Storefront Report: Things are shaping up on Figueroa as Pop Physique moves in

New Pop Physique studio in Highland Park. Photo courtesy Pop Physique

Pop Physique,  the fitness studio known for its one-hour group exercise sessions,  is expanding to Highland Park.  A sign has gone up on a vacant storefront on Figueroa Street near Avenue 57 as work continues inside in preparation for the start classes in late February, said Deric Williams.  Williams and his wife, Jennifer, started Pop Physique four years ago in Silver Lake and now operate 15 locations.

The upcoming opening of Pop Physique is the most recent sign that Figueroa – Highland Park’s main commercial street – might be attracting some of the new and trendy shops, cafes and businesses that have transformed a section of York Boulevard.

“We’ve been wanting to do a studio in Highland Park for awhile, and we thought with York being almost occupied it would be really great to be on Figueroa,” Williams said in an email. “The access to public transportation and parking was a big draw, we found a great space that had been vacant for a long time.”

The Figueroa studio will be “simple and cool,” said Williams. The studio will also offer free classes a few times a month for the neighborhood in addition to paid sessions. Williams said the new location plans to offer numerous sales throughout the year and deals on sites such as Groupon “to allow people who could not always afford our classes to enjoy the Pop experience.”


  1. Echo Park resident

    Even with a Groupon or “deal” your average Eastside resident cannot afford a Pop Physique class. Those deals are almost always just a discount for a single class, but the program recommends regular attendance at 3-4 classes a week to see results. Class packages are hundreds of dollars and individual classes are $20 each.

    I don’t see many HLP residents being able to afford $60/week for exercise classes. Just because some rich white people have moved in doesn’t mean it’s OK to ignore the working class and low income residents by making every new business something expensive and trendy. Heck, I’m what most people would call a “hipster,” and neither my friends nor myself can afford the Pop Physique classes! This is a business for Rich White Women.

    • I’m sick of this mentality. These people have created something out of a formally empty space on Figueroa. Who gives a shit if it’s not for you, at least it’s not empty. A rising tide lifts all boats. Create a place down the street or next door that caters to you and low income and working class residents if it bothers you and you think there is a demand. I, for one, will be supportive but hating on a small business owner does nothing for the community.

      • This company has locations ALL around the US, mostly in wealthy and upper-class neighborhoods. I wouldn’t call that a “small business,” would you?

    • Alrighty then, let’s just mandate that every new business that opens in NELA be a check cashing place, WIC-processing center or liquor store. What a pleasant utopia we can have based on your income and assumptions, Echo Park Resident. A business for rich white women? How about sparing us your racist Marxism and just skip Pop Physique if it’s not your cup of tea?

    • “…your average Eastside resident cannot afford a Pop Physique class…”

      They don’t need the average residents to come. They just need a segment of the market.

      You may not like it, but it’s a fact that there are people out there with the money for this. For example, Cardio Barre in ER has done OK, and they are at $16 per class.

      So, let them go to their class if they want to. It’s not your problem.

    • Just because you are poor doesn’t mean “your average Eastside resident” is poor too. Chances are “your average Eastside resident” makes better financial decisions in life than your average broke hipster.

  2. http://www.groupon.com/deals/pop-physique-parent

    “$39 for five body-sculpting classes ($95 value)”

  3. I only ever buy classes when they have sales and they work out to $10 a class. Not cheap no, but no where near $20 a class. Guarantee this place will do well. I have no doubt the neighborhood can support it.

  4. The only wonen who are rich are white. Yep, Beonce, Michelle Obama, Christina Aguillera, Sophia Vergara, Sonia Sotomayer, etc. are all just scraping by. Your statement is racist. Racism is ugly. The year is 2014. Latinas and other minority women do actually make some decent money and do actually pay for classes to keep up their physique. The YMCA, Sycamore Park, and various rec. centers offer free and affordable classes. Will I go to Pop Physique? Probably not because I opt to run in the Arroyo (it’s free) but I don’t have a problem if other women of all colors go. It’s much more expensive to be physically out of shape in the lobg run. I welcome them to the neighborhood and wish them much luck.

    • Alex, you might want to read that comment again. No where do I see someone saying only white people can be rich. The idea of the “Rich White Woman” (all capitalized) comes from contemporary feminist discourse — tied to the “Solidarity is for White Women” movement — that highlights the way in which attitudes, world views, opinions on feminism and, yes, even business tactics focus on wealthy, upper class women of caucasian descent and marginalize women of color and poor women.

      • Let me know if you find out where those Rich White Women hold their weekly meetings to plot their dominance over men and women of color.

        Together, we can FOIL THEIR PLANS! buwahahahaha!

  5. With the Crossfit just down the street looks like Figueroa is coming up. I’m not sure what the whining is about, the failed thrift shop in that space before wasn’t setting the world on fire. There are still plenty of places to work out more cheaply for those who want it.

  6. other echo park resident

    I grew up in Echo Park and have lived here my whole life. I am not rich, but I go to pop physique generally 2 times/week or sometimes 3. If you are smart about it and buy the specials you can pay $10/class. It is such a good workout and it is worth it, but it’s a personal choice to decide if your well being is important. There are all ethnicities of women in there (and sometimes men.) There is really no reason to be so racist about the whole thing. There are people of all kind in there and if you haven’t been there you really have no right to give your opinion on who attends. So negative. People came into my neighborhood, changed it, and now they complain about the changes. Look in the mirror people. I’m happy for things like pop physique, and I’m an original Echo Park resident so just go somewhere else if you don’t like it.

    • So, I also assume you’re OK with the way Pop Physique uses sexism and women and objects to market their “product”? (Which, in my opinion, isn’t “fitness” but an extremely warped view of body image and self worth.)

      I, like the original poster, do not think Pop Physique is a great model that we as citizens of these neighborhoods should support. Their advertising is harmful; we’ll complain about American Apparel billboards, but see nothing wrong with an image of a sexualized young Pop Physique girl posted up across the street from Micheltorena Elementary school? What kind of message do you think that’s sending to young girls at the school every day? (And we wonder why girls have such low self esteem these days.)

      If Pop Physique wants to be a good member of our neighborhoods, they should quit with the sexualized advertising and offer sliding scale classes based on income. Lots of Zumba studios in Westlake and similar areas charge very low prices because they know their market.

      • RE: advertising – are you proposing they use zaftig models, add more clothing, or forego people entirely?

        RE: sliding scale classes – why do you think lower income people should have to pay less than everyone else? Are they somehow entitled to lower prices? Perhaps I can talk my local Ferrari dealer into this line of thinking.. because I”m entitled to one!

      • There already is a Zumba studio right at Figueroa and Ave. 56, so everyone please untwist your panties/boxer briefs and take a deep breath. There’s something for everyone!

      • Agreed that their ads and image are gross (e.g., http://www.popphysique.com/pop-story/). “More of an art project than a business endeavor.” — Ha.

        It’s almost a parody at the intersection of self-conscious LA mythos, American Apparel imagery, and bogus feminism. Alas, people seem to eat it up.

  7. I am so excited!! It’s a great workout…. I feel so wonderful after each class! There will be great deals for this location in which I will be able to afford the classes more easily. Great addition to Highland Park, can’t wait!

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