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Bridal Fitness on Paper - SculptWorks Monday, September 26, 2011 ~ 9:03 a.m.

Good morning! I hope you all had a good weekend. Mine was a bit more "blah" than usual, because I haven't been at home because I'm housesitting, and my husband (who was kind enough to stay with me for one night) has been sick, and we haven't been able to figure out why =( I've finally gotten him to commit to going to the doctor though (WHY is it so hard to get men to go to the Dr., by the way??? I'll never know). Anyway, I think it's going to be a little tough for me to get into workout mode again for the week, but I'm hoping today's post will help motivate me!

Last month, I reviewed a dance-centric group exercise class called BarWorks, offered at a popular chain of exercise and yoga studios called YogaWorks. The chain has several locations in California, where it's based, but has also begun to expand into the New York area, for any of you East coasters who may be interested in trying out any of these classes that I'm reviewing :)

Today, I'll be reviewing another group exercise class offered by YogaWorks called SculptWorks. YogaWorks describes this particular class as one with many familiar moves including squats, lunges and bicep curls, with "a few tricks thrown in," utilizing a "Great Yoga Wall" inside the the studio. Where I take classes in Southern California, all four walls of the yoga studio are what they call, "Great Yoga Walls," which basically have several metal loops built in from the floor to the ceiling, that allow you to attach resistance bands into place for your workout. Essentially, this wall is what makes this strengthening class a little more unique; however, I think that one could easily teach a slightly modified version of the class without the wall and you'd get just as good of a workout as you would using it.

The class is recommended for "students who are already phsyically active," and I can definitely see why! SculptWorks is a strengthening class that is currently offered in two levels at YogaWorks - Level 1 and Level 2/3. I've only taken the Level 2/3 class, but I've been told that the actual exercise moves are the same in both classes, and the main difference is the pace at which you do them. Level 1 allows more breaks in between exercises, while Level 2/3 keeps you moving the entire time, so your heart rate will be up throughout the class, from warm up to cool down.


Bridal Fitness Review - SculptWorks

Overall: Four diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
4 out of 5 diamonds
Sculptworks is a strengthening course that will be familiar to many, but is challenging enough to push you out of your comfort zone.

SculptWorks targets all major parts of the body - the arms, thighs and glutes, abdominals and back muscles. As mentioned previously, the Level 1 SculptWorks class is rumored to offer a couple of breaks in between workouts, while the Level 2/3 class keeps you moving the entire time, much like circuit training. Each class tends to vary in exercises, but essentially, you'll be doing squats, push-ups, planks, sit-ups and the like, while also using your resistance bands often on the "Great Yoga Wall." By the end of the class, I was definitely pooped! Overall, I'm confident that you'll feel the burn and you'll be out of breath for duration of the class.

Cost & Equipment Three and a half diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
3.5 out of 5 diamonds
Because SculptWorks is an exclusive YogaWorks offering, you'll have to shell out about $100 a month for a YogaWorks membership. This class also uses several pieces of equipment; most of which are provided by the studio itself.

When I tried SculptWorks classes, I had actually purchased a special discountedmembership deal from one of those discount sites...I think it was from Living Social. It was an awesome deal that gave me unlimited access to all of their classes and facilities for one month, but normally, YogaWorks tends to be a bit pricey (in my opinion) at about $100 month. Granted, this allows you to take as many classes as you'd like, but in order to get your money's worth, you'd have to be going about three times a week, every week.

When you attend a SculptWorks class, you'll want to bring a yoga mat, towel and water with you, and plan on being barefoot in the class. Once there, you'll be asked to grab a wooden yoga block, a pair of gliding discs, and a specialized version of resistance bands in either "Light," "Medium" or "Difficult," which are made to attach to the "Great Yoga Wall".

Time Commitment: Five diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
5 out of 5 diamonds
SculptWorks will make great use of what little time you may have to dedicate to your workout.

SculptWorks is one hour long, and you'll feel like you're working the entire time you're there. Several of the people in my class were actually there to workout on their lunch break! The warm-up and cool down is pretty minimal, and with no breaks, your instructor won't let you stop for long while exercising. You'll get your heart rate up, burn calories and you'll be sore the next day - all from an hour long workout. How many people can say that after working out for an hour at the gym???

