What is Solidcore? – Jaime Foord
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Guest: Jaime Foord
Release Date: 4/4/2022
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Steve Washuta: Welcome to Trulyfit. Welcome to the show fit podcast where we interview experts in fitness and health to expand our wisdom and wealth. I’m your host, Steve Washuta, co-founder of Trulyfit and author of Fitness Business 101. In today’s episode, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jamie double O Ford, you can find her @jamiefoord on Instagram, she is an employee of solid core, and you can also find them at Solidcore. Solidcore on Instagram.
And this month, we are interviewing four different people starting off with Jamie who works at four different fitness locations to get both the employee experience and the client experience. So Jamie breaks down what it is like to take a solid core class as a client. And what does it like to teach and work at Solidcore as a coach or a trainer? And I think that’s really the important part here is that we get both perspectives.
We have the general population who’s interested in potentially taking a solid core class who can learn more about it and the personal trainer side if I want to work at solid core, what does the interview process like? What does it like day to day? Do I need to know them out of the modifications? Are they giving me all the workout instructions? How long are the classes of this nature? So Jamie goes over everything for us. Right? So what the class is like what the experience is like walking through the door, what does it take to teach a class from a, let’s say, a personality standpoint or a knowledge standpoint, as a personal trainer. It’s a fantastic conversation. If you don’t know what solid core is.
It is an essential pilates reformer that is modified a hybrid version of it so that you can use it more of a hit format. And it is making waves coming across the country from east to west. There are a bunch of locations already in the East. And she tells us more about exactly what this modality is. It’s a great conversation. I can’t thank him enough for coming on. With no further ado, here’s Jamie for Jamie, thanks so much for joining the truly fit podcast. Why don’t you give my listeners in the audience a background on who you are and what you do in health and fitness?
Solidcore Instructor: Perfect. Thanks, Dave. I’m really excited to be here. Talking about SoulCycle I am Miss Volker’s instructor, Senior master coach with them. I moved to New York about three years ago. That kind of kick-started my whole fitness career. Now since the CPT certification, I started working with some smaller companies and then advanced to some bigger companies like f 35. Then finally found solo Kol, which resonated with me on many levels. And as a dancer in a previous life, and also in my life. Now.
It was a great way to kind of keep my body sustainable and connect with a whole bunch of different people. I kind of actually fell into follicle because I’d met somebody within my first couple of weeks of moving to New York. And they were like you have to come try this workout, you have to come see what it’s like. And after that, I kind of loved it and fell into it. So yeah,
Steve Washuta: we’ve had a lot of Pilates-type conversations on this podcast. So even those trainers who aren’t familiar with it, do you understand that there’s a dancing background interconnected with Pilates, but I want to go backward and ask you a personal question. Did you move to the states specifically for like a fitness career or was this just like on a whim,
Solidcore Instructor: I was actually traveling on cruise ships before years of performing. And I actually knew I wanted to move to New York and I was originally going to study here. But I was lucky enough to get the chance to get a green card. I won the Green Card Lottery, which a lot of Americans don’t know about but a lot of people overseas know about.
And yeah, so Upon moving here, I kind of didn’t really know where I wanted to be. But I knew I wanted to connect with people pretty quickly. And kind of fitness gave me that I met so many people so quickly. I mean have amazing clients now and when I started, people were so open. I mean, New York is one of those places, people will welcome you with open arms because everyone’s from somewhere. So yeah, that’s kind of how I got over here. It’s, it was a I say it’s a very lucky chance.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, well, that’s a cool story. I am born and raised not too far from New York City. I worked in New York City, not in the health and fitness industry, but in other industries long before I transferred over to being a personal trainer. New York is not for me personally. It’s its own beast. There are people who love it, absolutely love it. And but like you said, it’s, it’s very different because so many people from New York are not from New York, right? They’re transplants.
So it is a completely different field and then most cities. So let’s get into it here. Can you give me a definition or a little glimpse into what exactly solid core is if you were describing it, let’s say to like your mother or grandmother or somebody who’s not even in fitness, how would you describe it?
Solidcore Instructor: Hey, there’s a lot that goes around with everyone. When I try Silikal for the first time and it’s Pilates on steroids. We like to call that the I guess the strength training version of of Pilates class, I think there is a level of in regular Pilates, of strengthening and lengthening, that there was a kind of the woods that get kind of tossed around when you think of Pilates.
And I guess it kind of blew people’s minds within the first seconds that they walk in, and they hit a plank on a straightaway, you feel the tension built up in your court, specifically, because we do focus so much on coal. And the resistance is a lot heavier than a lot of other performer machines. So we have redesigned the reformer machine from the original.
