Deemed as the “Pilates on Steroids” workout, I was intrigued immediately. Some boldly say they “have a love/hate relationship” for them. Sounds very 50 Shades of Grey, if you ask me.

It comes to no surprise that fitness resolutions made in January cause mass crowding in commercial health gyms in the early months of the year. Especially in the fittest city in America. All those resolutioners (yes, I made that up) join a gym in January, flock to the gym equipment, and proceed to camp there while scrolling through their Instagram feed. Add a busy schedule to that scenario, and what’s left is a spot in the next class at the fitness studio. Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard to get a good workout if the entire women’s changing room is taking the same BODYPUMP™ class.

So, what’s the remedy? How else can you get access to that hardbody look? In short, boutique fitness studios. Boutique studios such as [solidcore] offer a more personal interaction from a smaller class size and a sense of community. They typically have much better ambiance than larger gyms. Often, you’ll find the price of many fitness classes in DC on the high side. What else can you expect from the nation’s most expensive city to live in? However, many are willing to pay a premium for innovative and effective workouts. Also, small class sizes mean that each fitness client receives personalized attention from coaches who are able to manage different fitness levels in the class.

[solidcore] is the first fitness studio in DC to offer Pilates classes using the Lagree Fitness Method on a Megaformer. The what on a what?! I know, I felt the same way when I read it myself the first time. Basically, this method used at [solidcore] is an advanced form of Pilates using a beefed up reformer machine, a bedlike machine with a rolling carriage to offer versatility to any Pilates workout. Pilates is a workout that improves flexibility and strength through controlled movements. The Legree Fitness Method is an amplified version of Pilates, specializing in strength and muscular endurance. It targets so many muscle groups from all different angles, and the effect from the muscle fatigue can burn up to 800 calories from just one 50-minute session!

DC Locations:
Adams Morgan – 1841 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC 20009
Shaw – 1821 7th Street NW (7th & S St. NW), Washington, DC 20001
Mt. Vernon Triangle – 433 Mass. Ave. NW (4th & Mass. Ave.), Washington, DC 20001
Cathedral Commons – 3308 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

Virginia Locations:
Ballston – 650 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22203
Alexandria – 1111 Belle Pre Way, Alexandria, VA 22314 (Opening March 2)

What is [solidcore]? from [solidcore] on Vimeo.

In a torturous act of self-love on Valentine’s day weekend, I took a class last week at their Ballston location in Arlington, Virginia. Deemed as the “Pilates on Steroids” workout, I was intrigued immediately. Yelpers give each of the four locations a collective four and a half stars or higher, and some boldly say they “have a love/hate relationship” for them. Sounds very 50 Shades of Grey, if you ask me. There were six of us in the class, and it offered the right amount of personal coaching for my needs. My coach, Alex Perrin, and her assistant helped familiarize me to the Megaformer and the particular verbal cues to move from one exercise to the next.

Within two minutes, I had the shakes–the kind that rivals a recovering addict at a rehab center. The shakes, apparently, are what you strive for in this workout. Along with the shakes were the sweats. The kind of sweat as defined only by an intense amount of resistance training. This is when I humbly submitted to the Megaformer for the next forty-eight minutes. I obediently moved and contorted my body to work my legs and glutes, my obliques and the rest of my not-so-solid core, my arms, and finally my chest and back.

It was B-A-D-A-S-S. It was a 50-minute shock and awe fitness campaign, and it was glorious! Having used more traditional and popular workouts in the past, I would suggest this to anyone looking for something new and different, as an inspiration to what the body can achieve with a little creativity. Most importantly, in my opinion, this workout is not for beginners in fitness. This workout is for those who seek to find the strongest version of themselves.

So, what’s the price? Well… it depends on what you want.

First timer clients are offered a class at $19.
There’s also a 3-class package for $85.
Afterward, your first unlimited month (if you have taken 3 classes or less) is $259 a month.

Truth is, there are many packages to choose from, but the best value is if you refer 10 people to come and take a class, you get a 10-pack of complimentary classes – no fine print, no strings attached. AND If your 10 referrals come in during the month of February, you will receive 15 complimentary classes. Talk about sharing the love!

Additionally, as [solidcore] prepares to open their Alexandria location on March 2nd, they are offering an “Old Town Opening Special”:
Any new or existing client can purchase and use exclusively at the Old Town studio on 1111 Bel Pre Way – 10 classes for $250 (typically, 10-class packages are $310). This deal is only valid for purchase this weekend, February 20 -22, 2015.

More information can be found on

If you plan to try this new workout, make sure you mention me, Gigi Smith, or DC Life Magazine. I’d love to get some complimentary classes. Sharing is caring!