Level of Difficulty: Four diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
4 out of 5 diamonds
SculptWorks offers the best of both worlds - you'll walk out of this class feeling like you've ran a mile, while also working all your muscles doing squats, push-ups and lunges.
Again, YogaWorks offers two levels of SculptWorks classes. I've only had the opportunity to take the Level 2/3 class though, so keep in mind that I am basing my review on the more challenging class. With that being said, SculptWorks is definitely challenging in terms of strengthening all of the major muscle groups. It can be significantly challenging aerobic-wise, as well, if you keep up with the instructor and don't cut any of your exercises short. I've taken the class a few times now, and I've been sore in all sorts of places the next day every single time so far.

When you walk into a SculptWorks class, you'll get to work pretty much immediately, with virtually no warm-up. The workout consists mostly of more classic strength training moves like lunges, squats, push-ups and sit-ups. You'll use the special stretchy bands that are attached to the YogaWorks "Great Yoga Wall," working multiple muscle groups at the same time. A lot of squats and lunges with bicep curls, for instance. You'll also do several exercises that are designed to spike your heart rate, such as the dreaded Mountain Climbers, made even more challenging using the gliding discs! One time, I literally had to stop because I was so out of breath and the backs of my thighs were burning so badly! However, the instructor definitely doesn't let you take breaks - mine totally called me out in the middle of the class and forced me to keep going. I hated it at the time, but appreciate it now looking back, of course ;) By the end of the class, you'll feel like you just walked out of an intense spinning session, rather than a more subtly challenging yoga class, which is in great contrast to many of the courses offered by YogaWorks.

Effectiveness: Four diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
4 out of 5 diamonds
For many women, SculptWorks offers the best of both worlds! It gives you the cardio you need to burn calories, and the resistance training you need to tone up.
I liken SculptWorks to circuit training at the gym. It's an ideal combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise, requiring you to move from exercise to exercise, strengthening body part to body part, without breaks in between in order to keep your heart rate up and burn calories. The routine makes for one good, effective workout that will make you feel stronger, help tone muscles and burn calories all at once. I would guess that you would have to spend twice as much time in the gym (an hour cardio and an hour resistance training) in order to garner the same kind of results one could get from this class. But at the same time, you'll be working your muscles in a BIG way, so I don't think that I'd take the class more than twice a week. I like to mix it up with other cardio workouts during the week to allow my muscles to recover. Otherwise, by the time I'm done being sore from the first time I took the class, it would be time for me to have to take it again! =P

Enjoyability: Four diamond ring rating for bridal bootcamp exercise reviews
4 out of 5 diamonds
This class does everything it's supposed to - you'll strengthen, tone and burn calories - all the while being motivated by your dedicated instructor, hard working classmates and good music.
Although you are being challenged physically, there's definitely enough variety in SculptWorks to keep you from getting bored and watching the clock the entire time. I noticed that working out with others in such close quarters, as we all worked off of the Yoga Wall(s), also motivated me to keep going, even when I was at my most exhausted. The class is performed to popular music (instructors play anything they want, basically), which makes the class move at a steady pace and makes it more enjoyable, too, of course.

What I love most about SculptWorks though is how reliable it is. There are times when I walk into a yoga or spin class, wondering if I'm going to be pushed too hard where I end up hating it, or not hard enough where I feel like I've wasted my time. You'll never walk out of SculptWorks feeling like you need to do more because the class wasn't challenging enough. The combination of strengthening and cardio moves, while moving at a steady pace, keeps things interesting, and you're switching up the muscles you're working enough that you don't walk out feeling like you'll never be able to lift up your arms again. Just make sure that you know your limits here! We did a million sit-ups in that class one day, and I ended up with a sore tailbone the next day because I had pushed myself too hard.

The cool down is also particularly enjoyable. Our instructor always turns off the lights and allows us to stretch and then quietly meditate for a few minutes before we head out for the rest of our day.

If you're curious about a specific workout and you'd like for me to review it, please do leave a comment below or feel free to send me an email at Sarah - at - apaperproposal - dot - com.

Insert Comment | View Comments (2)




The Perfect Palette (ga)

Sep 26, 2011 4:50 PM

Thanks for sharing!

xo, chrissy

Erika {Borrowed&Bleu} (Orlando, FL)

Sep 27, 2011 10:33 AM

Sounds like an interesting way to work on strength training!