Look, the springs start at eight pounds, and then they go up from there. And then everything is kind of really focusing in on cool movements. But then we go into legs and arms, every day, we have a different set of muscle groups. So you will never kind of hit the same muscle group every single day. And the whole time, you really are feeling some sort of cold movement, whether it’s the instability of the moving part of the machine known as the carriage, or whether it’s just holding the body entirely up like
Steve Washuta: you call it something different because you made the reformer unique, or do you guys still call it a reformer?
Solidcore Instructor: No, we call it slonem. It was renamed. And we call it we could say that it’s your best friend, that laundry is your best friend you’re on at the whole machine. And, yeah,
Steve Washuta: cool. I like it. I know there’s a there’s a gentleman chi Evans, who for a while was trying to do something similar. And he had he had made a machine called the X former, which again, was similar in the fact that they he added weight and changed a few things around to make it more in a usable in a hip fashion.
Because for those who don’t know, you know, like classical Pilates is typically done very slow. There’s a lot of cueing. And it is something that I always I don’t want to say disagreed with. But when I use the reformer, I used it with my clients in a strength training fashion, because I had a strength training background.
So I thought it was such a perfect piece of equipment where you can literally hit every muscle group and challenge anybody because the stronger you are, you can actually start to take off weight, which people don’t understand and challenge people through little to zero weight rather than putting on more spring load in a different fashion.
But we’ll get to that. So walk me through your client experience. I walked through the door the first day, I go to the front desk, and I say I’d never done anything like this before. And I want to join a class, how do I What are my next steps here? Do you just let me go right in or is there an informational first?
Solidcore Instructor: So we usually chat with clients, as soon as I walk in the door, majority of our studios have very small kind of waiting rooms. And you can kind of see straight into the studio. The attraction is the reformer machine. When you do walk into the studio, a lot too low, we have a blue light that kind of lights up the studio when we’re in class. So it kind of gives you that SoulCycle-like berries feel.
When we talk to a client, we kind of described that this is you know, a strength training program, we’ve actually started to move away from staying where reformer Pilates and kind of start develop the title of us being a strength training program, I think it’s a little bit more accessible and appealing to a broad range of people. And really the effects that we want it wants you to feel when you come into class.
And so we’ll talk you through like, what the experience is that you will fill a whole different set of muscles that you’ve probably never felt before. That is quite intense, people do get quite overwhelmed. We want to let them know that because I think again, there’s this like misconception of when you walk into this room, it’s going to be traditional reformer Pilates. Usually, you will touch base with the coach, the majority of coaches are always on the mic.
They’re floating in and out of the waiting room and into the studio. So you’ll usually have there’s usually a 15 minute changeover. And we don’t have beginner classes, we don’t have advanced classes, everything is kind of open, that we as a coach should understand how to progress and how to regress movements and exercises. So it is accessible for so many classes. Yes, we do have a couple of foundation classes.
And that’s truly for people that are maybe a little older or maybe have injuries, they just want to be really certain that this is where they should be and they want to feel really confident in the room. And we also do have advanced classes just because of how much we’ve grown over the last few years that some of our clients truly have done 800 or more classes and they just want a real kick in the butt workout. So yeah, but we do not we don’t we don’t really advertise that we do say that every class is accessible to anyone.
Steve Washuta: I think that’s great. That was actually my next question. You’d beat me to it to see if there was advanced classes or some sort of foundational class involved. I think it’s goodbye both ways, it’s good that you have that option sort of semi-privately for members who want a little bit more, because also, you can charge more for those things.
It’s good that you have instructors like yourself who are good enough to be in a class with, let’s say, a 63-year-old woman who’s never done it before. And a 2021-year-old ballerina who can do can do this stuff all day long. So it’s, it’s good that you have that. And we’ll get to more of the personal training side of this after this. But I want to ask, what is the max class size? And let’s say two people show up, are you still going to have a class or is there a minimum class size as well.
Solidcore Instructor: So we will always have class if even if we have one person in the studio, we will always have class, we always do off that one person, if it is a singular person, sometimes you got to take class because sometimes it is very overwhelming for someone. But majority the time our clients are very like open to that. But usually our class sizes are 15 up so we can fit 15 machines in room, either in one single ruler, or in two double rooms.
Right now currently in New York 25 machines is our largest studio, which is I think the biggest of all of these feeders we have across the country, we have 80 plus studios and growing. So you will never get more than 25, everyone has their own machine, you stay on that machine the whole time, which obviously coming out of COVID. And still people being very aware of that is really nice, kind of safety net, people feel kind of more comfortable that they’re using one machine their own stuff. And you’re not kind of interchanging weights and that sort of thing.
