Number of Classes Taken: 31 (Completed the February Challenge!!)
What keeps you coming back for more?The kick in the ass each class gives me. Arthur (that 'diabolical in the best way possible' mastermind) is crafting classes that always bring me to my edge... and then some (que the "you've got to be kidding me... you want a hold/pulses after THAT" look). Over the course of the challenge, I definitely felt myself getting stronger, but that never means class gets easier.
I have to give love to the coaches. They do a great job of keeping me motivated and even laugh or smile when they're bringing the pain. They encourage participants to swear (Kate, I'm looking at you), grunt, laugh, whatever it takes to keep moving and not quit. It allows me to let the walls down, humble myself a little and just focus on the work - not worry if I'm the only one struggling or if the class is more advanced than me. I know Arthur and Kate especially have taken some eye rolls and dirty looks from me in the workout, and yet they are still there coaching me and encouraging me to keep going. That's some serious job love/dedication.Number of Classes
Favorite Move + Why: I'm pretty sure I've "hated" all of them at some point (especially when it involves that back platform), but probably my favorite is Grizzly Bear. It's such a dynamic move - if you focus on making each piece count and connecting your breath with the movement, the time flies for it. Also, anything that works the obliques (mermaid twist/crunch, teaser and all its variations, snake,etc). This has always been a tough area for me and I love knowing it gets challenged in every class.
Favorite Result: Physically - my butt and waist; I'm a short, curvy girl (think Baby Got Back "36-24-36... only if she's 5'3") and this workout tightens and lifts everything, so I'm leaning out without fighting against my shape. Needless to say, my husband is a big fan and I can't wait to see what more change is in store.
Mentally - this workout challenge came at a much needed time for me. I'm in the middle of career change and needed a outlet to relieve the stress and frustration. Starting the challenge, I wasn't in the greatest place physically or mentally, but I'm amazed at how quickly both have changed over this month. I've actually gotten up a couple times to catch the 5:30am class to make sure I got my 14 classes - as someone who loves sleeping in, this was HUGE mental hurdle to overcome.
What would you say to someone who wants to try a class? Don't be scared. I've seen people of all shapes and sizes sweat it out in class, and in those 40 minutes, we all are pushed to our edge. The trainers do an amazing job of modifying positions so you can get the best workout in the safest way possible. Also, don't be afraid to laugh or smile in class. I'll be honest, some of the moves seem a little crazy and you may look funny doing them, but if you come in willing to give it a good shot, you will leave feeling awesome.
As I write this, I’m extremely grateful and emotional, because when I came to you guys, I was discouraged about not being fit like I was in college, even after bouncing around to several trainers. This workout is by far the absolute best and one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had. I've always enjoyed running long distance, but after years of bad eating and improper form, I couldn’t run a mile, let alone any kind of distance. But I’m happy to report after one month of HSM | Core, I can say I don’t get tired or winded and my core strength is absolutely incredible. No more back issues. I am so glad I found you guys - the workouts are hard, but when you push through, the reward is worth it.
Core is Key!
I slipped a disc in my back about 5 years ago and was either in and out of the chiropractor regularly or on the couch for a few weeks at a time as I never seemed to fully recover from that initial injury. I had tried a myriad of other workouts to “rehab” my back: yoga, planks ‘til I was blue in the face, lifting weights at the gym, pretty much anything to try and keep it in shape, but nothing would target or give me that “all around” complete strengthening that I needed to support it. Most of that changed when I started taking classes twice a week at HSM | Core nine months ago.
The workouts are intense. If you are trying to do them correctly as instructed, they WILL challenge you. I have never done anything that has flooded my muscles with lactic acid in the way the Megaformer workouts do. The first few months, I would be sore for a few days after the workouts. Every now and then the workouts will have some weird new move that I will feel for a few days as well, but over time you really start to get strong and gain some good muscle memory from going regularly and feel really good for days after. What I really like is that you never know what is in store for you when you start the class, so the workouts are never boring and always interesting and challenging.
The forty minutes spent a couple of times a week actually started to pay dividends a couple of months after I started. The first thing I noticed was that it had become easier to lift things properly (with my legs) whereas before, I relied on my back, as it was stronger -- and then I would injure myself again. My running got a lot easier as well, and I found that I was starting to shave 30 to 60 seconds off my average mile time without consciously trying to run faster. You get strong enough where can usually throw down some pistol squats to impress your friends as well. I don’t think people realize how important a good core is, and for me I really didn’t figure that out until I got mine into shape enough to notice the difference and remember what life was like when it was mediocre.
