I am a sucker for new fitness experiences in almost any capacity, and once you tell me that I can take class in a room with disco-esque blue uplighting, how can I resist? Enter [Solidcore].
The DC staple has moved northward into Philly with a vengeance opening three locations (Bryn Mawr, Center City and Rittenhouse) within the past year.
In its mission statement, the boutique fitness craze promises, “a high-intensity, low-impact 50-minute session that is done as slow as possible to lengthen and tone your body. With countless variations of moves stemming from planks, lunges and squats, your body and mind will be challenged in each and every class.”
Sounds simple enough right?
So so wrong.
Upon completing my second class last night, I can genuinely assert that “easy” is the last adjective that comes to mind when describing it. Instead, think more along the lines of, intense. exhausting. insane. because it is all of those things.
Arriving at the studio, though, you’d never be able to tell. I entered for the Tuesday evening class and was quickly greeted by my instructor Chris who appeared much too friendly to be the torturer that I envisioned; it didn’t take me long to realize that appearances are deceiving.
Locations: (Philadelphia) — Bryn Mawr, Center City, Rittenhouse
(Elsewhere) — Atlanta, North Dakota, Dallas, Maryland, Minnesota, Virginia, Washington DC, New York
Pricing: First class: $16, Single class: $32, $199 per month for unlimited use
Nutshell Experience: 50 minute strength training course with slow methodical movement and both high energy instructors and music
He helped me set up the machine (the beacon of all movement) which is referred to as the “sweatlana.” In actuality, it’s a revved up pilates machine that allows free flow weight lifting at varying strengths under the control of 8 different spring levels.
50 minutes, countless lunges, planks and a bombastic playlist later -- class was over and my core, while far from solid, hurt more than I can ever recall, but for whatever reason I instantly wanted more.
You see, the class’s level of difficulty isn’t off putting. In fact, our coach was motivating in a way that felt authentically supportive so, while being a complete ass kick, it’s also the type of challenge that triggers a sense of urgency to push through (especially since there isn’t much hiding space with only 11 other classmates).
As I sat on the sidelines recovering post class, my left side sweatlana mate asked me, “how you like it?!”
“Intense… insane.” is all I could mutter in response.
To which she said, “Yup -- It’s killer and doesn’t really get better, but you still just gotta keep coming back.”
And keep coming back I will.