Yes, Florida is full of older people but it’s also full of super fit people (probably due to the year round swimsuit season), so I was inspired to keep up my fitness regimen while down in the Sunshine State for Thanksgiving with my family. Besides, we all know some “alone time” is always nice on a family vacation if you can get it.
After a quick search, I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were lots of options for fit crashes in the Palm Beach area. During my weeklong stay, I paid a visit to some of my tried-and-true favorites like Orangetheory Fitness and Pure Barre but, like any good fit crasher, I was most excited to try something new.
So, I jumped at the opportunity to try Pop Physique, which first piqued my interest when I read about a location opening in Baltimore. You’ve also probably spotted it in paparazzi photos as their celeb fans include Mindy Kaling (love), Vanessa Hudgens, Diane Kruger, and Kat Von D. They haven’t made their way to DC yet, but my abs sure hope they do soon.
Crash course: Pop Physique is a fitness studio offering a killer barre-based workout in 17 locations in the US. They originated in LA in 2008, and now have numerous studios throughout California as well as their Florida location and, oddly enough, Baltimore. A drop-in class will cost you $20. Click here to find a location near you.
Despite being an avid barre-er, I was a little nervous for my Pop Physique class based on their website full of sexual innuendos and photos of lots of in-your-face toned tushies. Imagine if American Apparel opened a fitness studio – that’s the vibe. However, I was relieved to find that none of my fellow classmates were scantily clad models and we weren’t required to wear neon booty shorts for the workout. Phew. In fact, it was a really pretty studio space with nice lighting and a cute lobby area stocked with lots of fun merchandise.
Like most things in Florida, it was located in a strip mall next to a tanning salon, so it was a little tricky to find but I made it. I was quickly identified as a “pop virgin” (their term) and got the rundown from our incredibly enthusiastic and helpful instructor, Corey.
While barre classes definitely all share some common threads, I’ve learned that there is a lot of differences in style from studio to studio. I would say that Pop Physique was closest to Pure Barre in style, with a strong emphasis on that “tuck and hold” that always gives me those barre shakes.
I gathered my gear from their equipment closet: a ball, strap, and two sets of weights. The class kicked off with an intense warm up that included lots of planks and pushups. Needless to say, I was very warm by the time we moved on to the upper body portion of the class, where I quickly learned I had overestimated my own strength in my weight selection.
After arms, it was time to get on the ballet barre for some serious lower body work to work those thighs and buns. Throughout the class, there is a lot of focus on engaging your abdominal muscles as well as breathing. The class concludes with a section devoted to abs before the much-needed cool-down.
As I mentioned, I typically do barre a couple of times a week so I definitely wasn’t expecting to have my not-quite-yet toned tushy handed to me at Pop Physique but, alas, that’s what happened. The class occured in the morning and by dinner, I was already sore and pleading with others not to make me laugh so my obliques wouldn’t move.
I haven’t felt that from a barre class in a long time, so I would definitely be a frequent Pop Physique client if they did open in the DC area. Until then, I might have to sport my brightest spandex on the MARC train and pay a visit to Charm City for a Baltimore fit crash!