All about solidcore, a new workout class taking over Chicago!
Back in February 2018, I heard about a new studio called solidcore. A fast paced, super hard, unique version of a pilates reformer class? Umm… hell yeah, I want to try that!
Turns out the class was even harder than I imagined it to be and I was sore for the next 3 days. And by sore, I mean SORE. Which is what made me motivated to go back again and again… until it became one of my favorite workouts in the city!
[solidcore] is basically pilates on steroids. The whole class is centered around their own unique version of a reformer called sweatlana. Sweatlana creates tension with loaded springs that allow you to control the resistance depending on what exercises you are doing. Sometimes using less springs makes it way harder to stabilize on your legs. Other times, more springs makes the arm portion of class more challenging. It’s completely customizable, which is exactly why you’ll never plateau in a class like this.
I personally love that this is fast paced and high intensity, while also being low impact/heavily focused on slow and controlled movements. Sounds contradictory? Just you wait until you realize just how much it burns to move slowly… but as soon as that exercise is over, you have to transition to a plank as quickly as possible! While your muscles are shaking! Told you it was hard!
Your questions about solidcore:
This is basic but what does it really consist of?
Usually the class starts with a core warm up: planks, plank crunches, plank up/downs… all the planks! Then you move into exercises that target the legs, booty, obliques, and upper/lower abs specifically. Occasionally arms are thrown in the middle, but coaches usually end with those.
For the most part, you will be ON sweatlana’s front platform, back platform, or moving carriage. One part of your body will be on a steady platform, while another part of your body is moving with the carriage. This, combined with the resistance springs, create the tension required to really burn your muscles out. There is also a strap underneath the front platform that you can hook around your foot for booty work, as well as two sets of cables near the back platform that you use for arm work.
Everyone says it’s super hard? Is that true?
Yup! Honestly, I think it’s the hardest workout I’ve ever done!
Tips for beginners:
First, get there early and introduce yourself to your coach. They’ll show you how everything works before class anyway, but that extra touchpoint is a great way for them to learn your name and be aware of your nerves.
Second, listen to their modification cues. Don’t zone out or give up or stop doing an exercise because it’s hard. Listen to when they give you possible modifications, like dropping down to your knees in plank crunches. I do that ALL the time in these classes when I feel like my form is being compromised. No shame in that game!
And lastly, remember to breathe. If you need to take a break – give yourself one good deep breath and jump back in. Try to keep your breath steady and calm, even when you feel shaky AF. It will help!
Do you have to be flexible?
Nope! Some exercises might be easier if you are flexible, but that is definitely not a requirement.
How many classes did it take for you to not feel like it was completely kicking your butt?
Girl, it STILL completely kicks my butt!! I’ve definitely gotten stronger, but I’m not a master – nor do I think I’ll ever be! That’s kind of the brilliance of this workout. It’s always going to be hard.
How often do you go to solidcore a week?
Well, I was trying to go 3 times a week before my move, but now I live a 25 minute train ride away from the studio, so I don’t go as often. Hopefully I’ll figure out a way to get there more again!
I’m not a #TransformationTuesday or calorie counting kind of girl, and I’m usually reluctant to say that one thing has helped my body more than others (I go to different workouts, the way I’m eating affects my body, etc.) That being said, this workout WILL change your body. I shot another post the same day we shot this, and I couldn’t believe the photos when I got them back. I had ABS!
You will also definitely feel a difference. I’ve gotten way stronger since I started incorporating these classes into my routine. And even though there’s no running/typical cardio, you can still burn between 400-600 calories per class! No joke!