Crash Course: The fusion class at Sculpt DC is 15 minutes of spin, 15 minutes of spin + upper body weights, 30 minutes of yoga. Offered at various times Monday – Sunday. Consider it the speed dating of workouts. You don’t have to feel fully committed to any of the three…spin, pump, stretch, and move on with no hard feelings. Spin instructor was Zac; great energy, good music. Click here for a full schedule.
[left]where? Sculpt DC at 950 F Street NW, red line/Metro Center
bring? water bottle, spin shoes and yoga mat optional
perks? lockers, filtered water, fully stocked shower facilities
sweat score? 6 out of 10[/left]
[right]wear? recommend spandex shorts/pants; no bike shoes required
how much? $25 drop in class. click here for full price list[/right][line]
Sculpt DC has been one of the District’s hotly anticipated fusion fitness boutiques, pairing the intensity of spinning with the serenity of yoga for an all-in-one body rocking experience. Their website boasts, “Sculpt DC where innovation in fitness meets luxury accommodations and unparalleled customer service.” A month after their launch, I wouldn’t say they’re living up to this just yet; but there is definitely potential and I’m excited to check back as they progress.
Fitness. I’m okay with smushing spinning, weights, and yoga into one class and calling it innovation. It is a new concept for DC and a fresh approach to spending an hour at the gym.
The spin class was the best part. Only 30 minutes long, it’s off to the races during the first bass-bumping song. No warm up, no nonsense. The session was heavy on interval training and packed a short but intense punch of cardio. In other words, you’re pouring buckets of sweat within 5 minutess. Zac alternated between instructing from a bike and walking around the class making adjustments and giving much-needed motivational quips. 15 minutes into the class we added upper body exercises with weights. You may think that doing bicep curls with 3 lbs. isn’t worth your time. Think again after the 100th rep.
The yoga class was an awkward transition. Panting and sweating from the spin class/rave party, we took off shoes/socks and walked down the hall to the yoga studio. Mats/blocks/straps are provided. The music in the class was too loud and the genre was not what I’d classify as “calming,” but perhaps that’s just my personal taste. It was difficult to hear the instructor, who led us haltingly through a few very basic poses. If you’ve done yoga before, you can make the best of the suggested poses and take variations to up the ante if necessary. My advice is to treat it as a 30 minute cool down before heading home.
Accommodations: Not bad, not the best I’ve seen. The street level entrance looks a bit like a hotel lobby with dark wood furnishings, bright light fixtures, and fresh flowers. The studio space downstairs is dim. Think cold NY industrial loft meets Ikea. None of the doors are marked and there are no signs, so if you want to be sure you are walking into the yoga studio and not the shower room, ask someone. Plusses: free locker rental, filtered water fountain, beauty products and hair straightener in the bathroom, and free hair ties for those of us who perpetually leave home without them
The spin studio has white walls and is equipped with crazy floor lights that change color every few seconds. I appreciate the night-club party atmosphere, but the kaleidoscope of colors becomes distracting about 2 minutes into class. The music is really loud and matched the cadence of the workout. The bikes are brand new and have clips for bike shoes or cages if you just want to wear sneakers. In fact, for this particular class nobody was wearing clip in shoes. Towels and weights are provided on each bike.
The yoga studio has an enormous statue of buddha staring out into a stark room from a red enclave. The floors are dark laminate and the walls are white with red accents. There are lighted candles and rose pedals strategically strewn about. The bright lights stay on for the entire class. I give props for intention, but execution needs work. The feel is a bit cold and impersonal.
Customer Service: I booked my class online. When I arrived, I got a “hello” from the front desk. A tour of the space and a new-student welcome pitch would have helped set the tone better. Since nobody asked, I took a cue from the girls in front of me, initialed my name on the sign-in sheet, and headed downstairs. The spin instructor for this class helped to adjust the spin bikes. Both yoga and spin instructors provided variations for all fitness levels and abilities.
Bottom Line: I like what they’re trying to do and will go back to try another spin or fusion class. The studio is metro accessible and in an area of town where you can easily enjoy pre/post workout shopping or dining. I’m not sure the accommodations + fitness classes are stellar enough to pay $25 a pop on a regular basis- particularly when I can pay much less for a more comprehensive workout elsewhere. But the spin session piqued my interest and I will be back to try it again.