First of all, should you try Pilates at least once?
100%. You didn’t hear it from me:
My Pilates journey actually began four score and seven years ago with Blogilates–I followed her workouts for the vast majority of my youth, combining her videos with gym cycling and strength training, then eventually sticking to solely lifting and cardio. However, after joining ClassPass for a discounted membership (thank you health insurance!), my interest in Pilates peaked once again. But I’m not just discussing mat Pilates. We’re thinking of classes with the reformer (or the [solidcore] sweatlana) that allows you multiple degrees of resistance. Trust me, these HURT.
After less than three months of consistently training Pilates with a little bit of running (Barry’s Bootcamp review coming soon!), my physical fitness skyrocketed. I felt significantly stronger, more toned, more agile, and generally more exuberant in my daily strides. The best part? My confidence and self-love have peaked along with everything else.
On the flip side, this outcome was not without its errors. Some Pilates studios are most certainly better than others. From my own standpoint, I need a gym with classes that present a challenge…or two, or three, or even more. Pilates is fabulous for those building flexibility, improving posture, and stretching; nonetheless, my personal preferences encompass Pilates studios whose trainers make you WORK WORK WORK. I want to feel like I’m about to pass away. After all, the soreness the next day is its own reward!
As of late, I’ve attended tens of Pilates studios (sure, one could argue I need to branch out a bit more, but you know) thanks to ClassPass. There are three that have stuck with me–and I mean, the front desk workers recognize me instantly–and I cannot recommend them enough to anybody who likes integrating more strength training and cardio into their workouts without pumping iron or sprinting. Not that there’s anything wrong with either, but if you’re looking to switch it up AND exercise your core on a constant basis, these three gyms are for you.
BE Fit Pilates (based in Southern California)
Ever since I’ve moved to Orange County, I’ve been attending a BE Fit Pilates class at least once per visit. The trainers have very unique classes in their clean, nicely lit, and well-structured studios with plenty of reformers to use.
- Strength-focused and resistance-based classes (perfect for muscle building)
- Enthusiastic and attentive instructors
- Note: some instructors will have you start more on the beginner side if you are a newer student
- Grip socks on sale
- Easy to book on ClassPass
- Multiple locations in the OC area
- Free parking in every location
- Each studio is on the smaller side, hence classes fill up fast
- Slightly less variety in all sessions across the board
- A little more challenging to book on MindBody
- Late cancellation fee
- No studios in Los Angeles
- No towels available
Rebel Kore Fitness (based in Woodland Hills)
Hands down, the only Pilates studio I visit in the northern region of Los Angeles! Rebel Kore has a wide variety of teaching styles–every instructor is absolutely incredible and peppy–that incorporate resistance training, stretching, core stability, and, you guessed it if you’ve seen the treadmills: cardio intervals.
- Easy to book
- Grip socks on sale
- High-energy music
- Vibrant and enthusiastic instructors (massive shoutout to Marian, Deena, and Evan!)
- Well-established range of class lengths, levels, and focuses (50-75 minutes, some with running intervals)
- Towels and water dispenser available
- Limited parking (find street parking or three available spots in their back lot)
- Expensive membership tiers
- Difficult to enter from the front (make sure you use the buttons like I should have in the beginning, LOL)
- Only one location
[solidcore] (based in Los Angeles)
You all already know–you ALL already know that this studio would make the list! There’s never a week where I’m not at a location at least once (usually twice, sometimes even more!). [solidcore] markets itself as a unique fitness program that integrates HIIT into Pilates, henceforth it’s not 100% a Pilates company; still, the classes operate similarly as such. My personal favorite locations are West Hollywood, Culver City, and Santa Monica, but they are opening a bunch of other spots that you’ll find me at in no time!
- Has their own coaching program for you to train with them at new locations
- Currently growing a ton! They’re always hiring!
- Multiple locations in L.A.
- Clean and beachy-feel studios
- Strength and core-focused workouts with specific targeted areas per class (all full body)
- Energetic, high-spirit coaches
- No favorites in particular! They’re all wonderful!
- No grip socks required (though recommended)
- Discounted coach-in-training classes
- Extensive recommendations and guidelines on how to prepare for your first class
- No towels or water provided
- Every location has a unique parking situation, though most of them validate if using a public lot
- Pricey cancellation fee and no-show fee
- More expensive overall, including ClassPass
- Overall class structure isn’t for everyone
- Dimly lit studio during the actual class (may be hard to see for some, especially when changing springs)
Overall, I couldn’t be happier that I’ve found Pilates. Yes, I miss rock climbing to a certain degree, but I noticed stalling in my progress where I couldn’t move forward without dealing with my fear of heights. I may return to the walls someday. For now, I’m simply too obsessed with the reformer for my own good.
Note: this post is not sponsored or affiliated with the studios above. All opinions and observations are my own.
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