Jan 31

[solidcore] shakes – the good kind of pain as you #MoveAtMosaic

The first thing you notice upon walking into the [solidcore] studio is that it is beautiful. Rich wood paneling, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and the company’s signature blue hue create an instant oasis, at once soothing and inspiring. Dropping your bags off and heading into the bathroom to change, you notice that the floor there is covered in Sharpie-d mantras :

“[CRUSH] It!”

“You are getting [STRONGER!]”

It seems that everyone before you has left a piece of themselves on the floor, and you smile, momentarily feeling like a part of a bigger, cozier community, until you notice, tucked in the corner – “[HURTS] so good!”

Wait, what?

Welcome to the [solidcore] thunderdome. Don’t let the mood lighting lull you into a sense of complacency – you’re here to work hard, work to exhaustion, and then do it all over again. It is, in essence, the hardest, most challenging and, at times, most painful workout we’ve ever put our bodies through. And it is totally addicting, empowering, and worth repeat visits.

Your entire 50 minutes takes place on Swetlana, [solidcore]’s custom megaformer machine. It consists of two platforms connected by a moving carriage, with fun add-ons like bungees, cables and some free weights rounding out the package. If the rows of stern black machines look intimidating at first, don’t worry – the coach is on hand to walk you through its use before your first class. Studio manager Kelly Moriarty, as bubbly as she is intense, took our class through the paces of a few particularly challenging transitions before the 50-minute workout truly began.

Perhaps one of our favorite aspects of [solidcore] is the client-to-coach relationship. There’s only 12 machines in the studio, meaning classes are small. Really small. So small you can’t get away with slacking off – Kelly sees all. Tuck that tailbone, she reminds us gently, and then more forcefully. There’s no time to waste in the studio.

While you may at first feel skeptical about the promise : a full-body workout in just 50 minutes, you’ll walk away, legs wobbling, knowing that’s exactly what just happened. [Solidcore] is all about slow, controlled movements using body weight and resistance, gradually working your muscles to exhaustion. It’s this slow, patient burn that lengthens, leans and tones, [solidcore] promises – but during the 50 minutes, you’re too busy focusing on surviving to really think through the science of the workout.

Kelly starts class with a mind-numbing, abs-torching core circuit, that rotates through planks, crunches and army crawls with dizzying frequency. And just when you think you’re about to collapse onto your carriage and take a nap, the core circuit is over… replaced with a series of lunges that make your legs scream in protest.

And when one leg is over, it’s time to hit the other. And just when you’ve decided your lower limbs are going to secede from your body, it’s time to hit those obliques. And so on, it continues, until you’re staring at the ceiling, trying to push your arms through a few last reps, with Kelly’s promise of “the single digits of class!” ringing in your ears. You think you can’t possibly make it, no way, no how, and then – it’s over.

Every end of your body is tired. You’re dripping in sweat (sorry, coworkers who have to see you after this lunchtime workout) – and you’re positively glowing with energy. There could be a whole psychology study done on [solidcore], we bet. It leaves you feeling utterly exhausted yet, at the same time, utterly ready to tackle any challenge, physical or no, after the class. Cluttered inbox? After you just survived 50 minutes of pure intensity, it seems like small potatoes.

The next day, we sneezed, and our entire abdominal region immediately jolted with a deep muscle ache. So naturally, we signed up for another class right away.