Philly Power Yoga & Thrive Pilates: Thrive Cardio Sculpt

I purchased the new client unlimited deal (more on this deal below) from Philly Power Yoga & Thrive Pilates and have been making the most of it! I’ve tried a variety of classes, which I will review soon. I also can’t wait to try their Piloxing class – that’s a combination of Pilates and boxing! But today I want to tell you about my favorite class so far: Thrive Cardio Sculpt. This class is Thrive’s signature cardio class and was so enjoyable I’ve taken it twice in the past week! Read on to find out more.

The Studio: PPY & TP is in a townhouse on Walnut Street between 20th and 21st. You buzz in on the ground floor and go up one flight of stairs to the lobby. I immediately felt at home in this studio. The lighting is soft and the subtle smell of incense greets you as you enter. Every member of the staff I’ve encountered has been friendly and eager to help. After signing in on iPads in the lobby, you walk up a half flight of stairs to the Pilates studio (yoga is on the same level as the lobby). There are ample cubbies and hooks for your belongings both in the lobby and on the upper level. The Pilates/barre room is somewhat small, but so are the class sizes. I’ve never had more than 8 people in a class, leaving each client ample room to move. Thrive provides all the necessary props for class (weights, resistance bands, Pilates rings, gliders, mats, etc.) and towels for when things heat up. There is a bathroom and shower on the Pilates room level so you can go straight to the office or happy hour.

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The Format: I’ve taken this class two times and each time was different! Think of it as a Freestyle dance/Pilates/boot camp class. The instructor taught in what I like to call the “follow-the-leader” style: she stood in the front of class doing each of the moves with the class as she describes them. This class is all about watching and doing. The first 40 minutes or so focused on dynamic movements, jumps, and weight work. Then we transitioned to about 15 minutes of Pilates ab and butt work on the mat. Finally, we finished with a full 5 minutes of stretching to release tension and keep everything loose! For this class, most clients wore sneakers for the jumping and movement work (though you can do the whole thing barefoot), as this part of class is done on the hardwood. When we transitioned to ab work, we grabbed a mat from the back of the room and were encouraged to take off our sneakers for the remainder of class. The upbeat music playing from a speaker in the back of the room during gave us a beat to move to.

The Workout: Each time, I definitely got a full body workout. You can except some combination of jumping lunges, burpees, plyo jumps, star jumps, kicks, pushups, inchworm pushups, and a million variations on planks (walking planks, side planks, one-legged planks – feels like an eternity when you do them in a row!). Many of these moves were done in combination, while holding weights, and/or with the resistance band in your hands or tied around your legs. These moves were dynamic, but not overly complicated. With the instructor demonstrating, it was easy to catch on and learn the sequences. As for the ab and butt work, there were many classic Pilates exercises. Again, we incorporated the resistance band throughout and sometimes used the glider underneath one foot for an added challenge to strength and stability. My abs were burning by the end!

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The Pros: This workout was fun! I truly looked forward to taking it the second time – it never felt like a chore. I like that instructor has the freedom to change up the moves each time. You won’t get bored and your body will always be challenged. Plus, I just love the homey, cozy vibe of the studio. They have created a warm and accepting environment that makes clients feel totally comfortable. That atmosphere is hard to find at a lot of fitness studios.

The Cons: While this class was fun, it didn’t leave me completely spent. The amount of reps (usually 8) were enough to start the burn but not really push me to my limit. Because we did so many different types of moves, I never felt like I completely exhausted any one muscle group. My heart rate was elevated for most of class, but it wasn’t as cardiovascularly challenging as a difficult run or a spin class would be. It would be great regular workout, but not the choice when you really want to get your butt kicked.

The Pricing: PPY & TP offers a great deal for new clients: 21 days of unlimited classes (both yoga and Pilates classes) for $49! I purchased this option and have been taking full advantage by trying lots of different Thrive classes and adding on a Philly Power Yoga class on days when I do other fitness classes. The class packs and membership deals are for (1) Philly Power Yoga only, (2) Thrive Pilates only, or (3) combination access to both types of classes. The monthly auto-renew combination membership is only $129/month. As for class packs, 10 yoga classes are $135 and 10 Thrive classes are $165. In addition, they have discounts for students on nearly all memberships and class packs. The reasonable price point, comfortable atmosphere, and great variety of classes ensures that I will be back to PPY & TP!

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