In high school, I tried out for cheerleading during my senior year. Mostly to make people go “Huh? Her?” but partly because I wanted to belong to something. The cheerleaders were impossibly cool and flexible and seemed to have it together. And surprisingly, they were welcoming and supportive to a pink-haired nerd like me trying to nudge my way into their midst. After a few weeks of practice, I made it through tryouts and managed a pretty decent toe-touch jump.
That’s just about where my life with pom-poms ended. But recently, I got a bit of that back with a trip to the Lithe Method studios. You might have heard of this unique fitness program, founded by former college cheerleader Lauren Boggi. It’s not just a highly developed series of immersive exercise classes, it’s a brand. And according to some of its more vocal converts — a way of life.
Just ask my friend Anna, who basically slimmed down to half her size thanks to hard work and sweat at Lithe. Or my friend Rachel, who looked absolutely amazing, strong and gorgeous in her wedding gown, thanks in part to these classes. It seems many of the slim and fit ladies I know in Philly have tried it at least once. So I was ready.
Lithe’s philosophy is very hip, based on Boggi’s method of “cardio cheer sculpting” and involving different moves that work the core and the entire body. The classes I attended involved intense ab work, toning with hand weights, about five billion leg lifts against a ballet barre, balancing work, and occasionally perky cheerleading moves.
The women you’ll see in these classes (I’m fairly certain it’s a ladies-only program) aren’t just skinny-minnies or movie star thin — they’re women with bodies that are healthy, toned and, well, lithe. Flexible, graceful and of course, very very sweaty.