Referred to as ‘Pilates on steroids’ by those in the know, Physicore is the kick-ass full-body strength training, cardio and Pilates workout we just had to try. We sent our health and fitness writer Larissa Yu along to feel the burn.
Tucked away in the winding back streets of hipster mecca Surry Hills, Physicore’s slick new boutique studio is a an airy space with exposed brick and natural wood. There are 10 shiny new megaformer beds to workout on and best of all, it’s just a two-minute walk from Central Station.
I am no Physicore virgin. Years ago I was a regular devotee at their original Paddington studio and can hand-on-heart say that it’s the single most effective workout I’ve ever done in my life. And one of the hardest.
If you think pilates is soft, you have NO idea what you’re in for – I call it ‘Evil Pilates’… with good reason. The infamous Lagree Fitness Method (which is what Physicore classes teach) will make you hurt and sculpt your body in ways you never thought possible. The classic Megaformer classes offer core-focused exercises done as slowly as possible for 90-120 seconds each before quickly transitioning, pumping your heart rate up for cardio and also stimulating your slow-twitch muscle fibres, which creates long, lean, toned muscles. Deadly, but effective – I like it!
Each 50-minute class is a full-body functional workout that will work the tiny muscles under the muscles you never even knew existed. All exercises are done on the Megaformer, a souped-up pilates reformer machine with adjustable levels of spring resistance to cater for all fitness levels and attached pulley-cable bands for additional upper- and lower-body moves. You’ll need a towel (#sweatcity) and water – transitions are fast so there’s not much time to wipe or drink but trust me, you’ll be so focused on just getting through it that you won’t much care!
I was keen to try a class with Physicore’s first male trainer, Shane Collard, and he didn’t disappoint. Ten minutes in, I was sweating and my muscles were shaking in that familiar way that you just KNOW this is doing something good (YES!). As Shane explains, “Physicore is more a ‘practice’ like yoga rather than just another fitness class.”
Warning: Physicore is addictive; most of their clients train three times a week with the trainers mixing up the sequences and intensity of each class for maximum effectiveness.
> While the second half of any workout is always the hardest, this is especially so with Physicore. Although you work one side of the body first (then the other), you’re still engaging muscles on BOTH sides at ALL times for stability and form.
> Get yourself some of those weird grippy workout socks with the rubber on the bottom – they help with balance so that you can really focus on your technique to get the most out of it.
Verdict: If you want fitness bang-for-your-buck I definitely rate Physicore. Most people see results in a short time – longer and stronger is the name of the game and you’ll torch up to 600 calories in one class. Great for all fitness levels as classes are small (10 or less) with personal attention, and the trainers are happy to substitute/modify moves for each client if needed.
Location: 35 Foster St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010. They also have studios in Paddington and Mosman. All locations have small workout towels, filtered water fountains, a bathroom, shower, fluffy bath towels, luxury toiletries and a hairdryer.
Prices: They currently have a New Client Offer of $40 for 4 classes (valid for 2 weeks). Single classes are $40 each, and there are various class packs and memberships to choose from.
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