Steve Washuta: Talk a little bit about the routine. And you can use a Pilates s jargon and I will dumb it down for the audience who doesn’t know it? Are you doing like footwork? Are you in the straps you doing hundreds, like are you just as this completely strange training on a reformer, and you’re not even using Pilates principles?
Solidcore Instructor: So we actually also changed the terms from the original Pilates names. That just kind of fitted more with us. When you go through training like solid core, they do start you off learning all the different groupings, so we group it into the core, Oblates legs, and upper body. Like I said before, every single day has a different focus. For example, yesterday, you were doing center glutes, which is more glute Maximus and your back.
So in that, you have to know all the different movements. As a coach, if it’s a glute day, for example, we’re doing heavy squats, we’ll use the heavier spring, we’re using that full range of motion, we’ll see these variations within a squat, whether it’s like a hold at halfway or a pulse. And then we take other movements, like lunges, lunges are kind of our most versatile move, we can either do it at the back, where you’re resisting against the springs at the front of the machine, where you’ve got the spring to either support you or you take off all the springs, and you’d have kind of nothing and it’s just that free movement of the carriage.
And that’s kind of like one of our base moves. If we go back to core is always the start of every single class, it’s the best way to warm up the body is this way to kind of get everything engaged. For the trunk, if you start with a plank, you can move through a bunch of variations or the two most versatile moves would be a crunch. So where you’re contracting, you’re kind of rounding out that spine that can be done either on toes or a knee, there’s a regression, and then we have an extension.
And you press away from the machine. So if you’re on the platform, you’re moving away with the carriage, if you’re facing the opposite direction, you’re pushing the carriage away. So we have we’d say that there’s like four sides of the machine. You’re either moving with them with the carriage or away from the carriage. And yeah, so they’re kind of our foundations.
That’s kind of how we learn as a coach. You start with a base amount of moves. And then as you progress, year, two years, as an experienced coach, we start to layer in some more, more advanced moves that benefit coaches who have the knowledge and can teach it
Steve Washuta: sure makes sense. Yeah. And for anybody, again, who’s listening, who still doesn’t really understand what the reformer is, and you’re just a general personal trainer and don’t have an idea. The best way I can describe it is you can lay supine or prone, but let’s say you’re supine, there’s a bar where your feet are on and you’re pushing backwards off of that bar.
That’s a standard movement in the so-called squat and returning and why I find it very interesting, especially now that things are changing with knees over toes is that you’re going knees over toes over that bar majority of the time when you’re squatting down, now your again your gravity is not working against you because you’re lying flat on your back as opposed to having weight on your back. Right.
So you’re controlling the weight better, but there’s been this long, kind of nonsense theory where you should never go knees over toes and a squat. But in Pilates, you’re always doing that. And it’s almost like in a rebuild Tory fashion where I find a lot of my older clients in the 50s and 60s and 70s that have knee problems, it really helps build up the quad muscles and gets them over potential knee injuries. So I think it is something good for people who do have issues with their knees because again, you’re working not against gravity with heavy weight on your back.
Solidcore Instructor: Yeah, so we actually took away from the original Ruffalo machine, the ball that kind of like sits above. Now we have like kind of three platforms two on the ends, which are stationary and one in the middle that moves. We work a lot in jump boards. No jump board is fully one platform, we have handlebars on both sides just kind of give you a more visual of what the machine is. So it’s kind of a little less built-up compared to some of the original reforms.
Then we do a lot of our glute Cena glute work. When we focus in if you see like a muscle comes up, for example, which we have every single day, a different muscle grouping. And then within the club calendar, we have a certain focus, for example, January may be pushing our souls for upper body and lower body as a standard glute focus. We work a lot with inner thighs, outer thighs, glutes, glute max, so center glute.
We’ll do what’s known as a leg wrap. So we’ll do add on in us together, which is great for that stabilization of the knee. We don’t work a lot in quads. This was just kind of how when they originally designed the program, we don’t really have like a Quad Day that kind of took that away to work more posterior chain. And then with upper body, there’ll be bicep tricep show today. And on that day, which is either push or pull muscles, and back and chest like a chest.
Steve Washuta: I think for people who might give this a try, you’d have to understand that this could also just be an accessory thing. So it’s it sounds like what you’re saying is if you are working full-bodied, more or less, you can go there three days a week and make it your individual workout like you could any other like f 45 or some sort of Bootcamp but also for people who want to make it an accessory workout, maybe you lift heavy and you lift the Olympic lifting, but you’re not getting those small muscles, right? You’re not focusing? Well, it looks like you can look up what’s going on in solid core for the month and go, this is a good month for me I can start working some of those smaller muscles.
