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My shameless love for reality dating shows was revealed in my last post, but I hope it didn't distract you from my main point. Those LIB girls know what's up when it comes to keeping their bodies in shape. Whether you loved or hated Raven in Season 3 or Stacey in Season 5, you have to admit - their careers as Pilates instructors and their fit AF bodies are no coincidence. Therefore, when it came time to choose the type of studio I wanted to try out first, Pilates was at the top of my list. After a few trials and errors (not all Pilates studios are created equally), [solidcore] stole my heart.
With their motivating instructors, challenging reformer machines, and neon blue lights, you will love and hate this recommendation within 5 minutes of the class's start time. But trust me - you'll love it way more than you hate it. And you'll only hate it because of how much you love the challenge.
I left this class for the very first time feeling so challenged that I cried. I cried because of how much I wanted it. I wanted the transformation, the success, the results. I wanted to be good at it. I cried for a brief moment before pulling myself together and finishing the class despite all of my doubts. This class is hard, and you'll find that it's hard whether it's your first time or your 10th time. But it's also SO worth it.
Spin. Strength. Yoga. Get it?
While I revealed in my last post why I thought I'd never step foot into a spin class again, I have to admit that I'm so glad I did. 20 minutes of spin, plus 20 minutes of strength training and 20 minutes of yoga, equals 60 minutes of heart-pumping, muscle-building, rewarding work.
The quick start to this class, with bikes you can customize to your own body's dimensions, makes the first 20 minutes of class fly by. Before you can wish it was over, you're moving over to the weights section of the studio.
Any intimidation that may normally come with the thought of lifting weights is eased by the group aspect of this class, especially if you're competitive like I am. While normally I'd think there's no way I can do that last rep, my desire to keep up with the class has me accomplishing so much more than I ever thought I could. Each class is different, too, with each day being designated to different sections of the body (lower body, upper body, full body, etc). While the weights remain the same, the class never is.
Finally, ending the class with a simple Vinyasa leaves me walking out of the studio with less focus on how much work I just put in to the first 40 minutes of the class and more on how great the overall class made me feel. No wobbly legs or racing heart - I leave feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of my day (after a shower, of course).
The Coterie Wellness Studio
Walking through the doors at the Coterie Wellness Studio has a way of transporting you. Any worries or happenings going on in your life are melted away, and you're now in a safe space to just focus on yourself. It's a feeling I can't really describe. The warmth of the staff overpowers the heat in the studio. Each and every class is different, with every instructor providing a unique and one-of-a-kind experience. I love that, as I'm still meeting each instructor at different class times throughout the week, I never know what I'll get. Somehow, though, I always get what I need, and that's what keeps me coming back. The gorgeous arch mirrors are just a bonus :)
If you've ever wanted to spend 20-30 minutes throwing punches to take out your anger or frustration, Rumble Boxing is for you. In the first few classes, you'll be more focused on learning the moves; but once you have it down, it's a thrilling way to escape from the rest of your day.
What I love most about this class is that it's all-encompassing with HIIT style intervals and strength training in the second half of the class. I get to learn a new skill while getting in a workout that's more effective than I even realize while it's going on. By the end of the bag session, you'll be thankful to move over to the weights because your arms will be tired!
This full-body workout is fun, effective, and it flies by in just 45 minutes.
Okra has been around for as long as I can remember in the heart of Plaza Midwood, and it's a staple for health and wellness in this vibrant community. For me, it's close to home and a must-go for yoga.
What I love about Okra is the variety of classes provided. From heated Prana to Yoga Nidra (sleep yoga) and everything in between, you're sure to find something to fall in love with. My experience with Wenny during InsideFlow (similar to dance yoga) was unforgettable, and I'm counting down the days until I can fit it into my schedule again.
Every instructor has something unique to offer, but what seems to be a common theme here is their ability and willingness to become vulnerable with their students, deepening the connection and experience of each class. It's this connection that has me hooked and will be the reason that Okra remains on my roster indefinitely.
Core 704 is another Pilates studio in Charlotte. And while it's similar to [solidcore] in that they have their own version of the reformer machine, as well as encouraging and upbeat instructors, I do personally prefer [solidcore]'s machine to Core 704. Although I understand (to an extent) why it's built this way, I didn't love that the arms of the machine at Core 704 aren't secure, leaving an element of safety missing for me. Outside of that, it's just as difficult as [solidcore] and could be a great fit for anyone wanting to try Pilates with a reformer.
The real reason I highlight this studio is for their CoreCLIMBER class. Cardio meets leg strengthening on a machine you've never seen before in your life. Think stair climber meets eliptical...but, like, still not even that. It's hard to describe, but it's so much fun!
Don't get me wrong, this class is hard. The instructor and more experienced students don't make it look that way, but the workout you will get here in only 30 minutes is unmatched.
SWEAT440 is a 40-minute station-style HIIT class. I fell in love with this studio because of a few things:
The owner Matt is kind and easy to get a long with, but he will push you. During my first class here, he stayed with me every step of the way to make sure I knew how to do each exercise properly and that I was giving it my all. And while the trainers won't hold your hand like that for each class, they will keep an eye on you to make sure that you are executing the moves correctly and that you aren't giving up easily. They are always readily available to clarify exercises and provide adjustments/modifications as needed.
The name SWEAT440 comes from the fact that you will sweat for 40 minutes, and this is no joke. You are sweating from the moment you start your first exercise until you walk out the door at the end, dripping in sweat. This level of sweat is the reason I committed to going to this studio full-time. When seeking results, sweat levels are a great way to assess the intensity of a class. With that being said, SWEAT440 gets a 10/10 on that scale.
Every week, the class schedule is the same: legs on Mondays and Thursdays; arms on Tuesdays and Fridays; Core on Wednesdays; full-body on the weekend. While this schedule stays the same each week, the workout routine you do from one week to the next are always different, so you never get bored.
There's a level of community here that I have yet to find at any other studio. When I went for my first class, the girls that I shared a station with in each round were so kind and so encouraging! They made me feel welcomed, and they didn't let me feel bad or down on myself for struggling through the whole thing; because despite them being in much better shape than I am, they struggled, too, and weren't afraid to admit it.
While these are my top studios to try during your ClassPass free trial, there are so many more options! No matter what your health and wellness goals are, ClassPass offers an array of studios and wellness centers to sample.
You can learn more about the ways I improve and maintain my health in my upcoming posts. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you don't miss them!