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Studio Spotlight: Solidcore Will Challenge Your Mind & Muscles

Studio Spotlight: Solidcore Will Challenge Your Mind & Muscles

Solidcore might be one of the most challenging boutique fitness classes out there, and it will almost certainly work your muscles in new ways

Solidcore has redefined Pilates by upping the ante. The popular boutique fitness brand is known for its 50-minute, high-intensity resistance training workout that uses reformer machines and for its focus on “breaking down muscles to failure” to develop strength.

Although it uses Pilates-inspired reformer machines, Solidcore (officially branded as [solidcore]) makes clear that the workout is not strictly Pilates. Instead, it’s a core-focused strength workout that targets different body parts based on each class’s programming.

Athletech News tested Solidcore to see if the “world’s hardest workout” can live up to its hype. 

Inside the Workout

Even as someone who works out frequently, I found Solidcore workouts challenging and scalable. The instructors speak throughout the entire class and give instructions to up the ante and lower the intensity for varying skill levels. The brand now offers a “Starter50” class to help beginners with foundational movements.

“This is for anyone who is new to the workout, revisiting after an injury, or anyone who wants something slower paced with more time dedicated to their form,” Taylor Bogenschuetz, director of training and development at Solidcore, told Athletech News,

The workouts begin and end with core exercises, which often take the form of planks. One of the best parts of Solidcore is that the instructors offer a more difficult version of the workout upfront and then offer modifications. This creates a challenging baseline for most class-goers, with the instructor offering ways to scale up and scale down for most workouts.

credit: [solidcore]

Strength Training in a Different Way

Solidcore accesses often-unused muscles through the reformer machines, which can help develop overall strength and stability. Because of the usage of these neglected muscles, the instructors give instructions on how many springs to apply (which changes the resistance level) based on the number of Solidcore classes each user has attended.

As a newbie to Solidcore, I sometimes found those instructions to be too easy based on strength I had built outside of the studio, but the instructors continued to encourage leveling up or down.

Because it focuses more on stability and toning, Solidcore likely will not replace traditional strength training in most people’s routines, but it will likely improve performance in all types of sports and workouts, as well as tone and lengthen muscles. 

I also appreciated Solidcore’s no-frills nature. There were not too many mantras reiterated in the classes, apart from its mission of embracing failure. The class was one of the more efficient I’ve taken. Even though I didn’t sweat too much in each workout, I found myself sore for days afterward. 

credit: [solidcore]

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Price Points

One of the biggest downsides of Solidcore is its premium price point. Pricing varies by location, but in larger cities, it costs around $40 for a single class.

In some New York City locations, a monthly unlimited pass is around $430 at several popular locations, which comes out to $26 per class if attending four times per week. Solidcore does offer discounts for students, teachers, healthcare workers and military personnel, which can be around 25% off.

Another downside of the studio is that it does not provide showers to class-goers, unlike many competitors. The bathrooms are stocked with hair and skin cleansing products for freshening up. Although class-goers likely will not sweat as much as they would at a HIIT workout class, for those heading right to work or another event, this could be an inconvenience. 

Lastly, I (and some others I observed in the classes I attended) had issues with the reformers—namely the reformer handles. In one class, I had to switch machines because the handles were not working properly, but the instructor helped me do so promptly. It seemed like the cables for the handles sometimes became caught within the machine and did not pull properly. 

The Verdict

Solidcore is an efficient, effective workout that, while not cheap, could be one of the most challenging boutique fitness classes for those looking to strengthen and stabilize all muscles. 

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