The Boardwalk Towne Lake has three exercise studios within their retail space – Club Pilates, Orangetheory and Pure Barre. My friend Lauren and I visited each of the studios to take their FREE introductory classes. Keep reading for the scoop on all three studios!
Please note that I am sharing my experience taking the classes/what I learned about the different forms of exercise. I am not a fitness professional, so please do your own research and consult a doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Club Pilates offers reformer-based group classes. There are only 12 reformers in the studio, so you can be assured your class will never be bigger than that. The small class size makes it feel very personal and enables you to get a lot of attention and adjustments from the instructor. Their equipment is top notch and the reformers themselves have all the bells and whistles.
My friend and I took the intro class. It’s 30 minutes long, and you move quickly through all the different ways you use the reformer. I would consider this class more information heavy than exercise heavy. And although some of the moves we did were definitely tough, I don’t think we did enough of any in particular for me to feel much soreness the next day.
They also offer classes that are more cardio focused to get your heart pumping, some that use TRX bands and other equipment, and some that focus on releasing tight muscles through foam rolling.
The studio itself is beautiful, has great natural light and has a gorgeous view. It’s on the second floor of the Boardwalk overlooking the lake.
My Favorite Parts
Personally, I loved the way working out on the reformer really isolates certain muscles. Because I wasn’t gasping for breath, I was able to really listen to the instructor and focus on the part of the body we were working on. Being only three months postpartum at the time I took the class, I was really thankful for the cueing around pelvic floor engagement and the focus on the core in general. I am 100% confident that taking these classes would build core strength quickly.
Who Would Love It
Of course everyone could benefit from this type of work out, but I think the people that would be drawn to it the most are those looking something low impact. Pilates is a smart choice for someone regaining strength after injuries, and the small class size allows the instructor to really give that one-on-one attention. As mentioned above, this is also a great workout format for postpartum mamas as there is that focus on rebuilding the pelvic floor muscles.
Orangetheory is a 60-minute workout with equal parts cardio and strength training. You move between a treadmill, a rowing machine and a strength segment using body weight, free weights or other equipment. You wear a heart rate monitor and are able to see your heart rate, calorie burn and “zone” on a monitor inside the gym in real time. The neat thing about this method is if you have enough minutes in the right zones, you will actually continue burning calories for up to 36 hours post workout. Read more about why it works here.
Note – They lend you a heart rate monitor for your first class, but you do have to purchase one of their monitors if you become a member and want to participate in the competitive heart rate tracking aspect of the classes.
They offer different types of classes – some focusing more on endurance, some on strength and others on high-intensity short bursts of energy (i.e. sprinting). And the kicker is they don’t tell the participants what kind of class it is going to be until they get there so they can’t avoid attending certain kinds of classes!
My Favorite Parts
My favorite part of this class was the energy in the studio. They dim the lights, which helps you feel a little more anonymous, but the gym is fairly small, so you also get that sense of community. They blast high-energy music, which definitely helps amp up your pace on the cardio machines.
You will absolutely leave sweating. I felt great afterwards knowing I had really got my heart pumping.
I also really liked that my stats for the class were sent to me via email. You can see I burned 576 calories, had 27 minutes in the orange and red zones and averaged 79% of my max heart rate during the class.
Who Would Love It
People with a competitive nature would love Orangetheory. Because you are able to see everyone’s stats up on the monitors, you are able to quietly (or maybe not so quietly if you came with close friends) compete against others in the class. The great thing, too, about the stats is that they are based on your heart rate, not necessarily the intensity of your exercise. Therefore this would be a great place to work out with a friend that is at a different fitness level than you. One person could be a “power walker” and still be challenging themselves more from a heart rate standpoint than the “runner” on the treadmill next to them.
I also think this would be a great studio for someone with weight loss or cardiovascular training as their number one goal. The calorie burn per workout was definitely impressive!
Pure Barre offers 45-50 minutes classes that use low impact, but high intensity movements meant to tone and sculpt the body. These isometric movements are intended to build long and lean muscle tone, without the bulk. Pure Barre uses a ballet bar and a few small pieces of equipment, including very light weights. And I can say from experience, that you do not need weights or big movements to make your muscles shake!
We took the foundations class, which is for first timers and those newer to Pure Barre. They do offer a few different class formats including the classic technique, their “empower” class that is more cardio heavy, and their “reform” class that is inspired by resistance training.
My Favorite Parts
As a former dancer, I can’t help but love a barre workout! I like working out in studios that have mirrors covering the walls so I can check my form throughout the exercises. I also appreciate the simple choreography that fits perfectly with the music to keep me on tempo. There was a lot of specific cueing encouraging participants to focus on certain areas of the body for maximum effect. This really kept me focused during the exercise.
We would do enough reps of each exercise to fatigue the muscles, and then quickly move onto the next body part. There was little rest time, but because of the variation in movements, it felt doable. There was lots of booty and core work!
I didn’t sweat that much, and therefore didn’t have to run home and immediately shower, which I really liked. I was sore the next two days, in some of those areas we really worked (specifically my outer hips). Lastly, there was a decent amount of stretching at the end. I always appreciate that. Honestly, this workout just felt really natural to me.
Who Would Love It
I think it would be appealing to a lot of different people, but in my opinion, those that would like it best would be former dancers, cheerleaders, or anyone who can’t help but count music. It’s ideal for anyone looking for a low impact workout that’ll still give results, people looking to really work on their glutes, and anyone who hates burpees – (that’s me)! Pregnant women and those who just had babies would also be a great fit.
Things to Consider
I truly enjoyed all three of these classes. Each was fun and different and left me wanting to come back. But because I have to always be 100% honest here, there are a few things to consider:
- There is no childcare at any of the studios. As a stay at home mom of a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old, childcare is definitely a factor for me. There are plenty of classes in the evenings and on the weekends, but not having a childcare option makes it a bit tougher.
- There is a bit of a learning curve. Because each of these studios offer a unique exercise many people don’t do regularly, there are going to be some new things to learn. I say this not to discourage you, but instead to encourage you to stick with it. I would just give yourself a couple classes to get a grip on the new exercise style. The instructors are all very helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask questions!
- It’s an investment. I wholeheartedly believe that each of these studios are worth every single penny if you can commit to going enough times per month. You just have to be able make a pact with yourself to make it a priority so you can see the physical results and feel you are getting a good return on your investment. For pricing, please contact each studio individually.
Pro Tip: Club Pilates and Pure Barre both require you to wear sticky socks. You can purchase them at their studios, but both my friend and I just wore socks we had from kids play gyms like Bounce Bounce and Kidtastic Park!
All three studios at the Boardwalk Towne Lake were clean, inviting and employed by helpful instructors and front-desk staff. There is honestly not a best one, just the best one for each individual person. And for that reason, I recommend you go check out all three! Each studio offers a free first class, so there is no reason to not give each one a go. There is no better way to decide if a new workout is going to work for you, than trying it out first hand.
I loved doing this with a girlfriend of mine, and think it would be a fun (and healthy, productive) activity to grab a friend or two and go do! You could even grab dinner or a well deserved drink at the Boardwalk Towne Lake afterward!