The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Turning up the heat

Danny Castillo describes some of the many workout classes P2O offers along with many individual exercises. |Gabrielle Smith|

In the quiet quarters of a reception lobby a stern voice can be heard two doors down. The voice belongs to a fitness instructor who’s telling students in his class what new position to take next and how to use the proper form. The man behind the voice, Danny Castillo, is the owner and instructor at P20 Hot Pilates & Fitness and also a UFC fighter and former City College student athlete.

Owning and working at such a shop, Castillo said, was once the furthest thing from his mind.

The idea for the studio came via his long-time friend Lindy Hobbs, who told him about hot Pilates several years ago. Castillo wasn’t interested in the idea right away.

“My friend Lindy lived in Vegas, and she told me that she fell in love with hot Pilates. I was like, ‘oh, that’s cool that’s cute,’ you know, like another hot yoga thing some kind of gimmick,” said Castillo.

It wasn’t until one of his fellow Team Alpha Male teammates, Uriah Faber, coached on a season of the UFC’s “Ultimate Fighter” that Castillo decided to actually give hot Pilates a try. Team Alpha Male is a group of mixed martial artists who train at Faber’s Ultimate Fitness gym in the downtown Sacramento area.

“Uriah Faber was asked to coach the ‘Ultimate Fighter’ television show, and he  flew all the Team Alpha guys to Vegas where we lived for about 10 to 12
weeks. We gave the hot Pilates a try, and it was such a kick-ass work-out, I thought it was awesome,” said Castillo.

After the “Ultimate Fighter” show concluded, Castillo came back to Sacramento looking for a fitness studio that offered hot Pilates. He wanted the same kind of workout that he had experienced while he was in Las Vegas.

According to Castillo, he was unable to find it.

“I had done hot yoga at the Zuda studio here around the corner, but I just didn’t get the same kind of feel when I left Zuda,” said Castillo. “What I liked about the hot Pilates is that it was a strenuous workout, but you got the mental clarity, clearing and the centering that you got from yoga. It’s a little bit of meditation pretty much disguised in a workout.”

According to Hobbs, who was living in Las Vegas at the time, hot Pilates started in a hot yoga studio about six years ago. The idea for bringing hot Pilates to the downtown Sacramento area came to Hobbs when she visited family in Sacramento.

“I had been living in Vegas for about eight years, and I came out here to Sacramento to visit, and I was looking for a hot Pilates gym, but I couldn’t  find one,” said Hobbs. “I told Danny he should open one and he said, ‘You’ve been in Vegas long enough. It’s time for you to come back and we’ll do it together.’”
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Now P2O Hot Pilates & Fitness offers about 13 different classes. Hobbs instructs a couple of hot Pilates classes while Castillo instructs the kettle bells classes. The success of the fitness studio has Hobbs and Castillo now looking to expand their business.

“We built the studio basically off of social media. We didn’t do much paid advertising at all, and we’re going to open up a new location in Elk Grove,” said Hobbs.

Castillo and Hobbs say they both believe the studio’s success the studio is due to its family environment and close knit community. In May, P2O was voted 2014’s best Pilates studio on KCRA 3’s A-List.

“We created a community here where people come in and create meaningful relationships. We challenged ourselves to remember all of our members’ names and really get to know them. In December we’re going to have a Christmas party,” said Castillo.

One relationship that Castillo says changed his life is the one he built with City College wrestling coach David Pacheco. Castillo first began wrestling for the Panthers 18 years ago, and he has kept in touch with Pacheco since. Pacheco has even invited Hobbs to work out with the wrestling team.

“When they started up that first summer, I said, ‘Why don’t you come on over and teach a class to our wrestling team here?’ It was during the summer, and we were in pretty good shape, but man she had them hurting,” said Pacheco. “She’s come back this summer, and she’s also come in and taught one of my regular classes.”

Pacheco isn’t the only City College coach to take hot Pilates classes at P2O. City College women’s track and Field head Coach Lisa Baudin has been a member at P2O for about a year—and she doesn’t usually join gyms.

“I don’t typically like outside studios or gyms because they are usually about memberships,” said Baudin “Rarely are they about the person and their fitness quest. P2O is honestly the first place in my 35-plus years in the industry that I felt was not pretentious and not selling memberships. The entire staff is all about supporting the individual needs of each person that walks through the door.”

Castillo said that the fitness studio and people he has met there have had a resounding impact on his life. When one of P2O’s clients passed away suddenly, Castillo, Hobbs, the rest of the P2O staff and other members came together and held a barbecue to help raise money for the member’s family. Castillo said that they raised about $2,000 to help with funeral expenses.

“The studio has changed my life completely. There’s people here that I care about,” said Castillo. “Not only do the members care about other members, but they care about the instructors as well.”

Lindy Hobbs urged her friend Danny Castillo to open a studio. Photo by Gabrielle Smith | Photo Editor |
Lindy Hobbs urged her friend Danny Castillo to open a studio. Photo by Gabrielle Smith | Photo Editor | [email protected]

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