Although you can get a great workout doing Pilates mat classes or Pilates reformer classes or other apparatus classes, did you know that it’s really within the system of all of the different apparatus that you get the best results?
Joe (Joseph Pilates – I feel like I can call him Joe at this point) didn’t want you to do just the reformer. He wanted you to do it all. And since the way he ran his studio wasn’t with group classes but rather private instruction, he wasn’t encouraging people to take everything to get more money from them. He knew that the best results came from combining the benefits from the entire repertoire.
To inspire you to try something new, we have discounts on packages that include a variety of classes and offer new student deals for mat, ladder, and machine classes that you can get if you’re new to the class (even if you’re not new to the studio!).
We asked a couple of our students who mix it up why they do and what changes they’ve seen from doing it. Here’s their take:
Different classes challenge me in different ways. I love the focus on balance on the Chair [offered in our Reformer Plus classes] because they tend to channel my ballerina spirit.
Reformer classes can offer a great leg workout, and I love stretching with my legs in the straps, almost instantly feeling taller.
Ladder [our patent-pending apparatus that incorporates all the principles of Pilates] for me is currently the most difficult but it has identified areas I need to work on and keeping at it and seeing small improvements has been rewarding. I think all of the apparatus classes support my mat work.
“Working on the machines helps me to understand my body and muscles so much better. I use that knowledge in mat classes to ensure that my form is on point and to get the most out of every exercise.”
Also, mat work is excellent for emulating at home or when traveling. Anywhere in the world, you can fit in the hundreds, planks and roll-ups. And switching up my workouts throughout the week with different teachers and different class types and even different studios ensures that I’m never bored and always have something new and challenging to concur.”
Victoria has been coming to Fuse since we opened our doors, and she’s always taken a variety of classes (three per week, like clockwork). She notes that every class is challenging in unique ways. Like Melissa, she notes that Chair will challenge your balance and Reformer is probably best to increase flexibility. Tower “let’s you fly” and mat is “all you, and there’s no help” (which is why mat is arguably the toughest there is). She adds:
“Since each class poses a different challenge, my body is constantly being challenged in different ways, so it’s hard to stagnate, plateau, or get bored.”
And it’s not just that each apparatus offers different benefits. It’s also that one apparatus might help you accomplish an exercise that you couldn’t quite get on another.
Whitney struggles (like many of us) with tight hamstrings. Teasers were her nemesis. She notes, “imagine my surprise when I was in a Chair class and found myself in something that resembled a pretty decent teaser. It happened again in a Ladder class. With my legs supported on the bar or rung, I had an easier time feeling my abs and better understood which muscles to activate for success. I could even hover my legs off the bar to gauge what a ‘real’ teaser would feel like. It was a major ‘Ah-ha!’ moment.
“Without a doubt, taking a variety of classes at Fuse Pilates has made my Pilates practice stronger but more importantly, it’s made me stronger.”
And who doesn’t want to be stronger?
Howard weighs in with the male perspective, saying, “Having taken all of the classes offered at Fuse Pilates, I can honestly say that each one offers a different set of challenges for my body. Reformer classes help me stretch tight back muscles and increase my flexibility; something I never thought possible for my hamstrings. Chair challenges my core and balance to the max. That class blew my mind the first time I took it.”
“Ladder classes bring a cardio element and lots of upper body work, and because of that I typically recommend them to my dude friends who think of Pilates as a “girly” workout. Last time I checked, decline pushups and punishing sets of squats were far from girly).”
“My favorite might be mat classes because they bring the pain (and pleasure) with a pure body weight workout (no help from straps or springs!), which makes them incredibly tough.”
Pilates: not just for chicks.
Alexandra is a die hard Jump devotee, but loved the results she got from adding the core work in Chair to her weekly cardio in Jump class.
“Each class type provides a different balance and muscle group challenge. I was amazed by my increased strength and tone when I started exploring different classes and have since combined them for a full-body workout.”
Finally, let’s not forget that each class is fun, and like Victoria said, “there are awesome exercises that can only be done/are done best in each class/on each machine. I wouldn’t want to miss out.”
Want to try something new? Try one of our new student deals – they’re valid if you’re new to a particular class, even if you’re not new to the studio.
Check out all of our classes in action over on our YouTube Channel!