[solidcore] Mount Vernon

Washington D.C.Pilates, Bootcamp, HIIT


byMel Adams, March 6, 2019

If you thought all Pilates workouts were low intensity and sweet, think again. [solidcore] takes a familiar machine and turns it on its head with nonstop movement and a much better burn. Constant instruction and the opportunity to modify poses up or down in intensity provide the benefits of private instruction in a group setting. This full body workout in a blue-lit space will have your muscles shaking for 60 minutes and sore for days.



Walking into class, we grabbed a machine that has platforms and handle bars on both sides and a resistance-spring carriage in the middle (similar to a Pilates Megaformer). Newbies get a quick intro to the class, so make sure to arrive early for your first time. Class was broken into four sections: center core, lower body, obliques, and upper body. Between crunches (toes on the carriage pulling it into your center), extensions, and core work on the handlebars, our abs were dead 20 minutes in. Lower body had us in a few variations on a lunge, using the handle bars to get deeper into poses (but also preventing a face plant when we felt like our legs might break). In addition to lunges, we did some bungee glute work before crushing our inner thighs until they shook. Moving into obliques, we repeated some of the same center core moves but isolating one oblique at a time; the section was fast, and damn, did it hurt. Finally, we were told to hop off of the machine to do some pushups off the back. While we pressed, our springs were changed by our instructor in prep for upper body. We hit chest with presses and flys, fatiguing with pulses at the bottom of the move. We were told that the upper body muscle group changes with each class—sometimes hitting back, shoulders or arms rather than chest.

We were instructed to go really slow and controlled throughout class, focusing on exhausting the muscles. Each move had a few variations—holds, pulses, ladders (one inch up, one inch down, two up, one down), which made both the 50 minutes fly and each second feel like an eternity. Between sections, we transitioned with either plank up downs or army crawls to spike our heart rate. Instruction in the class was constant, with cueing for moves, or offerings of intentions. Don’t be surprised if the instructor calls you out in class; it was encouraging in nature and definitely made us work harder. The music was loud and we didn’t stop moving for 50 minutes—this is definitely not a low energy Pilates class.


Dawnielle is a great instructor for someone who is newer to solidcore; she erred on the side of simple, full range variations and took her time between transitions. She taught a good basic class, but with minimal hold and pulse variations that made every second of class crawl. We would have liked a bit more form correction or cueing, especially with so much time spent in full range movement. That said, we were solidly sore the next day. Dawnielle taught a good class that we’d go to in a pinch (or suggest for a newcomer), but for a more challenging hour, we would check out someone else’s class.


The Mount Vernon studio space was intimate with 10 machines lined up in a long room with mirrors on either side. Blue lighting made us look great while we were getting sweaty, no matter how unsteady we felt mid-lunge. Coconut water and bottled water are available for purchase and there are drinking fountains where you can refill your own water bottle as well. [solidcore] also sells new branded gear from brands we love like lululemon that rotate each month. Though two bathrooms provide the goodies for a quick freshen-up (dry shampoo, deodorant, etc.), we were definitely very sweaty post-class and would’ve needed to shower before heading into the office. This studio is located downstairs, which feels a bit more dungeon-y than the other [solidcore] locations in the city.

[solidcore] Mount Vernon

433 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
Mt. Vernon Pilates $$$$

[solidcore] Mount Vernon

Mt. Vernon Pilates, Bootcamp, HIIT $$$$

433 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

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