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November 14, 2011 / ShapedforFitness

Pop Physique

I’m loving all the new fitness studios that are popping up all over Orange County and offering great deals on GrouponLiving Social, and Plum District. Last night I got to try out one of my Groupon deals, 5 classes for $39, at Pop Physique in Costa Mesa, CA.

“Pop Physique incorporates a ballet barre inspired exercise system into an efficient one hour class set to excellent music that blends elements of ballet, Pilates, and light weight work into a methodical series of strengthening, isometric, core shaping, and luxurious stretches.”
Before I get into the workout review, I have to talk about the most unique studio I’ve been to. In Costa Mesa, off the 405 & 55 on Bristol St, there’s an incredible lifestyle shopping center with retail shops, restaurants, and exercise studios (including Pop Physique).

When you first pull up to the CAMP, you notice everything’s a little different like inspirational sayings on each parking spot: (love the 3rd photo!)


The shopping center has all sorts of fun things to look at like an old fashioned campsite, or you can sit by the fire in between shops

After walking past all the entertaining, recycled art you get to the Seed Market where Pop Physique is located

The studio is actually inside the market

Pop Physique studio inside the Seed Market. See it on the 2nd floor? (Sorry for the poor iPhone photo)

Pop Physique Costa Mesa Studio

View from 2nd floor

The studios (2 of them) and welcome area are very clean and earthy with recycled materials. The rug is actually a piece of Astroturf. The studios are medium size and can hold about 12-15 students max.

Plywood walls

3 walls with barres - plenty of elbow room

The equipment used - light dumbbells, balls, and stretch bands

Review of the workout:

The “Pop Sculpt” workout is very similar to the Pure Barre workout with lots of small, isolated movements that work every muscle in your body to complete exhaustion. The biggest difference I noticed is that Pop Physique extends their exercises a little bit longer to the point where your muscles just about give out. In Pure Barre you hold the plank position for about 90 seconds, but in Pop Physique you stay in plank for at least 3 minutes while doing leg lifts, knee tucks and hip raises. This is the warm-up.

After the “warm-up” of core strengthening and nearly collapsing to the mat, we moved onto a challenging arm section with push ups, dips, and dumbbell exercises. I only used 2 lb dumbbells and definitely had to rest my arms a couple of times. There’s only so long you can keep your arms at shoulder height. The nice thing is at you get a good stretch after each section.

After the arms we moved to the barre and did seat/leg work with squats on releve (on toes), curtsy plies, lunges, front kicks and inner thigh adduction (squeeze knees towards each other). I thought the sets would be over when my legs were violently shaking, but we kept going! My legs just shook harder and harder, but never gave out.

Next, we moved to the mat to work on our hips, hamstrings and butt. We did side hip raises with a bent knee, straight leg and tiny circles, and glute exercises with leg lifts and heel to the ceiling. The final section of the workout was core work. We did Pilates exercises with very slow movements that touched the upper, lower and side abdominals.

Finally, we made it to the stretching and relaxation period. Ahhh, my favorite part after an exhausting workout!!!

What I liked about Pop Physique:

  • Challenging strength training workout that completely exhausts the muscles
  • Very structured and organized workout
  • Low weight, high repetition exercises
  • Non-impact
  • Stretching after each section
  • Good music and choreographed to music
  • Instructor (Ashley) was on beat and kept a good pace
  • Eco-friendly studio and equipment
What I didn’t like about Pop Physique:
  • Should suggest exercise modifications when you can’t finish the exercise
  • Should have more coaching on proper form, saw a lot of un-tucked pelvis’
  • Need more muscle extension exercises to lengthen the muscles to full range of motion, lots of concentric or isometric exercises
  • No cardio
Overall: Pop Physique is an excellent toning and strengthening class that will exhaust all of your muscles to the point of violent shaking. Definitely a workout I want to do again and incorporate into my total fitness routine. Appreciate their dedication to being earth friendly and located in a unique setting.

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