Solace CrossFit has been on my radar for a while. A CrossFit box with additional offerings in yoga, sculpting, and conditioning, the studio also has a prolific following on Instagram, with over 14,000 followers. Its social media constantly features happy groups of fitness trainers (or people who look like them) looking incredible while lifting absurdly heavy weights or happily take group photos. For me, this type of content is downright aspirational (and inspirational). So when I had the chance to try out a free class, of course, I jumped on it. Given a number of choices, I went for Body, which looked like it would be a balanced combination of strength and conditioning.
QUALITY OF solace (body) WORKOUT: 9
It’s rare that I arrive to a class these days and am the least fit person in the room. This is not to say that I’m super in shape. But after almost two years of working out 4-5 days a week consistently, I am typically not the worst one in the room at any studio (except for maybe Tone House). Today, Solace humbled me and showed me how far I have yet to go.
We started with a short warm-up consisting of walk-out push-ups and lateral lunges. Then we went straight into what would be an intense workout.
My partner and I alternated between rowing and doing a circuit of six one-armed ring rows, six push-ups to side planks, and six air squats. We would switch places when one of us finished the circuit, and we went until we rowed cumulatively to 1,000 meters. After this round, we alternated between ten alternating single-leg deadlifts and pull-ups for five minutes. Since I can’t do a pull-up (and it seemed like I was the only one in the class who couldn’t even come close), I basically jumped up and hung on the bar for a few seconds a bunch of times until my partner finished her deadlifts. At this point, I should’ve asked for the instructor’s assistance — it probably would’ve been helpful for me to use resistance bands or another tool to get me closer to an actual pull-up.
If we weren’t already sweaty enough, the class was introduced to a circuit that would leave us breathless by the end. There were four stations, each of which we did for five minutes before switching.
- Air bike (The idea was to do rounds of 21/15/9 calories. If you were a superstar, you got to 7 or 5. I got to 9).
- Ten weighted squats
- Ten weighted sit-ups
- Wall balls (21/15/9 reps. I made it to 7).
- Ten lateral hops
- Ten hollow rocks
- Row (Also 21/15/9 calories. I made it to 15, and barely.)
- Ten kettlebell swings
- Ten plank-ups
- Cleans with a plate (21/15/9 reps. I made it to 7).
- Ten ring rows or pull-ups (obviously I did ring rows)
- Ten toe touches
I felt that the workout was a really good balance between conditioning, core work, and strength. While all of the moves were demonstrated, I appreciated that we also spent most of the 50 minutes working out and not listening to instructions. While I would’ve liked a little more individual attention, I felt that it was there if you asked for it (which I didn’t).
It was also amazing to be around so many people who could crush through all of those stations and then some. The class seemed to be composed mostly of regulars, with some ClassPass students. But everyone today absolutely killed it.
SIZE OF CLASS: medium
There were approximately 20 people in the class today. I feel like this is a good size — large enough to feel everyone’s energy but small enough that it doesn’t feel super crowded.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: HARD
This workout is absolutely not for beginners. But even students who are more fit will find this workout to be challenging. The conditioning portion is particularly intense, and the energy of the room is what really got me through it.
STUDIO QUALITY: 9
This studio is absolutely beautiful. There are three separate rooms, and classes run concurrently at peak hours. The locker rooms have every product imaginable (including hair irons!) and a decent number of showers (six, meaning that you may wait in line but not for long).
the bottom line
I highly recommend Solace Body if you’re looking for a tough workout with some kickass people who will inspire and humble you. If you’re a beginner, you may want to sit this one out. This class moves fast, and the culture of the studio is intense.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know how to do something.
- If you go during a super peak class (like the 7:30 am one that I went to), the locker room will almost definitely be crowded.
Check out my review of Brick Grand Central!