Debunking Pilates Myths

There are a lot of myths about Pilates out there, probably too many to handle in a single blog post. We asked one of our students, Gina Scarpulla, for her take… Every morning I check out the health and fitness headlines and see what tips I can pick up. One day I came across the headline “5 Pilates Myths” in an article on Huffington Post. Obviously, I was intrigued and curious to see what this author had to say. I realized that there are probably many myths that surround Pilates. Being a Fuse devotee, I’d like to address the myths presented in the article. And always prepared with her two cents, Mariska added her thoughts in italics.

Pilates myths? Let's look at some facts.

Myth 1: Pilates is a good way to lose weight The author states that, “While Pilates has definite benefits, its strongest suit is not weight loss.” Clearly the author has not taken a Fuse class. He also states that “while Pilates does help improve flexibility, it does not significantly affect body composition, even after 6 months of training.” I know from personal experience and the experience of other Fuse students that regular Fuse classes and a healthy diet can change the way your body looks and feels. Didn’t Joseph Pilates himself say that “In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body"? I think it’s important to note that Gina points out that healthy diet is also key in changing your body. Exercise alone is almost never the answer! For an extra calorie burn that the author claims is missing from Pilates, try a cardio-based Fuse Pilates class, like our Jump Interval class. Myth 2: Pilates is only for women This couldn’t be further from the truth. Pilates is great for women and men! Men, come to a class and check it out—I promise you won’t be disappointed. Want to know more about why Pilates is, in fact, for men?  Check out an earlier blog post I wrote on the subject! Myth 3: You need special machines for Pilates It’s true- there are some Pilates workouts that require the use of special machines. The chair, reformer and the cadillac can all give you fantastic workouts (if you are unfamiliar with these, try the ‘Meet the Machines’ class), but they aren’t the only way to get lean, strong muscles. Mat classes will give you a hardcore workout with your own body weight. Want to step up a regular mat class? Try a toys class and use weights, rings, balls and gliders to tone and sculpt even more. For those of you who are new to Fuse Pilates, our signature mat class was taught for five years before we introduced you to our take on the Pilates apparatus work. And, plenty of our students still say that our mat class is the most difficult one in our repertoire. Myth 4: Pilates will make you a lot stronger The author of the article states “you should not rely upon Pilates as a way to improve your full body strength, especially if you're only doing mat workouts.” This is definitely a myth! I have seen many Fuse students who couldn’t do a roll-up or a push-up when they first started. Now, they can rock all forms of push-ups and do roll-ups without momentum. Personally, I can see visible improvements in my strength just from taking Fuse classes. I agree. When I first started doing Pilates, I couldn’t do a “real” on-your-toes pushup. I certainly didn’t have the muscle tone or strength I do today. And, I don’t do any other strength-training exercises except carrying groceries from Whole Foods to my house. Myth 5: Pilates is only for your abs Anyone who has taken a Fuse class knows that Pilates is not just for your abs. While there is a lot of focus on the core, it is not all that is worked. Each class is taught on request—and Fuse teachers can work on any body part. With over 300 exercises, your entire body can get an awesome workout, not just your abs. The author concludes by saying that “The bottom line: Pilates is great, but don't rely on it as your primary workout, and especially don't rely on it to burn significant amounts of fat.” I have to say I cannot disagree more. Fuse Pilates can be your primary workout and can burn significant amounts of fat. If you haven’t tried a class yes, come on in and see how Fuse busts all common myths about Pilates. - Gina Have you had a similar experience to Gina?  If so, we want to hear from you!  Email us at to share your Fuse story!

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Posted in Fuse Pilates, History of Pilates, Pilates, Pilates for Men, Student Perspective, Weight Loss and tagged ,

All Comments (1)

  1. Jay says:

    Wow. Calling those assumptions myths is putting it politely. All of them are wrong of course, but from personal experience I have become much stronger (upper body) since I started.

    Also, women only? Wha-? The only thing I can think of is my male instructor says certain hip exercises benefit the female students more than the male students.