Solidcore Instructor: Yeah, totally. I mean, that kind of was what attracted me quickly to sell a call was when I moved to New York, I had been recovering from a hip displacement injury. And it was from overdoing my hit workouts, I was going six to seven days a week, I loved it, I loved that feeling of like my heart rate being up and sweating like crazy. But my body wasn’t sustaining it because I didn’t have the strength or the muscles to kind of hold my pelvis in place.
I remember going to my physio and he’s like, You have literally no core muscles like your pelvis is moving every time a jumping like this impact is, is, you know, affecting you hugely. I kind of went I fell into Solidcore, I was like, wow, like there are all these muscles in the core and that core stability that I do not have, and it kind of changed the game for me. And now like when I look at my week, I really don’t try and make every single day a cardio day. But if I do go to the top cardio day, I can still do a SoulCycle class.
Because you’re working such like refined muscle groupings, you’re not going crazy and impacting the joints or stressing out, you know, any part of the skeletal system. So I think that’s what is so brilliant about the workout. And also with people who are fitness orientated are working out so much.
Steve Washuta: It’s funny how one of the best things that can ever happen to a trainer is to get injured. I say this all the time. I don’t wish it upon anybody but having injuries having surgeries. Not only are you able to then work with clients who have that same injury or same surgery and go, Hey, I’ve been through that. Let me let me walk you through what I did.
But it also allows you to take a step back and go, Hey, this is a lifelong game. I can’t I can’t do this shit anymore. I have to like slow down. I’m really worried about my body long term. And I love how you said you know your your pelvis was out of whack and you have to strengthen a lot of trainers, especially young trainers think that stretching is the answer when that’s just a band aid, right? If you have SI joint issues or pelvis issues when you start working with physical therapists, physios and learning a little bit more now it’s about strengthening and keeping things in place.
The stretching is, is secondary and it’s not not saying you shouldn’t be flexible, but that is not going to solve the problem of your pal Because that’s, that’s just a band-aid.
Solidcore Instructor: Sadly, and I mean, like that was the other thing, when I did my hip replacement injury, I lost all range of motion in my hamstring. As being a dancer, like, forever, I’ve been able to like kick my face, and there’d be no problems. All of a sudden, I couldn’t even like get my leg to play school, that I could be functional and moving. The thing that I love doing so much. Again, when I asked him physios, like, I’m stretching, I’m stretching his hamstring, but I cannot get it to go where it used to go. He reiterated to me like stretching is not the key for you right now.
Like you need to build up that strength, that foundation, and everything will be kind of aligned again. And then you can go back to doing you know everything that you want to do so and like you said, like being relatable as a coach is like, number one, the biggest thing like I have so many clients asked me after class, like, I’ve got this going on that going on. And not that a coach should be a physiotherapist. Like, you shouldn’t be giving any advice. But I think to be relatable and say, Hey, I understand what you’re going through.
It is difficult. But you are in a safe environment, the the strengthening that you’re doing is safely your body. And then a lot of people do go away and you know, seek medical advice. And usually more often than not, that medical advice tells them to come and take Pilates classes and strike classes.
Steve Washuta: Yeah. Not to be totally self-promotional here. But if people are interested in learning more about why, let’s say you should be strengthening instead of stretching, we have an episode with Dr. Bobby of impact in Baltimore. He’s a physical therapist, and he talks about how, you know he’ll have clients come in who are athletes who straighten their hamstring.
My first question was naively like, Okay, how long do you wait, he’s like, we don’t wait at all. He’s like, I find some sort of strength exercise they can do, whether it’s a double leg, Glute Bridge or something, I want to get those muscles firing and get the blood flow to there right away. So I think things are changing in the fitness industry, they always do. And we have to continue to learn and understand that. It’s where we thought things were going in some directions, things have changed, and we’re going to continue to learn it even even me having no idea. If I pulled my hamstring tomorrow, I would I would have rested for a week. And now I know that that’s not what I should be doing.
Solidcore Instructor: Totally, I mean that activation, before you do something like running, is so important. Like for me like I’m a big SoulCycle fail on seeking soul. But sometimes, like I have to go to a political class first, and do a Senate glute day when my glutes are firing, because sometimes they get into soul and my hip flexors are just taken over everything my quads like about everything, and I can’t find that posterior chain, which is so important when you’re cycling. And again, like when you’re running like activation is so important before you go ahead and do that movement.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, it’s great. You said that I have so many people who asked me, both trainers, but really general population, what muscles does this movement work. And I’ll say, it depends on the person, right? If you like people can squat, I can have a client Squat all day long, and another client Squat all day long. And the next day, somebody’s telling me their butt hurts.