HSM | Core keeps me from being sidelined now. I run, cycle, race Stand Up Paddle Board and practice Martial Arts regularly, and making it into the studio twice a week keeps me strong and up to the task. I do, on occasion, still get hurt, but the recovery time for me now is a fraction of the time compared to prior. I see the chiropractor once every six months maybe instead of what used to be 6 or more times a month!
I credit my wife for getting me to go and try the first time, and I felt like I had ripped every ab in my body apart for a whole week after that first workout. But now it is fun to go with her and workout together and see who is stronger (which is always her), and if we can’t go together, there is always the challenge of listening to the instructor to get your form perfect and fight through the shake and count away the seconds. Arthur is a pretty awesome instructor as well, I would definitely recommend you take a class taught by him.
You really feel solid and awesome after a workout, and it lasts usually until it’s time to go again!
Dr. Megan Ding is a board-certified naturopathic specializing in natural medicine. She and her mom, Annie, are constantly at the studio for some good, old-fashioned mother-daughter bonding (HSM | Core style)! Check out her story below:
"One half of the mother-daughter duo here! My mom and I started in July, and with consistent attendance, I am definitely seeing changes in both of us. As a naturopathic doctor, my nutrition was in check, but I needed movement and to create a connection to my body physically. I was looking for something to get me motivated and help me recover from years of medical school. After two months at HSM | Core, I'm seriously addicted. I even miss it on days I don't go! The coaches are so motivating (shoutout to Lucy, Meghan, Rachel, Sara, and Sasha!) and the workouts are always challenging. It never gets boring. You feel the burn in class and after. I feel tighter, lifted, and STRONGER - in my mind and body. I can't wait to see even more changes in months the to come!"
I have always worked out and enjoyed trying new things over the years. Usually boredom sets in and I stop seeing any results so I am always moving on to something new. However, I have NEVER seen such a change in my body and how I feel overall after doing the HSM | Core classes. I am 48 years old and have had some hamstring injuries and constant nagging lower back pain. The Megaformer has changed everything for me. I am so much stronger and those nagging pains are no longer there. Don't get me wrong, I am sore but in a totally positive way. There is nothing like the French Twist or the Reverse Wheelbarrow to work muscles you didn't even know you had!
For those who are intimidated I say just give it a try. The trainers are so positive and want to help you succeed!! It is truly addicting!
What keeps you coming back for more? I love the energy at the studio! The coaches there are so motivating and do a great job of encouraging you to do your best in every minute of the workout.
Favorite Move: Serve the platter and push ups-of course!
Favorite Result: HSM | Core has given me confidence to try new things. I wasn't comfortable on the back of the machine when I first started taking classes, but the coaches believed in me and gave me gentle nudges that made me more confident and comfortable. I have also seen many physical changes from HSM | Core, I love the newer definition in my abs, legs and shoulders.
What would you say to someone who wants to try a class? Try at least 3 classes before making a decision. It takes a couple of classes to understand the machine and the transitions. Once you get the hang of it, it's so addictive!
Anything else you would like to add? HSM | Core is a great workout to share with your significant other. My boyfriend and I had tried many different work outs together before trying HSM | Core. He is a lifetime soccer player and I am a runner, we love the way HSM | Core helps us with our respective sports.
Number of Classes Taken: 78 and counting
What keeps you coming back for more? The efficiency of HSM | Core is my favorite thing about the class! A 40-minute workout that delivers actual results is hard to come by. I also like that it is never the same class twice. The coaches do a great job of keeping it interesting and challenging. I have always had a hard time sticking with workout classes and gym memberships as I love to try new things, but usually lose interest after a few months. Core is the first workout that I've been able to successfully turn into a habit. I've been going for almost a year now and I'm still not bored, which is a major accomplishment for me!
Favorite Move: Jackhammer. The brain power it takes to stay coordinated tricks you into forgetting how hard the move is!
Favorite Result: I'm not a morning person, yet I've actually started to look forward to going to class on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. It's sometimes still tough to drag myself out of bed, but it's getting progressively easier because I know I will walk out of class feeling accomplished and energized for the rest of the day.
What keeps you coming back for more? The challenge of every class is addicting! Waking up for those early morning classes is never easy, but the coaches are always there to make sure you are up and ready to go. The coaches motivate you and push you to your edge. HSM | Core is the most efficient workout in Charlotte!
