Hot boutique exercise studio looks to change the gym game: Pilates on steroids, anyone?

 Photo by © 2012 Sofia van der Dys

Photo by © 2012 Sofia van der Dys

If I cancel last minute I’ll get charged? If I don’t sign up quick enough, will there be a spot for me? The woman twice my age looks five times better in her Lululemon pants than I do? This costs how much?

These are the workout questions.

I’ve found that if I’m charged a fee to cancel, I won’t (we’re more prone to bail on workouts last minute). I’ve found that if I wait too long, my favorite class and time will be full and I’ll miss a great workout. I’ve found that a 45-year-old woman who looks better in her Wunder Unders than I do can be the exact motivation I need. I’ve found that if I spend more money at the gym, I’m more likely to work harder and faster and turn on BEAST MODE the entire hour I’m there to get my full money’s worth.

“I didn’t want to be just another gym where you pay your $40 and jump on a treadmill and move on.”

I’ve found my fitness home, at least for right now.

Boot camps are fun and intense, and usually yield the results you want — if done consistently. But one thing Heather Garrigus, founder of Sculpt and Sculpt Fusion, noticed was that boot camp was usually dictated by the weather, and here in Houston, that can be a tough cookie to swallow.

Immediately following law school, Garrigus, came to Houston. Using her fitness acumen to teach group classes was not only how she made extra money to pay for law school, it was also her stress relief. Soon, she found her love for the fitness world fast outgrew her love of law and she applied her hard work and study ethics from her recent law school days directly to gyms, classes and their increasing trends.

Traveling to Los Angeles, New York and Miami, Garrigus scouted what was hot in those big cities, the industry trends and what people actually wanted.

“I gathered all that together because I knew eventually I wanted to open my own place,” she says. “I took all the stuff I liked from around the country and put it into one thing. I didn’t want to be just another gym where you pay your $40 and jump on a treadmill and move on.”

The gathering all of that into one thing? Garrigus wasn’t kidding.

The only other studio in Texas that uses these newer machines is in Dallas.

In any given class, you could be sprinting intervals on the top of the line treadmills, doing wall-sits, dangling from TRX

Sculpt Fusion Houston - The Blonde Side

Photo courtesy of Facebook

ropes, pushing sand bags, doing spider-pushups, slinging ropes, jogging backwards, using step boxes — among a multitude of infinite possibilities.

Sculpt and Sculpt Fusion are what Garrigus classifies a boutique studio, where you pay for what you use. Her team focuses on more personal attention with classes ranging from two to 16 people max.

“Think of it like group personal training,” she says.

If you need that extra kick in the butt after a stagnant workout at your chain gym, you might consider trying one of her three locations. With classes named Shredded, Haute Hiney, Hip Hop Friday, Full Throttle and more, you know it’s pretty unique on the Houston fitness landscape.

Even if you already belong to a gym, Sculpt is a chance to add-on without the commitment. If you’re looking for extra intensity to start the new year off with or to avoid the rookies at your regular gym, it’s an option.

Sculpt Fusion

“I wanted something that got the intensity of a boot camp, but was indoors. There are so many limitations outside. I saw how popular and effective they were in Los Angeles and New York City — you got your cardio and weights all in an hour and then you’re done. You don’t have to leave class and say ‘Now I have to go do cardio.’ These classes are efficient and effective.

“We waned to add the cardio and intensity component because a lot of people want that intensity level — that’s the way people are going now and it’s the most effective way to burn fat and change your body. We added the spinning to the studio too and have fused half spin and half weights,” Garrigus says of her spot right off Kirby.


“The machines [ProFormers] at our Tanglewood location were developed from a guy from LA. Some people call it ‘Pilates on steroid.’ It’s a bigger machine, and you can do a lot more things on it, especially a lot more standing work and the intensity level is much higher than traditional Pilates.

“Again, you kind of fuse the flexibility training, cardio and weight training all into one workout. A lot of people like it because they found they’ve reached a plateau in their traditional Pilates classes and stopped seeing results. We want people to keep seeing results,” Garrigus says.

Sculpt is the only studio in Houston that has these ProFormers. The only other studio in Texas that uses these newer machines is in Dallas.

The instructors are also kind of a big deal. Not only have they all been in and around the industry for 10-plus years (almost all with Garrigus in some capacity), they’re all skilled in many areas, making these fusion workouts actually work. They’re all skilled at some level in Pilates, running, personal training, spinning, stretching and more, making them a versatile teach pool for almost any kind of client.

“My trainers continue to learn about new things and stay on the edge of what’s hot and what’s new keeping things fresh,” Garrigus says.

“A lot of gyms/clubs are so stagnant and we try to be anything but.”

This article was featured on Culture Map, Houston’s Daily Digital Magazine in the “No Excuses/Fitness” section.