The next day, someone’s telling me their quads hurt, right? Because somebody’s quad dominant and somebody’s you know, posterior dominant. And it’s, it just depends on how you’re built. It could be your cue angle of your hips, I mean, there’s so many different factors that go on. So we have to teach our clients and that’s where Pilates does a very good job of, of how to engage certain muscles where you should be focused on and if you’re not feeling it here, here’s a potential switch of foot angle or something else that can get you into the proper position.
So those muscles are firing. Totally. Absolutely. So let’s talk a little bit about becoming a solid core instructor. What did it take for you to become one if somebody wants to become one? What is the interview process like?
Solidcore Instructor: I will say, for me, it was a little different to some people. Again, like I said earlier on, I had met someone for a dance boss. And she had been she was a solar car instructor and she referred me to the person who was the training manager at the time. And they kind of followed up pretty quickly, I got an interview with them.
Usually what you do is you’ll take a class or they kind of like assess, you know, your strength, if you have the knowledge, the way you take on information, and then you’ll usually have a verbal interview straight after I had that I actually went into the class before I have my interview, which actually served me very well because that person who I took classes with was the manager. And we kind of got chatting after class and she went back to the training manager was like, this girl is really lovely.
Like, definitely give her that interview. So I 100% Totally suggest like if there is some way you want to work. The best thing to do is take class, like I have met so many people just from class hopping meeting different coaches just engaging with a conversation, even like someone you’re sitting next to in a class, like whether it’s a sole qual, so you’re working out at equity fibers or berries, you just don’t know where these people are in the industry and even people you think are just clients, sometimes they are managers or people that are hiring or looking to build a new studio.
So yeah, that’s kind of my story, I kind of fell into it. And I was very lucky to be hired straight straightaway after my interview process. And then we went into a month and a half of training. So we would spend three days a week training, learning about all the different sections, they usually break it up over six weeks, learning about the different parts of the machine, and then kind of diving into different exercises for different muscle groupings. Within those weeks, yes, you’re training for three days, or five or six hours with a training manager.
But during the week, they do ask you to take class, you know, do the classes, all the different coaches had different styles, I think that’s a really nice thing to add about solid core is, even though everyone is kind of learning the same base skills, everyone teaches so differently. And they really do ask you to bring your own flavor, bring your own music and the way that you like to speak, whether it’s, you know, some people have like crazy amount of energy, and they just gotta get that out in a class. Other people have a lot of knowledge about the body, and they want to give you the information. So they do really ask you to bring that but also still keep to kind of the the base model that is solid core.
Steve Washuta: So they have the programming they’re giving you, but they allow you as the individual instructor to spice it up to put different music to it to maybe put a little twist on it. So that so that you can grow as an instructor and find out who you are as a person.
Solidcore Instructor: Exactly. And they also like I mean, with our classes, because of the dark lights. Because of the music that’s a little bit more up-tempo than a normal reformer class, we do have that energy of maybe your insole, maybe Jamberries, that same kind of high energy, but you’re on the mic as a coach and instructing still teaching them, you know, the cues, the base movement, what affects the body, how it affects the body, things that you don’t want to do to make sure that the body is in a safe position. And then again, you have free rein as to how you explain that.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, I’m gonna go back to what you said, when you first started off that answer. And being inside of those classes is very important. For I mean, some obvious reasons, you know exactly what they’re doing. You’re a step ahead, if you want to become an instructor, you understand the movements. Then number two, you’re hearing the other instructors cue the movements.
You know, what sort of cueing they use, which you may have to use similar cueing, right. But also, like you said, you never know where your golden ticket is. So there could be that that one handshake you have the person who’s sitting next to you on the on the next reformer or on the next yoga mat, could be that person to help you and they’re more likely to be that person to help you in the industry. If they’re inside fitness, right? Could you meet that person at the grocery store at the bar sure that you’re more likely to meet that person inside of the fitness industry?
That’s why you have to get to these classes. And you know what, you’re not the only one who said that the last two people I’ve talked to via podcast, who have similar jobs had gone to the classes, they had met someone and they had a little bit of an in in the interview process where they didn’t get the interview because of that, but they felt more comfortable. And they had a few people sort of like giving them the rah-rah, which helps in turn, push you to the front of the line.
Solidcore Instructor: Totally. And I mean, like, because of that experience that I had and being referred, I have actually done that for multiple coaches. Now, on my end, people have asked me, you know, what do you think? How do you like working here, and, you know, I always give them the information, the knowledge, I give them the emails, and I’m always more than happy to be a reference. But again, I can’t do that unless you’re in my class.
