If you caught this post or follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been incorporating Solidcore into my workout routine over the past couple of months. It’s a very challenging, pilates-inspired workout that takes place on a reformer-like machine and it’s designed to strengthen and change your body over 50 minute classes filled with slow, controlled movements.
The workout is notoriously intimidating to newbies but the instructors are hands-on–the classes have a max of 15 people–and Solidcore offers beginners classes, which I highly recommend taking a few times before jumping into the regular. (I avoided it for years purely because I have some back issues and figured I wouldn’t be able to do anything well.) I’m excited to have Jenny, a recovering lawyer and current communications manager at a law firm by day, and pro-coach at the West End studio by night (she’s also my neighbor!) here to answer some questions about the workout. She’s one of the best but toughest fitness instructors I’ve had and if you want your butt kicked, plan to head her way. She addresses a bunch of the FAQs, but if you want to know anything else in particular, leave it in the comments and I’ll have her follow up!
How long have you been teaching Solidcore and how did you get your start?
I have been coaching for just about three years! I was a regular client downtown and at the Wildwood studio in Bethesda, and when a training was coming up I asked the manager–Artemis–what she thought about my signing up. She strongly encouraged me to do so and I’ve been a staple ever since.
What’s the difference between a “pro coach” and a normal coach?
Pro-coaches are expected to be able to take you to that next level of your workout. Whether that means more creative sequencing, getting you to failure in a more effective manner, or helping you connect with your workout a bit deeper – pro-coaches are held to a higher standard. Within the company, pro-coaches also act as mentors to newer coaches, providing feedback so that everyone is set up for success.
What’s your advice for people who are interested in trying Solidcore but are new to the workout?
It’s hard! I won’t say it’s for everyone! There are beginner classes at every studio, and we encourage people to check those out. Pop into a class, take with a friend, and see how it feels. The first class can be overwhelming, but your coach is there to support you and provide you with an effective workout–so while it will definitely be challenging, you will feel super accomplished at the end.
I’m so intimidated by the machines! Is the class as complicated as it looks?
Two different questions :) The machine itself–once you get a few classes under your belt, the machine becomes less foreign and you’ll better understand how to use it. Also–your coach will ALWAYS tell you exactly what to do on the machine–you are never guessing.
Is the class complicated? Yes and no. It is always challenging–it’s not something that gets easier. However, the more you take, the more you understand the flow, the language, etc., and that part becomes easier for sure.
What advice would you give to a newbie to make the best out of his or her first class?
Get there early to get a full machine demo. Know that it will be challenging, and listen to your coach. There will be a lot going on in class, but if you hone in on the cues your coach provides, it will be far more approachable. Also–body awareness is the key to success in the room.
How can I incorporate Solidcore into my existing workout routine? It’s outside my budget to make it my primary form of fitness.
Take class once or twice a week and you will see change! Plenty of people use it to supplement marathon training or in place of weight training in the gym.
Is it a safe workout for pregnant women?
Pregnant women should always consult with their doctor before taking on any exercise routine. However–if you’ve been taking class pre-pregnancy, you can keep taking and we can provide modifications. We wouldn’t recommend trying it for the first time while pregnant–for those gals, I’d recommend coming in to get that post-pregnancy bod back in shape.
What are some of your other favorite workouts in DC?
SoulCycle, Barry’s, and Cut Seven – the four are a perfect combination of cardio, weight, high intensity and low intensity. You can often find Solidcore coaches taking class together at other studios–it’s a great opportunity to sweat and support the rest of our DC fitfam!
A couple other questions I’ve gotten about Solidcore (answered by myself!)…
Does it hurt your back?
Like I mentioned earlier, my biggest concern with Solidcore was that it would exacerbate my existing back pain. While certain moves definitely aggravate it, I always tell the coach about my issue head of time and take breaks whenever my body needs it. I usually pause a few times to stretch out my back during the prime “core” part of the workout but still feel like I get nearly all of–if not all of–the full benefit of that part of the class. The non-core specific parts of the class don’t bother me at all. In general, my back pain decreases the stronger my core gets, and I have a very weak core. That’s why I’m going to Solidcore! I can feel myself getting stronger after every class and my back is definitely benefiting from that. In short: if you have back pain, obviously check with your doctor before trying the workout. Be careful and listen to your body!
How often are you going?
I’m currently going about once every week or week and a half or two, depending on my schedule. I’d love to start going weekly The classes are expensive! I have an unlimited membership at Flow so on an average week, will aim to go to a class there three or four times a week. I’m not particularly into yoga so mainly do the pilates and HIIT-like classes, which supplement Solidcore nicely! I’m working on sprinkling in some classes that incorporate more running, too. That’s what I miss about Orangetheory!
Price wise, I’d recommend trying Solidcore with their new client special–$39 for two classes–or Classpass (that’s my referral link). I first tried it with the latter and J did the former. I’m not sure about the others and you could probably call to check, but the West End studio in DC has a deal where you get a pack of 10 classes for $250 and you can use them at peak and off-peak classes. This is a steal! I’ve been taking classes at all times with the pack but am switching over to off-peak after it ends, since off-peak classes are $27 and peak classes are $37.
P.S.S. Some of my favorite athleisure.