Favorite Move: The Reverse Grizzly Bear is a full body workout. Your arms, legs, and core will be sore for days. Good luck if this move is at the end of class. You'll be shaking!
Number of Classes Taken: 102
What keeps you coming back for more? The RESULTS of course, and the way it makes me feel for the rest of the day. I feel toned, taut and with supremely better posture. HSM | Core has given me confidence from the inside out. Favorite Move + Why: I love to hate the French Twist. I can feel it carving away at my abs and obliques with each slow repetition.
Favorite Result: I finally have the sculpted abs and lifted buns I've struggled to attain. This is the only workout that has made me both strong and lean at the same time. I've long looked for an exercise that wouldn't add bulk and I've finally found it.
What would you say to someone who wants to try a class? This is the most effective and efficient workouts there is. Stick with it because you will see results. On day one I could hardly do half of the moves, but with the support of the amazing coaching team, I got stronger with each day. Now I cannot imagine my life without Core.
I just wanted to send a HUGE thank you to all the coaches at Stonecrest. Since the studio opened, I have been coming as part of the cross-training portion of my marathon training. Today, I not only completed the race, but I ran faster than I ever thought possible for my first race.
Thank you for being passionate about what you do.
I am 45 years old and have been working out regularly since the 7th grade. I have done every type of workout imaginable. When HSM | Core Stonecrest opened, I decided to attend a class. Already having a set fitness routine, I had no plans to commit. After the first session, I was intrigued. After a few sessions, it was clear to me that that the training at HSM | Core was a complete game-changer, and I was hooked!
I am strong in a brand new way. My muscles are in balance and my posture is better. I am more body-aware and coordinated. My other workouts like running and weight lifting feel easier because my core is tight and my form is good. My spine and joints feel better than they have in years. And, I have a greater all-around sense of well being, which I attribute to no longer pounding my body. And the perfect thing is, I accomplish this in 40 minutes a few times a week.
For me, HSM | Core is the most effective and efficient fitness class I have ever taken. The instructors are incredible, and the wide variety of class times offered, make it easy to fit into my day. It’s the Best!
I never expected such incredible results. After so many years of both taking and teaching exercise classes, I thought that my fitness had “peaked” and I was on the downslide. Not so! Honestly, I think the training at HSM | Core is the perfect workout for my body and the class I’ve been looking for all these years. I am truly grateful that this studio opened on my side of town.
(Meghan preferred not to have her photo used -- photo is of HSM | Core coach Mary Margaret.)
What keeps you coming back for more? The intensity of every workout! Everyday it's a different challenge, physically and mentally. Just when you think your body can do no more, you push through yet another exercise, proving that you can do anything you set your mind and breath to.
Favorite Move + Why: STANDING Inner Thighs- Just a fave! It is a tone that can be difficult to accomplish. Lucifer's Ladder- It hurts so good! Inch Worm- The combo is brilliant for the abs/core!
Favorite Result: Size reduction in my waist due to all those insane oblique exercises. I now have Tricep definition which has been hard for me/my body type to see with other workouts. Plus, I have greater strength in my legs for running and cycling.
What would you say to someone who wants to try a class? You will feel muscles that you have never felt before. You will find strength from within that you didn't know could exist. HSM | CORE is a workout that keeps you coming back wanting more...
Anything else you would like to add? I have found the coaches to be my biggest advocate. Although often in my zone, I hear every push and challenge to get me through the fatigue. It's a great team!
I want to thank HSM | Core for the positive impact you all have had on my life since I officially started in July. The workout is awesome (so awesome that I officially gave up my long-time gym membership in October), but what sets it apart from any other fitness experience is your team.
Every day, without exception, I am inspired and encouraged to push beyond my limits by a team of coaches who genuinely care about me and my progress (albeit slow progress). Their enthusiasm and dedication is infectious, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to train with them.
We love this MegaFamily of wonder women! Mother, Lori O'Keefe, and daughters, Keeley and Ansley, each does HSM | Core for her own reason:
It's important to me to be healthy (and it seems to take more effort after turning 50!). I have a lot going on with work, my family, volunteering, etc., and this is something I really look forward to, so I make it a priority! All of the coaches are fantastic and I love their different styles. The workouts are challenging andeffective;and they’re only 40 minutes, which I can make work. As a bonus, I get to spend extra time with my two daughters, doing something we all like, that's active and fun!