I know you personally. So I think it’s super important. Like if you are trying to grow in the industry, like meet the coach, like say, hi, because the majority of people are so willing to to meet, you will want to know you and will embrace you with open arms. If you have questions.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, we’re literally in an industry where the whole goal is to help people so people want to help you. And I would also say, I don’t I don’t know if it would work in your facility. But in general, shadowing is really important. And I put that in my book fitness business one on one, if you’re a trainer, if you could go to a gym and just say hey, you don’t need to pay me I just want to come for one hour a day or two hours a day and watch your trainers and see what they do and walk around.
I mean, you can learn so many life skills from these trainers that you’ll never learn in the certification program just by shadowing a few hours a week and then also Have you have that sort of like, I call it the cognitive dissonance with the business, they they’ve watched you watch their trainers and learn their way. So eventually they want to hire you. They don’t want you going somewhere else, because now you’ve learned everything that they’ve taught you. And if they’re teaching you the things that they believe in, then that means they believe in you. That makes sense.
Solidcore Instructor: Yeah, totally. I mean, also, like, you know, having been a trainer in New York for the last three years, I will say New York has a different vibe. People are, you know, here for the hustle. It’s so it’s a different clientele as well.
I think the important thing is like, you’ve got to know the people that you’re teaching to, and you’ve got to know what they respond to. If you’re not on the other end, and being the client, like, how do you know how it feels as a coach? How are they going to respond to the way you’re speaking to them? If you don’t do the class and learn things?
Steve Washuta: Yeah, that’s a very good point. I think understanding your clientele, it’s going to be different. If you’re in you know, nowheresville, Missouri, or if you’re in the center of Chelsea, you have to know your clientele and act appropriately.
So you talked a little bit about the trainers have in their own personalities? So I assume this answer is yes. But I’ll ask it anyway, are you modifying movements on your own during the classes?
Solidcore Instructor: Yeah. So when we get taught the series of exercises, we get shown the modification and the amplification, for example, in core toes is obviously the hardest place to be if you’re in a plant, it’s elbows and toes. If you have tightness through the shoulders, it would be hands and toes to take some of that pressure off.
Then if you need that regression, it would be to be on elbows and knees, we give those three options, we also show ways to kind of amplify. So for example, you’re in an elevated move, you’re on handlebars, your toes are on the moving surface, the carriage, and we want to push someone who’s done 50 Plus classes, we will then say okay, combine this move, we’re doing the crunches, but put in a push shot, alternate, the movement goes slower, maybe you take the toes back a little further on the carriage.
So rather than being where the resistance is a little lighter, walk your toes back so it gets heavier. We then also have integrated classes. So the amount of classes you’ve taken, you change your spring. So for example, if you’re under 25 classes, you start off on one white spring, which would be like eight pounds. If you’re done. You’ve done 25 or more classes, then you’re on a gray spring, which is double that weight.
Done 50 or more classes. Then you’re on a gray and a white spring, which is triple that way. So we always kind of give that this is the foundation, this is the next stepping stone, this next step stone as a really nice way for clients to kind of get excited about like, Okay, I’m at 25 classes I’m trying to push to 50 class actually had a really lovely client last night. It was her 50th class, and she was so excited.
She messaged me on Instagram, and she’d been telling me all week. She got in that studio. I’m like, now’s your time, you’re getting that extra spring today. After class, it was like this feeling of accomplishment that I’ve now got up on way, it’s now harder. I’m excited to like see where I go with this next process. We learn all this stuff through the training model, because again, this training module is not similar to anything else, that you kind of learned through a certification or at another studio, we have our own model.
Steve Washuta: I think it’s great. What classes do much like yours other studios do it where you’re working towards something, you’re working towards an extra spring, you’re working towards your 50th class, you get the t shirt, whatever it is, it’s very hard to replicate that and personal training.
But I think it is important that trainers try to do that in some way some respect, because you can see how well it works with these glasses. And now people buy in. And we have long-term goals with our clients, right, whatever that long-term goal is. Sometimes we don’t sometimes it’s just overall general health and wellness. But to have those short term, sort of objective goals to get to is really motivating and keeps your client on those next steps
Solidcore Instructor: are really, I will say I mean, a part of the training that we do is to know the client’s names, because our client Our class sizes kind of started under 15 and some of the classes are under 25. As a coach you should be seeing the people that are coming back the new clients making sure that they feel welcome and trying to get them into their second class because usually first class experience isn’t everybody’s favorite, including myself.
My first class was like this is horrible but wonderful at the same time. And then you should be knowing those clients that have the injuries, etc, etc. So there is a level of like personal training that we kind of bring to a group fitness model and they do Just like within every section, you should be saying every single client’s name at least twice.
