Don’t let the unassuming location and slightly outdated branding fool you – a trip to Pilates Plus – Pacific Beach (PPPB) is always a humbling experience, even for the most athletic and fit studio-goers. The North Pacific Beach studio’s classes feature Lagree Fitness™, a sweat-inducing combination of Pilates and strength training designed to quickly lengthen, tighten and tone your body in all the right places. While the Lagree Pilates craze has swept cities like New York and Los Angeles, there are only a small handful of locations in San Diego that offer the workout method. Only a couple visits to the studio each week will produce real results, leaving you sore in places you didn’t know it was possible to ache.
Classes at PPPB are just 40 minutes each, but you’ll be thankful they aren’t any longer. While the sequencing of each class is up to the instructor, you can expect most classes to focus on a variety of movements targeting arms, legs, and back, with a sprinkle of cardio and a HUGE emphasis on core. Looking for those sexy lines that run down the abs of Victoria’s Secret models? You’ve come to the right place as nearly every exercise involves core stability.
Each move lasts about 45-90 seconds, but the key to producing maximum results is to go extremely slow, moving to counts of four (this is where the muscle lengthening happens). It can be a bit tricky to keep up with the lingo of the exercises (mermaid, scrambled eggs, spider kicks, saw, bear, wheelbarrow, etc.) so don’t be discouraged if you feel a bit lost at first. The instructors do a good job of demoing each move and there’s almost always at least one girl in class who is a Pilates pro whom you can follow. By the end of each move, you’ll be shaking, feeling the burn, and begging to move on to the next one (only to repeat the cycle again)!
The entire workout takes place on a Proformer™, an evolution of the traditional Pilates reformer machine with a system of springs and pulleys that allow for resistance and counter-resistance in the movements. For each exercise, the instructors give you guidance on which springs on the machine to add or take off, effectively increasing or decreasing the weight or resistance, in addition to modifications to make the exercise easier or more difficult.
PPPB only has a few instructors on their roster but our favorite is Nicole DeRosa. Her routines are tight and her transitions are quick; She is certainly the toughest instructor at the studio. But, for all the fire her classes bring, she thoughtfully plans out the sequence so while it will definitely be challenging, it will never feel as if one muscle group is being overloaded. Nicole is also always smiling and brings a casual, conversational tone to her classes, making it easy to joke around and get a few laughs to lighten the mood while your core is shaking. 40 minutes with Nicole is 40 minutes well spent.
Overall, all of the instructors at the studio do a wonderful job of providing encouragement, visual demonstration and hands-on assistance, especially if you’re a beginner. Since the studio staff is small, you quickly feel a part of the PPPB community as you’re greeted with a smile and your first name.
We only wish there would be more attention given to the playlist. We love a tough class set to a killer soundtrack, and a little more attention to the song selection would help class-goers get out of their heads and focus less on their quivering legs and desire to quit.
PPPB’s studio is not as updated and sleek as the newer, neighboring fitness studios in La Jolla, but it’s comfortable, clean and convenient. There are a few parking spots right out front in the plaza and plenty of free street parking on Cass Street. The studio is also very walkable or bike-able for those living in the North PB/PB/Bird Rock area.
PPPB uses the first-generation Proformer™ and while we prefer the Megaformer™ machines, your workout isn’t compromised as result. There are 10 machines in total, but most classes don’t fill up so no need to stress about booking classes far in advance. There are also TRX bands for special classes that integrate Pilates and TRX movements, in addition to a large mat where you can stretch independently or with foam rollers.
The space’s frills and amenities leave something to be desired. In the back of the studio, there is open, cubed shelving where you may place your belongings during class, in addition to a water cooler (water bottles are not available for purchase, but there are small paper cups by the cooler should you forget your bottle). There is a single bathroom, but no shower, so you’ll need to make a trip back home to get ready post-workout. Towels are not provided so if you’re a sweaty betty like us, make sure to bring your own. There is also a small selection of retail clothing, none of which are particularly lust-worthy, but PPPB does sell grippy socks in case you forget your pair.
1015 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109 Pacific Beach Pilates $$$
Pilates Plus Pacific Beach
Pacific Beach Pilates, $$$
1015 Turquoise St, San Diego, CA 92109
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