Anne Mahlum is an accomplished entrepreneur, public speaker, and athlete. In 2007 she founded Back on My Feet, an organization that "uses the power of running to change the way those experiencing homelessness see themselves so they can make real change in their lives." She recently stepped down as CEO of Back on My Feet to start [solidcore], a studio that features the Lagree Fitness Method on the patented megaformer.
[solidcore] opened its first Washington D.C. studio in late 2013 and will expand into two new locations in the coming months. Anne was kind enough to answer some questions for us about [solidcore] and its expansion.
1. [solidcore] features the Lagree Fitness Method (LFM). Tell us about the LFM and what makes it unique.
This is on our website – look here under the workout and the science: http://www.solidcore.co/about.
[Editor: From the [solidcore] website: " "The Lagree Fitness Method" uses slow and controlled full-body movements with constant tension to work your muscle fibers to failure, forcing them to rebuild a more sculpted, stronger and solid you. The experience is a high-energy, small-group training class done on the patented MegaFormer, which is described as a cross between a Pilates reformer and Total Body Gym."]
2. How did you personally come to the LFM?
I found this workout in LA and discovered there was a studio in NY, which is where I was living at the time. I started going regularly and love the challenge as well as the results. The business model is a license agreement, which is very appealing for an entrepreneur. I got to build my own company with no one putting rules on me, or taking any equity in the company. Marketing, branding and building communities that help people become the best version of themselves is what I love to do.
3. We know you have a background in running - would you recommend the LFM to other runners as a form of cross training?
Absolutely – no question. I am an 11-time marathoner and since I have started LFM, I have not been injured once and I’m much stronger in the hills and my stamina is way better. Other runners coming to [solidcore] have noticed these same results as well.
4. What are the fitness backgrounds of your clients? Are [solidcore] classes appropriate for everyone?
We have people who have haven’t worked out in 10 years, to people who have done Ironman’s….this workout is tough for everyone because it is so different. You are in a very accountable setting so our clients have a tendency to push themselves way more than just workout on their own. Our coaches motivate and inspire you the entire time. You will have to take breaks – very few people, no matter your fitness background, can make it through the whole workout….which hopefully is appealing because why would you work out if it was easy – there would be no point.
5. What can people expect when attending a [solidcore] class for the first time? Describe the environment, class structure, music, …
Solidcore is an extremely supportive, positive and energetic environment. You will hear your name at least 10 times in class, the music is upbeat and keeps you moving. Everyone is giving people high fives and supporting each other through the workout. We have an 85 percent retention rate and a big reason for that is not just the consistent workout that you will get every time, but it’s the consistent way we make you feel, which is loved, supported, motivated and strong.
[solidcore] promotional video.
6. Let's move beyond the first class. How much variability is there from class to class? Are higher-level classes offered?
I have been doing this workout for a year, and my body has never looked better. It is impossible to plateau because of the variations of each exercise. Going slower is the easiest way to make it tougher and of course, taking less breaks. We do have an ADVANCED class, which will almost have you crying when it’s over.
7. [solidcore] currently has one location in Adams Morgan and we have heard you are expanding. Can you offer details about new locations?
We will have two more locations open in the next two months. [solidcore] Shaw (7th and S NW) opens February 22nd and the class schedule is up for that week. NoMA (4th and Mass) will open in late April. I am looking at spaces on H St and Arlington as well.