That was something different in training that I’ve never experienced teaching anywhere else. And they really adamant about that, like when you have your evaluations, and when you have, you know, if you’re progressing from one year to two years, and you’re moving up as a coach, they are so onto you about that, like you have to be saying those clients names, because it makes those clients feel valued in the room, it makes them feel seen, it makes them know that you know, what they’re going through.
You know, for example, Sophia has a bad ankle, and you’re saying, you know, make sure your knees right over the top of your ankle for this lunge, because we want to take that pressure off of that Achilles tendon or off that ankle and you say, severes name, whilst you’re saying that that person is responding and go, Oh, yeah, she’s talking to me. I know what she’s talking about.
Steve Washuta: Yeah. Yeah. And it makes it feel like a true private group class where that people also know each other, not just the trainer and instructor, but the people know each other we’re in, let’s say, you go to a yoga class with 30 people, you sit down on your mat and your normal slot, you never talked to anybody.
I’ve been to a yoga class once a week for a year, and I don’t know anyone’s name outside of the instructor’s name, right. So it is good to have those private group Class Settings, especially they’re going to be charging more people expect a little bit more on that interpersonal connection is, is that little bit more that they’re paying for?
Solidcore Instructor: Definitely. And I mean, that’s another thing. Like, we usually have a 10-minute, kind of period before the class starts. So I call it the 15 minutes. But there was a 10-minute window where we ask clients to be there 10 minutes before class, whether that’s just their time to get settled, put away their phones, or stretch out anything that’s niggling them.
And then we also take that time after we’ve, as a coach done our demonstration to be like, Hey, turn to your neighbor, and tell them your favorite movie that you watch this week. And like that one conversation that person had just has made a complete connection between two people.
But also then in class. You can then refer like, hey, that person next to you is feeling exactly what you’re feeling. That tension that is building up in your core. Hate that person is going through the same thing. Why not try to make that next rep happen, even though you feel like you want to break now. You want to take that breath, but the person next to you is feeling the same thing. So do it together kind of thing. So again, it makes a really nice like interconnected group fitness setting.
Steve Washuta: What are some of the perks that you have as an employee? Do you get free classes? What do you get?
Solidcore Instructor: Yeah, so I mean, classes at Sala are cool as a coach. You can come and take class, we are very much in demand at the moment. So classes do fill up. So it’s only if there’s like a spot available. You can jump to a class and truly like coaches love when other coaches take their classes. Because then we can use you as hey, look at Robin the middle, doing a lunge. Notice how his body’s forward his knees in this position.
We can use you as kind of like a person to look at. When other people around, you maybe aren’t quite connecting with the form. Or connecting to what you’re saying they can see it as a visual. So for me, I love it when coaches come and take my class. It’s fun. But we also get the perks of going to other studios. So we have a free class between SoulCycle. So SoulCycle coaches can come to us and we can go to them. Berries, same thing, another company tone house, why seven? What am I forgetting this, there are so many that we have connected with which is great.
Again, another way to meet more people in the industry. Meet other coaches and meet other client at different clients at different studios. And yeah, I have made so many friends in the industry and I have loved every second of it. And I think that’s truly one of the biggest perks of working for the company.
Steve Washuta: Yeah, I talked about this on I forget which the latest podcast. But you don’t know who in that industry interconnections that you’re gonna potentially need or benefit from. It needs a bad word, right? Because you’re not using people, you’re making those connections, but who could really help you down the road.
For all you know, 10 years from now, you know, Bobby from F 45. Who you know, take let’s take your class. Win-wins this big company and he wants to have you be their master trainer. Or whatever and come on and represent their company. Right? So I think it’s, it’s really important to network. And also people always try to network up. I don’t I try to network with the people who are on my same level. And you want to grow with them.
As they grow, you grow and you help each other out. Because guess what if I’m a brand new personal trainer, which I’m not. But if I was 21 and I just got my certification. I reached out to like some belf professional or Pilates professional. Who’s 42 and has been in the industry for years. They’re going to be less likely to probably interconnect with me. But if I meet another 21 year old who just became a Pilates instructor. Or just became a solid core instructor. They will want to network with me.
So it’s important to also try to maybe network sort of commiserating with your ability. Totally. So what is different? I feel like we’ve hit on this 10 times accidentally, what could you say is different that comes to mind? Between Solidcore and some of the other facilities? You just named? A barrier and 45? All these things? What really stands out? That’s different?
Solidcore Instructor: Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve touched on a few of these things. But that kind of private training and a group fitness setting is a huge thing. That low impact, high intensity, so you come in and you’re sweating. You’re still feeling all the feels like you would in a hit class. But the impact is not going to be as great as doing 20 burpees, and your knees and your hips. And you’re a little safer.
