Crash Course: The mat class at Quantum Pilates is capital “P” Pilates that follows the classical sequence very closely. Expect trusted moves like the hundreds, teasers, jack knives, and leg raises. If you’re searching for a relaxing but effective workout, need a gentle exercise while recovering from an injury, or just want to get back to the basics, Quantum offers a great option in the heart of Dupont.[line] [left]where: 2130 P Street, NW | Dupont
bring: nothing (I mean wear clothes and stuff)
perks: Big changing room, hangers, blow dryer
sweat score: 3 out of 10[/left][right]wear: spandex crops or pants
instructor: Mark Trudeau
cost: $20/class for mat classes, $40/class for machine classes [/right][line]
Hello, world! I’m Liz, one of the new members of the DC fit crashing team. I’m normally something of a gym rat, but I just got back from 2 weeks in Italy for my honeymoon where I swapped push ups for prosciutto. But I’m back, and it’s time to bring these atrophied muscles back to life. Starting with some Pilates at Quantum Pilates!
I like Pilates. Yoga is a tougher sell for me: CorePower and Down Dog and some of the other fitness-minded yoga classes are cool, but I mostly focus on barre and Pilates classes. So when I moved into a new apartment and began walking past Quantum Pilates constantly, I knew when I got home I’d give it a shot.
The studio is on P Street, just a few blocks west of the Dupont metro station. It’s on the same block as the Dupont Pure Barre location, and across the street from a few funky restaurants. The outside isn’t incredibly sexy, but it’s sophisticated enough.
I walked down the steps and into the studio, where reds, woods, and warm lighting dominated the space. Not trendy – you probably won’t see a collaboration between Goop and Quantum any time soon – but classy and traditional. I immediately got the impression that this studio has a catalogue of loyal, longtime clients, and isn’t exactly clamoring for the Instagram/Tumblr crowd.
The amenities here do the job: in the locker room there are coat hangers, chairs, a blow dryer (no shower), and free tampons. FREE. And some free “samples” too. Though I didn’t look in the basket to see what the mystery samples were, I do not think they were free drugs. So, set your expectations accordingly. The studio also houses a small physical therapy practice.
Before class I talked with my instructor, Mark Trudeau, who is a master level teacher and also owns the studio. The studio does mat Pilates, reformer, chair (a smaller reformer), GYROTRONIC, and TRX. Mark explained the differences between the different torture contraptions and their associated classes, and I wished I could have subjected my abs to all of them in one go. Alas, when you sign up, you choose between the more affordable mat classes, and the pricier machine classes.
While I chose the mat option, Mark seemed to have a deeper knowledge of the machines and how to use them than I have about Kim Kardashian, and I literally read about her every day. In fact, Mark refers to Joseph Pilates as “Joe,” which was both awesome and terrifying. So whether you’re looking for mat or machine, you’ll find knowledgeable instruction at Quantum.
After putting my purse in the locker room, I explored the front room, which houses all of the machines, before heading into the back room. The back room has mirror-lined walls, and both the mat and TRX classes take place in here. As one must when traveling through a room full of mirrors alone, I evaluated my outfit and hair from every possible angle. I concluded that both were mediocre, but decided I’d continue with class anyway. I became more normal when someone else entered the room.
We ended up with six students and Mark at the helm. I got the impression that classes are normally about this size or smaller. Starting with some breathing and tailbone-tilting exercises, we moved into the traditional Pilates poses that I know well (know well does not equal do well).
Mark gave very helpful tips throughout, and he frequently adjusted people’s poses. His help always, well, helped! You know how sometimes instructors seem to nitpick just to show you that they know better but don’t actually improve your workout and actually kind of kill your vibe? Mark did the opposite. Each time he adjusted my legs or hips, I felt things more deeply, and learned new things about poses I’ve done many times in the past. And nothing could have made the preceding sentence less sexual – I’m sorry.
At first I thought I wouldn’t break a sweat during class, but by the end my abs were burning and I started falling out of poses like a tired, lazy slob. But I’m not a slob, the class just catches up to you all of a sudden, and then you’re doing a teaser and you’re like “holding this isn’t a thing I can do for any more seconds” then fall.
We ended class holding our hands in front of our hearts as in yoga, but seemingly to align the body rather than the spirit. Which is fine by me since my black, twisted soul has much more trouble aligning than my frame. On my way out, Mark mentioned that he might be doing a SUPER HERO Halloween TRX class, which is obviously worth noting.
Overall, the studio and space appear ideal for someone recovering from an injury, those who want an unpretentious place to learn or practice Pilates, or anyone looking a small group setting in which to start or get back into exercise. Mark is a legend in the DC Pilates community, and I can’t thank him enough for having me!