I Tried It: Champagne Sundays at Ploome in Northern Liberties

A super fun workout with a little bubbly makes for the perfect Sunday morning.

Christina Stoltz dons a purple sparkly headband while making two-pound weights look like a piece of cake. (They're not.)

Christina Stoltz dons a purple sparkly headband while making light pound weights look like a piece of cake. (They're not.)

Ploome, an adorable Pilates studio in NoLibs, might have the most creative fitness classes in the whole city. Last fall, Be Well contributor Kathryn Siegel checked out Ploome’s Hula Hooping for Grownups class, and I’ve basically been drooling over the offerings ever since.

So last Sunday I finally got my act together, grabbed a friend, and schlepped over to Ploome for Champagne Sunday. It’s a fun way to get to know what the studio’s all about: You try out a bunch of different kinds of workouts in half hour increments, with breaks in between to eat some snacks and sip Champagne (both provided by the studio). I tried three: Bottoms Up Booty Camp, Double Trouble, and Last Call at the Barre. (Cute, right?)

I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say: This was no Sunday walk in the park. When I got there, a fellow Ploomer who’d taken the classes before took me over to a cabinet full of free weights and instructed me to take a pair of two-pounders. I’m sure I looked at her kind of funny—I do BodyPump, yo!—because, really? Two measly pounds? Pssht—I could lift that with my pinky.

About five seconds into the workout I learned something valuable: Two pounds can feel really freaking heavy when you do the same motion over and over, and work muscles you haven’t touched since before Broad Street training (whoopsie). Bottoms Up Booty Camp was up first, but I figured out quickly that just because the name contains the word “booty” doesn’t mean instructor/owner Christina Stoltz (who has envy-inducing dancer-like muscles, I might add) will ignore your upper half. What it does mean is that she’ll combine movements that torch all areas of your body at once. And that’s when I started shaking—thanks to two measly pounds.

Double Trouble was interesting because Christina had us alternating turns on the Pilates apparatus doing jumps and using a good ol’ jump rope in the open studio space. I haven’t jump roped since sixth grade double-dutch on the playground, so that was actually pretty fun. And truth be told, I’ve never done Pilates on the machine (only on the mat), so that was a fun new experience, too. Muscles destroyed: my calves.

Then came Last Call at the Barre. We were running short on time, so we actually skipped the barre stuff, but Christina did manage to get us on glide boards. That was … quite the experience. Another new one, for me. If you’ve never used one, a glide board is one of those slippery rectangular mats that allow you to slide from one side to the other, adding a little cardio to your bottom-half toning. Christina gave us special socks so we wouldn’t break our necks.

I’ll tell you this: I consider myself to be a pretty coordinated gal, but using that glide board had me questioning everything I thought I knew about my athletic ability. I looked like a fool and could barely get the hang of it but had a boatload of fun trying. Christina, for her part, was gracious and encouraging.

The best part, of course, came at the end when the bottle of bubbly was popped. I’m going to be completely honest and admit that I actually had to jet off before I could have any (my niece was in a dance recital; what’s an auntie to do?). But the pretty spread—apple slices with Greek yogurt, oranges, a basket of Hershey’s Kisses and, of course, the bubbly—had me briefly considering turning in my Aunt of the Year Award and staying for a glass or two. But Champagne-less I went to the recital—and sore I remain now, two days later.

Will someone please tell me when two pounds got so heavy?

Ploome is located at 1040 North American Street, suite 1001, on the Liberties Walk in Northern Liberties. Single classes are $20 each, but new clients can get three for $39. The Champagne Sundays passes are $25 for the whole day. Private sessions are also available.

>> See our other I Tried It posts here.