That interconnection between coaches, clients, clients, and clients. And then just really kind of like that 15 minutes is fully moving the whole time. For example, if you go to air 45 class. You have those breaks, so it’s time to kind of breath drink of water. We really try and make sure that from the minute that we start the 15 minutes, and you are moving the whole time.
We kind of create this feeling of hustling between exercises. You’re going from your crunch to your extension. Do you need that break to like go between those two movements? Or can you go straight into it? Can you make your course stay under tension for 10 minutes? Like these are the kinds of challenges that we try to create within the class as a coach? I think again, is different from other group fitness. We use the term like time under tension. The more time you stand on the tension, the longer amount of period of time. You’re going to feel more from those muscles that muscular failure.
Steve Washuta: Something that just came to mind I forgot to ask you is what are the accessories? Or are there none that you’re using in conjunction with the reformer like. You know, standard Pilates like a short box, long box, or something? Are you using accessories? Are you doing everything on your built Reformer?
Solidcore Instructor: So we have the like I said before the platform. The carriage was just kind of the base model. You have your handlebars where you can do more elevator moves like incline moves. We have a set of dumbbells as well, which is great for transition periods. For example, if you’re coming out of obliques, and you’re going into upper body. It’s kind of we need that time to transition as a coach. If it’s like a multiple spring load that needs to go on. We as a coach will change it out for clients so that they can keep moving. So they’re not spending so much time changing springs and getting to the next movement.
Again, we’re trying to use up every single minute in-class moving. And then we also have cables. So we have cables, two sets of cables. Ones that we can use from the standing ones. Where we can use when we’re seated on the carriage or kneeling on the carriage. They’re kind of like that feeling when you go to the gym and you use the cable machine. You’re doing a bunch of different upper body movements. We use that for the upper body, the standing cables. We can use that for the upper body as well as the lower body.
Like those heavy movements like deadlifts and step-ups. And yeah, they’re kind of like additional, we also have one other thing known as our bungee. I call it either everybody’s best friend or worst nightmare. It kind of feels like a resistance band but super heavy. And we use it for Senate glute day or hamstring days. So that has a loop on it. You put it on your foot. You press it to either the ceiling or you do it with a straight leg. And again, press it to the ceiling. So you get tension in either your glutes or your hamstrings. And again, it’s everyone’s either worst nightmare or best friend.
Steve Washuta: Where are you guys located? Specifically in New York City? I’m from the area so I know well.
Solidcore Instructor: So we have several different studios within Manhattan. We have Chelsea which is on 23rd which is where I usually am at Nomad studio, Western g7. So Whoa, no leader. We also have one in DUMBO one in Williamsburg, and one in New Jersey.
Steve Washuta: We’re in New Jersey.
Solidcore Instructor: New Jersey City. I’m not completely sure that kind of just they’re actually separate from the New York-based studio. They’re kind of slightly separated. Then we have 80 plus studios around the country. So we kind of expanded on the East Coast. And then now we’re kind of doing our invasion into the west coast.
So we have a bunch of studios popping up on the West Coast Seattle LA. San Fran so yes, definitely. If you’re on the West Coast, keep your eyes out. Because we’re making our invasion as they call it.
Steve Washuta: That is super exciting. Jamie this was fantastic information. Let us know where we can find more about solid core. Then you personally tell us if we if we have trainers who have maybe questions about Solidcore. Or about things that you do and they want to find you please let us know where we can find more about you.
Solidcore Instructor: Totally. So like I said before, I’m always at Chelsea. I’m a senior master coach now, so I actually bopped around a bunch of different studios. But Chelsea is my home base. It’s on 23rd Street and Seventh Avenue. Always there, come and talk to me, I’m always more than happy to talk to people. You can also find us on the equinox Plus app. So we actually took what we do on reformers. Moved it across to slider so you can do at-home classes.
If you have the equinox Plus app, or you’re an equinox member. Go ahead and look at our content. Is very similar to the content that we do on reform. Is a great way to learn the base moves as well. So if you’re not, if you don’t have access to a studio that’s close by. Again, use the app, you’ll see me on there and eight other brilliant coaches. And yeah, if you’re trying to find me or reach out to me, definitely hit me up on Instagram.
Again, my name is Jamie for J ima Ford. My parents have to make it hard so much the spelling of my name. And yeah, 100%, we are more than happy to reach out. If you are trying to reach out to a solo call coach. The best ones to kind of reach out to all the senior master coaches or the pro coaches. Just because we’ve been around for a little bit longer. We have more information to provide you with. And we also have more connections with the upper corporate level. Yeah.
Steve Washuta: Thanks for joining us on the Trulyfit podcast. Please subscribe, rate, and review on your listening platform. Feel free to email us as we’d love to hear from you.
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