood. There are far less people, it is my perfect place. Runyon also offers FREE yoga classes. That is unheard of! They ask for donations but if you’re broke AF they know, they’ve been there too. There is no pressure to pay anything. Usually I pay $1. They are “Runyon Canyon Yoga” on Facebook and have a class schedule there also.

-Griffith Park: you may know this one because of the Griffith Observatory, the cave they filmed the original Batman TV show in, or maybe that lil wooden sign, maybe you’ve heard of it… Anyway, this park is massive. It extends all over Los Feliz area and into the valley also. There is so much cool stuff in and around it. You won’t run out of hikes here anytime soon. And you will most defiantly see someone doing a photo shoot. I did one at the abandoned zoo there:

-Fryman Canyon: this is like the “Runyon of the Valley”. A few different entrances in and around it, there is free parking at the bottom off Laurel Canyon. I like this one for it’s paths and valley views. And if you live in the valley it’s a go to.

-Malibu: I can’t list all the hikes in the Lost Hills, Malibu, etc area. There are tons! They are a drive but so so worth it. Check out Urban Hiker for the best miscellaneous ones!

Now I know some people love gyms. Like the real kind with cardio areas, and weights, and some weird off brand protein powder at the front desk that I don’t think anyone uses. Personally, I can’t handle gyms much these days. Self-motivated workouts are not my jam. But they are a lot of peoples so let’s chat about that!

LA Fitness/24 Hour Fitness: I was a member of both of these places for a while. I’m a psycho, I know. They both served their purpose as a place to move my body and also there was always one within a few miles no matter where I was. If my memory serves me LA Fitness is cheaper. Also one time I did a commercial print shoot for them, so wave hi if you see me on a poster:
​​Golds Gym: I have literally never stepped foot in a Golds Gym…so imma just leave this right here.

Crunch: I was a member on and off here for years. I love Crunch as it was the best combo of gym + hip kinda vibe (I said this would get douchy) + great classes. Plus a sauna and steam room. Also if you tell them you are an actor and want the acting discount (they MAY ask for a SAG card, but no one ever did from me, sometimes they will look up your IMDb which I think is hilarious) and when I was there a few months ago it was still $64 a month. You can tell them I told you that. And that you shouldn’t have to play an enrollment fee because honestly thats a sales tactic to get you signed up on the spot anyway. I digress…

If these gyms are your thing, I recommend you do the following: tell them you’re an actor (see above), make sure you know your contract rules (can you put it on hold for a job/booking, can you quit without a fee), and check them out online before you buy in. I all but guarantee if you log on to their respective websites, put in your contact info, and then close the tab without making a purchase, they WILL send you a “one time only!” “special just for you” kind of offer. Works every time. *Side Note: This also works for clothing stores a lot…more on that soon.*

Class people. You are my people. I have been taking workout classes since I joined a gym in college and I don’t know what I would be like if I did not. The problem with classes in LA is that they are good. Yes thats a problem because that also means they are expensive.

I am a firm believer in “You Get What You Pay For” but some times it’s not an option.

So welcome to your own personal tour-de-LA fitness classes. Every fitness place, be it pilates, yoga, barre, hot cycling underwater acrobatics, has a first time or new member special. And most of the time that number is Free 99!

A lot of places will do a first class free and then an offer of a month of classes at a discount rate. I love this about places, I love trying new things and not being locked it. If you are a Class Pass person, go to the studios as a new member FIRST and NOT as a class pass-er. You will lose your status as a newbie in the class and then you won’t be privy to the special deals.

I LOVE a deal.

I can’t even being to list the multitude of places you can go, but previewing the Class Pass studio list is a great place to scrore a free contact list and map of local gyms! Sorry Class Pass…I gotta use what I got!

People forget about this one, but let me blow your mind: I workout from home a lot. Because of time issues, but it also saves me a ton of money.

I am super into Tone It Up since they have a TON of free workout videos online. I was also a member of Pilates Anytime, Daily Burn, and several other sites at one time or another.

Videos saved to my desktop got me through a 6 week shoot in France with no wifi shooting 13 hour days.
But I would get up every morning and do a workout in my room, sometimes it was 15 min and sometimes it was 45. It was cost effective, convenient, and time efficient.
​​
So with all that being said, I also recommend you set yourself a fitness budget. Figure out what works for you and what you need. And if you find a place within walking distance of you? WIN!

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