Of course, I am running late.
In LA, it’s pretty excusable when people roll into dinner, a meeting, or a yoga class a few minutes past their ETA. With unpredictable traffic and a general sense of overinflated self-importance, Angelenos have some (kind of, not really) legit reasons to be tardy.
Nonetheless, running late for anything makes me extremely anxious and incredibly guilty. So when I rolled up to Retrofit at 6:32 p.m. on a Friday night, I was in a bit of a state … and probably wasn’t in the optimal mood for a workout. When I hurried through the cafe in the front of Retrofit’s new West Hollywood space and stepped into the classroom, I surprised. The medium-sized space looked different than I’d imagined—sets of self-propelled treadmills, spin bikes, rowing machines, AirBikes, and ski urgs lined the front of the mirrored space. In the interior perimeter of the room were battle ropes, TRX machines, and free weights.
“Crap.” I thought to myself. I assumed that with a name like “Retrofit” I’d be experiencing some sort of old-school, P.E.-style workout … not an intense interval station class, which this was clearly shaping up to be. I didn’t want to do battle ropes and burpees—I wanted to play dodgeball! Thankfully, the Retrofit’s 45-minute HIIT Burn class wasn’t too torturous.
Our instructor Ricardo Vargas, clearly demonstrated all the exercises for each round and did a great job wrangling the 12-person class as we went through each movement for one minute per station. Because you’re moving around the room often, the time goes by quickly. We did three full rounds, with a 2-3 minute break between each.
No doubt, I definitely sweated and worked hard. Although there weren’t any exercises that were particularly groundbreaking or innovative, the programming was efficient and intelligent. It got the job done in the studio—by the end of class, every participant was a sweaty mess, and my mood had totally transformed.
For Weho-area locals, Retrofit seems like a solid community to become a part of. In addition to their Retrofit Society classes, they have a full gym next door that’s totally tricked out with high-quality equipment and machines where they other personalized training. And the co-owners Rob McGillivray and Jessie Pavelka are kind, informed, and very enthusiastic—it’s clear in the way they and their staff interact with clients that they genuinely enjoy their work.