I’ll start this out by saying I’m obsessed with workout classes. I find it difficult to motivate myself when I’m alone, so usually I need an instructor to push me or the presence of workout partners to motivate me. I frequent barre class, love spin class (I think SoulCycle is amazing), and am game to try pretty much everything. So when one of my friends texted me that a new fitness studio called [solidcore] opened up near us, I was so down to try.
I figured that it couldn’t be that hard, I mean I’m of average athletic ability, but I can usually do workout classes fairly well. Except this time, my friend warned me that [solidcore] would be extremely difficult. I had to trust her because this was the girl I lost my SoulCycle virginity with, so she knew what I’d been through.
The day came and we arrived at the studio 15 minutes early. We walked in and the instructor was so nice. The [solidcore] studio was adorable and like at most fitness boutiques, the bathroom had literally everything you could ever want and the cubbies that were both stylish and cute.
We walked into the exercise room and it was daunting AF. Unlike the barre classes I frequent, this class was done solely on equipment. They use a reformer machine that essentially makes the workout entirely based on resistance.
The instructor, Jeff, taught us how to use the machine and I was stressed. He started telling us what hooks to put springs on and how to move on the machine and I was worried I would forget everything and slow the entire class down. It was even more stressful that we were the only new people in the studio. It seemed like the instructor knew each other customer personally.
Finally, it was time to get started. The perfect pop music to workout to started playing and we mounted our machines. And holy shit: it was the most difficult 50 minutes of my life.
We started out planking as our “warm up.” This warm up lasted what seemed like an eternity. We did a series of planks on the reformer for about 5 minutes. My abs were on fire. The series was fun though because the reformer allowed us to do plank variations so we wouldn’t get bored.
Then we moved to leg work. We lunged, squatted, and lifted. What I really appreciated about the workout was that it was all small movements, just like in the barre classes I was used to. I barely moved my legs at all and my hamstrings burned like never before. We literally used every part of the machine and spent like 10 minutes on each leg. I was in so much pain.
Lastly, we moved on to arms. I actually don’t remember the arm workout much because by that time I was so exhausted I think I blacked out. I know hand weights were involved. And maybe some tears.
My favorite thing about [solidcore] was the instructor and his encouragement. So many times I had to stop what we were doing because my body physically could not do anymore. But he yelled out individual names with encouragement nonstop. Sometimes I would be laying on my machine unable to do an exercise and he would yell “Tori’s doing a great job down there, keep it up!” It felt great having someone encourage me and push me to be my best.
When the class was over, I think I may have cried tears of joy. I was the sweatiest I’ve ever been in my entire life and my muscles were shaking like nobody’s business. Not even kidding y’all, I thought I might be dying.
The next day I was so sore it took me 10 minutes to walk up the stairs. My obliques and hamstrings hurt the most the next day, which I assumed was because those were the areas we focused on in the workout that I spend little time with on my own. The pain didn’t go away for three days.
The biggest problem I had with [solidcore] was their prices. To buy a single class it’s $37. They had a new client special to buy two classes for $34, but I ended up not going back because I couldn’t find a time to go that I could prepare myself to be so sore for such a long time.
I can see this workout has the ability to seriously change your body, but who can afford to go back that many times? They have a lot of coupons that they’ll send you, but none of them are enough of a discount to really matter.
However, it does seem like [solidcore] has an awesome following. The instructors really try to create a sense of community and if you look at their Facebook page you can really tell that it brings people together, which is awesome. I definitely didn’t get the competitive workout class vibes from other customers that I sometimes get elsewhere.
I would say completing a [solidcore] class is my best athletic achievement (coming from a girl who won multiple state championships in high school, this says a lot). It was without a doubt the hardest workout class I’ve ever done.
If you ever stumble upon a [solidcore] (which may be tough because they only have locations in the DC/Maryland and Minnesota as of right now, but more are coming soon) I would definitely recommend taking a class. If I wasn’t a broke college student with a busy schedule I would 100 percent be back for more. Just a warning: you may not be able to walk for a few days after your first class.