I love HSM | Core classes because I'm trying to get back in shape after discovering my freshman 15 🙃 and recovering from a knee injury. I like that the workouts change every day. It’s also great that the classes are short enough to be manageable with a busy schedule, but are still long enough that I get an amazing workout in!
I am a ballet dancer and and wanted to improve my overall strength, not only to help with ballet, but to be healthier. I love the instructors - they are so awesome and encouraging; and the workouts and music make for a fun, yet difficult workout. Also, as a high school student, the 40-minute workouts are manageable with my crazy schedule.
What keeps you coming back for more? As a small business owner, it’s very important to me to be strong in mind, body and soul. I couldn’t be the best version of myself every day for my team, clients and family, without making my health and well-being a priority. It is important to surround myself with like-minded individuals who lead with strength and determination. Strength, not only through physical form, but the mental hard-wiring that comes from challenging yourself daily; a commitment to push your body and mind past that first inclination to quit. Silencing that critic in your head that says “I’m done”, and instead say, “One more” or, “I will” builds mental toughness and muscle-memory that will help during the daily challenges we all face. I’m in there competing with myself, to show up better than I was the day before. To do that, I also have to rely on the positive energy in the class itself, the sense of community; the coaches will simply not allow you to quit on yourself. They truly want to see you find that special place where mind, body and willpower align to fulfill your potential - and to do that in life, you have to do it frequently, class-by-class, day by day, thought by thought.
Favorite Move: Anything to do with legs, inner thighs and booty! As John Legend would say; “Let’s Get Lifted.”
Favorite Result: Through both HSM and HSM | Core, my posture and physical form overall have dramatically changed. I realized that, through years of different physical activities, I had conditioned my body to carry itself incorrectly; this was truly having a negative impact on my posture. I was starting to develop several different aches and pains that I just attributed to “getting older,” but through HSM, realized I had the ability to alter my body quite dramatically, making adjustments to strengthen areas such as my core, shoulders and back.
What would you say to someone who wants to try a class? Challenge yourself. Whether you consider yourself a workout warrior or just trying to get back into the groove, bring a positive attitude and determination - you will see results. Make no mistake, you will work and it will hurt - but you are changing your body, your mind, and building a new YOU. Why would you not try it?
I love my HSM Family! Thanks for pushing my limits and being a pivotal addition to my weekly routine!
What keeps you coming back for more? The challenge of wanting to do better than I did in the prior class. While initially nervous every time I left my house to go to class, I now look forward to going to class. It is addictive in a good way. From the friendly welcome when you walk in the door to the encouragement and instruction that you get from the top-notch coaches, it makes for a great experience despite the fact that your abs are hurting for hours or a day or so afterwards. My husband also goes to HSM | Core and we enjoy comparing notes after class.
What keeps you coming back for more? HSM | Core is one of the best and most challenging workouts I have done in Charlotte. The trainers are amazing and are constantly pushing you to strive for good form and technique. If a movement is too difficult they provide modifications, allowing you to keep working. The program works muscles I never knew were weak; inner thighs and glutes especially. Most importantly, the program focuses on areas of my body which I felt I was not working with some of my previous workouts; abs, chest and triceps.
The last four years have been a real physical struggle for me. Dealing with the diagnosis of an autoimmune disease and the nasty side effects of medications, along with the onset of menopause, my body was changing right before my eyes and I felt helpless. The traditional exercises and past methods that had worked so well in the past failed me. At the beginning of the year, I knew this was the year I turned the big 5-0, and like many, wanted to look good for my day. Sonya Barnes 2.0 was in full effect!! After jumpstarting a high-intensity fat burning regime, which was desperately-needed and effective, I knew that I didn’t want to keep that pace up. In search of finding my waist again, I decided to give HSM | Core a try. I know Liz and Clary kick butt, however, I made a decision to commit and try it and see how my body responded.
Well, after a few short weeks, I started seeing my waist again!! In a few more weeks, I had dropped an additional 10 lbs. and my upper body was finding its way back to me. It’s tough, no doubt, but “up an inch, down an inch,” is my mantra. When people ask me how much weight I lost, I tell them, but I really talk about how much stronger I’m BECOMING. Through my journey, I made two promises to myself: 1. To not just enjoy the results, but enjoy the process; and 2. Create a new normal.
I no longer think about how much I will weigh this September when I hit 50, but I will no doubt be stronger and confident as my commitment to health continues. Thanks to this Dynamic Duo for this program.