You asked, and I am answering all your questions on all things pilates. From where I go, how many times a week I go, what other workouts I tie in, to my favorite workout outfits of course… let’s jump right in!
Q: WHAT IS REFORMER PILATES?
It combines traditional pilates movements on a machine with a bed-like platform that rolls back and forth — it’s more intense and dynamic than traditional mat pilates because it adds tension and resistance to all the movements! You can adjust the tension by changing the springs — we usually move through a range of spring combinations depending on the exercise.
Q: WHAT ARE THE CLASSES LIKE?
I go to Club Pilates which has locations throughout the US and keeps the class size to just 12! Each class is completely different and there’s different progression levels (Foundation which is learning the basics, Progression which is a little more intermediate level , Evolution which is an advanced class and Mastery which I have yet to take). There’s also a variety of class formats: Flow classes are more traditional Pilates exercises, F.I.T. classes are more interval style, Cardio Sculpt is an aerobic workout, Center & Balance focuses on a lot of stretching, Control is a barre-fusion class, and Restore is like a Pilates massage. Depending on the class, we usually start off with a warmup on the reformer machine (on our backs) starting with leg/foot work, bridges to target the core, glutes and back, ab work (usually featuring the famous pilates “hundred”), followed by moving down to the mat to do some planking exercises and pushups, then typically incorporating some of the other machinery like the spring board, exo chair, BOSU ball, TRX or gliders before ending with a cool down. It’s a FULL BODY workout no matter what level of class you attend or what kind of class you join and I love that the 50-minute classes go by SO fast. I usually leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and not DEAD and fatigued like I was with other workouts.
Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN GOING CONSISTENTLY?
I started going in late-winter 2020 and I think I got about 12-15 classes in when Covid shut everything down. I was able to stream some Club Pilates mat classes in the meantime during quarantine but couldn’t wait to rejoin the club when it opened again in June 2020. I hit my 100th class in April 2021! Next up — the 250 milestone!
Q: WHAT CHANGES IN YOUR BODY HAVE YOU NOTICED?
Pilates is known for creating a long, lean body with a strong core. After maybe my 10th class, I could already see a noticeable difference in my body, mostly in posture and length of my muscles — for every bit of strength exercise pilates has you do, you do the same amount of stretching. As I continued to go consistently, I noticed that I looked taller (taking photos of myself for a living definitely let me be the judge of that and I noticed the difference pretty early on). More important than just physical looks, I felt stronger. I had done my fair share of years-long memberships to barre classes and HIT workout gyms and never felt balanced all over — I was a dancer my entire life and I have a naturally very strong lower body and a very weak upper body. Some of the other classes and gyms I was a member at were never able to give me that full body strength that I was looking for. I say this all the time, but every single part of my body is now strong and balanced — down to my pinky toes and fingers, its WILD what a difference it’s made in my upper body strength. It’s all about strength from the core, so my balance and posture has improved as well. I might not be as surface level “ripped” as I was when I was doing HIT workouts — my abs and leg muscles were so defined from those workouts, but I also noticed I looked boxy and short after a while. For me, this workout routine feels sustainable, I’m injured way less, and I feel proud of my progress and commitment.
Q: HOW MANY TIMES PER WEEK DO YOU GO?
I typically go at least 3 times a week and actually look forward to going to class. I workout in the mornings after I get a little computer work done (usually the 8:30 class is my sweet spot). I’ll sometimes swing 4 times a week, and sometimes it’s 2 — depends on the week.
Q: DO YOU DO OTHER WORKOUTS?
I like to get in a bit of cardio to get my heart rate up on some of my off days. When the weather is nice, I love power walking outside (I live in a VERY hilly neighborhood). When the weather is shit (i.e. most of the time here in CT 😉 ) I’ll try to jump on our Peloton for a 30-min ride or will incline walk on our treadmill while watching a show! I don’t have a membership to any other gym or workout class!
Q: DO YOU HAVE A DISCOUNT CODE TO CLUB PILATES?
One of the most common questions! I don’t work with Club Pilates for the blog — I pay my membership in full (no comped classes and I’m not paid to promote them). They do offer a free intro class so I highly suggest going to check it out if you’re at all interested! I have an unlimited monthly membership and while it’s a huge investment — it was one of the best things I could have invested in from a mental and physical standpoint!