The trainer starts counting to eight, as the small group of women shift into a plank position.
Their movements look subtle, slow and controlled — but all the real work is under the surface. Within minutes, each of one of them is sweating, muscles shaking, as they try to keep on breathing.
“Most exercise classes are all about momentum: big, quick movements that activate the fast twitch muscles in the body,” says Cathy Iliff, owner and trainer at CoreStrong Studio. “Here, it’s all about the small, slow movements that really work.”
Located in the fitness hub surrounding Americana Boulevard, CoreStrong Studio has only been open for a year and a half, and yet it already has 11 trainers, 10 40-minute classes a day and second location in Eagle.
CoreStrong teaches the Lagree Fitness method using specialty resistance exercise machines. Called Megaformers, these patented machines feature moving platforms that tone the body with the high-intensity, no-impact movements patented by fitness expert Sebastian Lagree.
The Downtown Boise studio is home to 10 of the only Megaformers in Idaho, and it’s the only studio in the state to teach the method.
“We work the slow-twitch muscles on the body, the ones that are responsible for building endurance and burning fat,” Cathy says. “Rather than bulking up, this method lengthens, slims and tones the entire body.”
Cathy stumbled upon the Lagree Fitness method while visiting her daughter in Northern California, where the fitness method has gained a cult following. After taking a class at her daughter’s local studio, Cathy knew immediately she had to bring this method back home to Boise.
“I had been teaching pilates for the last five years in Downtown Boise, but I had never taken a class like this one before,” Cathy says, chuckling a little. “My abs were sore for days!”
After quickly getting licensed in the method, Cathy started CoreStrong in an office space off Americana Boulevard. Since opening in October 2017, she has seen the studio take off as more and more classes get filled.
“I’ve seen women my age getting stronger and taking steps for their health, rather than just sitting back and letting aging run its course,” Cathy says, smiling. “Their whole disposition and outlook on life can change for the better.”
Cathy says their location on Americana Boulevard was the perfect fit. CoreStrong has become a popular spot for locals working in Downtown Boise to exercise during their lunch break. It’s also easily accessible to the throngs of local joggers and cyclists exploring the Boise River Greenbelt just a few minutes’ walk from the studio.
“What really stood out to me about this area was the potential,” Cathy says. “We’re so close to Downtown, so close to the Greenbelt, there’s so much opportunity for local businesses here.”
With a handful of other gyms and yoga studios nearby, the River Street neighborhood is also home to a down-to-earth fitness community where anyone is welcome. Cathy says she can’t wait to see how the community grows and evolves over the next few years.
“So many businesses are already coming back and turning this space into something really unique,” Cathy says. “It’s exciting to see what’s happening in this neighborhood.