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I Danced the Cabbage Patch at TruFusion

My "All out of the '80s" Pilates class got deep, sweaty, and way too hot.
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Tru Fusion Exterior
Exterior of Tru Fusion Catherine Wendlandt

Eighties music was made for exercise classes. Maybe it’s the poppy beats. Maybe it’s the image of spandex-clad workout instructors shouting encouragements to you on VHS. But there’s something about that era that can motivate you through anything. So, when I saw an “All Out of the 80s” class at TruFusion, I decided I could give Pilates another chance

When I showed up for the Friday afternoon class, the front desk took my keys hostage—so I’d come talk to them about new member deals after—and I walked into the studio room. It was packed. Like max-capacity, I’d-be-nervous-even-pre-Covid packed. There was only about a foot or so between each of the 40–50 yoga mats in the room.

I picked my way across the studio, stepping over mats like I was navigating through sleeping bags during a school lock-in, to grab weights and an exercise band from the back equipment room. They had run out of most weight options, so I just grabbed one set of two-pounders, instead of two different sets, and returned to my mat. 

I was already sweating. Online, it said the hot Pilates class would be heated to 95 degrees. It was 96 when I walked in. Other people in the class had laid towels down on their mats. Later, during the class, I felt a wave of heat and a quick glance at the thermostat told me the heat had been bumped up to 97 degrees. I’ve done hot workouts before and enjoyed them. I grew up in Texas, so I’ve had many a PE class running around a field in the blazing sun. But 97 degrees in a studio of 50ish people is something different.

Despite the heat and the crowd, I enjoyed the class. The 45-minute session was a faster-paced mix of Pilates, yoga, and HIIT, with some strength training. The instructor was energetic and happy-go-lucky, singing along to the music and shouting out some of the regulars. We worked out to “I Will Survive” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” Halfway through, she played “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi, of course. And we ended with stretching to Toto’s “Africa.”

We started the class with yoga. Child’s pose, cat-cow, tabletop. From there, we’d curl limbs in and out. There were quite a few downward dog variations. I hadn’t grabbed a block from the equipment room, so I just stayed in tabletop. We also did a lot of lifting weights up over our heads, so I modified the movements. Throughout, the instructor would sometimes call out modifications, but I mostly had to make them for myself. However, the packed room gave me some anonymity to do so, and I saw others doing the same.  

Once we made it through the yoga-like movements, we stood up and did a ton of jumping jacks. We also did these bouncy squat toe-touch things. Later in the class, we lay on our backs and wrapped the exercise band around our thighs. From here, we did bridges, moving our legs out and in against the resistance. 

While she led us through the class, the instructor snuck some ’80s moves into the workout, which was a super fun twist. Some of the down-dog combos ended up feeling eerily similar to some breakdancing moves. We did the cabbage patch dance with weights. At one point, we did a squat, leg lift, lunge leg lift combination while our arms (holding weights) moved out and in. The instructor happily called out, “running man!” She also threw in some jazzercise at the end of class to Madonna’s “Material Girl,” naturally. 

Overall, the class itself was one of the easier Pilates classes I’ve taken. It was also more fast-paced than the slow-and-controlled classes. I had to modify quite a bit, but not as much as I normally have to. And not as much as we got later in the class—sometimes I just wouldn’t hold weights, for example. I had fun, which is something I don’t normally say about Pilates.

Final Thoughts

Aesthetics 

TruFusion’s entry is bright and open—it felt a bit like the lobby of a bougie college dorm. There were neon signs, lockers, a café-like counter, and nice bathrooms with everything you needed to clean up after a sweat sesh, including showers and a counter with hair drying stations. The actual yoga studio had glowing color-changing lights and plenty of mirrors to check your form. All that, plus the music, gave off the perfect ’80s workout video vibe I needed to get through the class. 

Difficulty 

This was certainly a Pilates class for beginners, which I appreciated. While I had to modify some, I could do many of the exercises and wasn’t sore after—a first for me and Pilates. It’s a fun, quick session, for people who want to see if this kind of exercise is for them. 

Accessibility 

I liked that the class had various weight options. I wished the instructor gave out more modifications, but I was able to modify as needed without bother. My biggest issue with the class, though, was the heat. My class was supposed to be 95 degrees (other TruFusion offerings are heated to 98 degrees). But the temperature was higher than advertised online, and even though it was a short class, I ended up with a bad dehydration headache all weekend. I wish the instructor had scheduled into her workout quick water breaks where we took sips from our bottles.

The Cost of it All 

TruFusion offers a wide variety of class types, including Pilates, circuit training, yoga, barre, and more. You can get your first class free. After that, a single in-studio class is $30. Class packs begin at $60 for two sessions, and monthly memberships start at $99 for four classes. The studio also offers one-on-one and unlimited session options. 

Would I Go Back

I could be convinced, but not for another heated class. 

Author

Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

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