Walking down Spring Street, it’s easy to miss Studio B Pilates & Fitness, a new fitness studio that is hidden between School of Style and Hart’s Pharmacy. It’s actually so tucked away among the row of signs and buildings that I unknowingly walked by it four times before finding it.
The studio itself is very small but vibrant. The bright, lime green color of the walls inspire a hyped up energy appropriate for a fitness space and almost disguises the fact that the room is tiny. The actual workout floor is even smaller, and although it’s not a typical fitness center in terms of size, the room encourages a more intimate setting that still provides enough space for full, unhindered body movement.
For its opening, Studio B offered two free Total Body Resistance Exercise (TRX) classes. Taught by Rachel Rosten ’10, an alumna and admissions officer at the college, the classes lasted an hour and incorporated exercises that made you use muscles you never knew existed.
The class had a circuit style format – Rosten demonstrated three exercises that the class engaged in for 45 seconds, each with minimal rest in between each exercise. With four sets of these exercises that target a combination of the upper body, the core and the legs, the session consisted of a full body workout that kept you consistently sweaty but not to the point of overexertion.
To begin the class, Rosten led a warm-up routine to get our blood pumping. The series of jumping jacks, squats and lunges seemed easy enough, but once we got to the TRX equipment, the class quickly intensified.
Bolted to the wall, the TRX machine consists of poles near the ceiling that suspend floor-length adjustable straps that you can either grip with your hands or hold with your feet to aid you in the different workouts. Depending on how you adjust the straps, you can use them to do squats, lunges, chest presses, sit ups or push ups – the possibilities seemed endless and more excruciatingly painful as the class went on.
But with upbeat music blasting in the background and Rosten yelling encouragements and pointers about form throughout the workout, the 45-second interval for each exercise went by faster than expected. As I was struggling to get my body off the floor, Rosten’s reassurances that “everyone can do anything for 10 seconds” and “everyone was doing so well” kept me from collapsing onto the mat and staying supine forever.
Unlike most fitness classes with around 20 to 30 people, the class size of six allowed the instructor to pay more attention to each individual. Rosten addressed us by name and kept a constant watch over our form, motivating us to exert ourselves further while helping us prevent injuries.
“Studio B is simply a great opportunity for Williams students to stay in shape, but they can do it in a space that is a bit more private,” Rosten said. “No class at Studio B will ever be more than eight people.This allows for more attention given to each participant by the instructor, while still maintaining the great vibe of group exercise.”
Rosten teaches TRX classes twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., while the other classes are taught by owner Lauren Gotlieb.
Extremely friendly, Gotlieb is the instructor for the College’s PE spinning class and has extensive experience in fitness. She has taught fitness classes for over 20 years in a variety of areas rang- ing from aerobics to kickboxing and is certified in Stott Pilates. At Studio B, she teaches the TRX classes offered on Monday and Wednesdays at 6 p.m., Tuesdays at 9 a.m. and noon, Thursdays at 9 a.m. and Fridays at noon. She also teaches Pilates classes on Monday and Wednesday at noon, along with private and semi-private training sessions.
“I have clients of all ages and strengths,” Gotlieb said. “I help people overcome injuries (back, shoulder, knee and more) and help others learn new skills. I am amazed every day by the people who come into my studio!”
Studio B was first opened in 2011 and held in Tasha Yoga, a yoga and pilates center on Main Street. Studio B only recently expanded to a new location on Spring Street last month. Although the studio is still in the process of completion, the facility is furnished with the necessary equipment and is ready for use.
“I hope to add more evening class- es as well as barre classes in the future, whether I teach those classes or bring in another qualified instructor to use my space. I am also in the process of bringing in a well-known fitness apparel line,” Gotlieb said.
So if your schedule permits, put on sneakers, grab a water bottle and head toward Studio B – the high-intensity workout is well worth it.