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The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

The Student News Site of Menlo School

The Coat of Arms

Which Workouts Are Working Out?

Editor-in-Chief Tatum Herrin Ranks Popular Local Exercise Classes
Tatum Herrin

Disclaimer: I am no workout expert. I am, however, a second-semester senior with more free time on my hands than I’m used to. I’ve taken on the adventure of squeezing every free first workout class out of the Bay Area I can. I thought I’d share my experiences with popular workout classes and offer some advice to anyone hoping to improve their fitness.


Location: SoulCycle
Price: $40
Ranking: 2.5/5

What was once the shining star of workout classes seems to have faded into oblivion – and for good reason. While your first ride is $25 at SoulCycle, following rides are $40 a pop. At that point, why not just ride a regular bike? Your hard-earned cash is much better spent on a class that requires unique equipment or an instructor to help you learn and nail the movements. I suppose if you like pure, unfettered cardio and you luck out with a profoundly inspirational instructor, the class could be enjoyable. In the wake of the Peloton, though, in-person cycling classes are approaching obsolete.

Hot Yoga

Location: CorePower Yoga
Price: $38
Ranking: 3.5/5

Just like non-heated yoga, hot yoga aims to improve your strength and flexibility. The added heat gives your lungs and heart a harder workout, warms up your muscles to increase flexibility and makes your body work harder to regulate your temperature, allowing you to burn more calories. I tried out CorePower Yoga’s Yoga Sculpt class in Burlingame. First-timers get a free week of unlimited classes while following classes are $38 each. While I was tired by the end, my muscles weren’t sore at all the following day. In hindsight, I probably should’ve used heavier weights. I prefer classes with less autonomy (in other words, no way for me to cop out). However, the instructor kept the class high energy and fun. The class ended with crystal singing bowls, a truly out-of-body experience — I’d go again just for the bowls. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch a YouTube video. Words just don’t cut it.


Location: Rumble Boxing
Price: $36
Ranking: 4.5/5

To test out my jabs, I took the 60-Minute Level Up class at a Rumble, a longer version of the Signature O.G. class. Rumble offers a high-intensity interval workout featuring boxing and floor work. As Rum- ble co-founder Eugene Remm once put it, Rumble is where fight club meets night club. If you prefer flashing purple lights and intense EDM to the light and airy feel of a Pilates studio, Rumble is the way to go. As a certified hater of cardio, my enjoyment of Rumble speaks volumes. I let out all my demons on that punching bag. I also have to give a shout-out to the incredibly warm and welcoming staff. The first class is free, and the following classes are $36. Contact [email protected] for a Menlo student discount!


Location: Westcore Studio
Price: $36
Ranking: 5/5

In hopes of becoming a Pilates Princess, I tried out Westcore Studio in Burlingame. The first class is free and the following classes are $36. Pilates is a low-impact form of strength training meant to strengthen your core, tone legs and arms, as well as improve flexibility and mobility. Because of the minimal cardio involved, I figured it’d be pretty easygoing. To say I was humbled is an understatement. The 30-year-old women surrounding me, nailing every move, had to be some sort of mutant superhumans. Still, the instructors were hands-on and helped me get a great workout in just 45 minutes. I woke up the next morning too sore to walk and eager for more.


Location: Pure Barre
Price: $35
Ranking: 3 stars

Barre is a toning, body-weight lifting workout rooted in ballet movements and use of the ballet barre. Barre uses isometric exercises — the static contraction of a muscle without visible joint movement — to isolate smaller body parts not reached by typical movements like squats, lunges or sit-ups. Barre aims to build and lengthen lean muscle. I tried out Pure Barre’s classic session in Palo Alto for $38. Free first classes are available, but only for certain times and class types. Barre was different from anything I’d ever tried before, and it was difficult at first to be intentional and accurate with such subtle movements. With the help of the instructor, though, I was feeling the burn by the end. I can appreciate the combination of flexibility and muscle work, but personally, I found the class to be a bit low-energy overall. For a low-impact, full-body workout, I’d take traditional, reformer pilates over barre any day.

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About the Contributor
Tatum Herrin
Tatum Herrin, Editor in Chief

Number of years in The Coat of Arms: 4

Favorite aspect of journalism: Designing pages

Interests outside of school: Mock trial and lacrosse

Class of 2024

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