Lately I’ve received many kind compliments, and people keep telling me that I’m ‘shrinking’ before their eyes. Everyone asks: ‘What are you doing?’ “Pilates Reformer,” I say. It tightens, tones and teaches you a lot about your body. I’ve been doing Pilates at Renaissance ClubSport, and I can see myself doing it for the next ten years.
“Once you’re in it, you’re totally drinking the Pilates Kool-Aid.”—me, Newbie to Lifer
In class one day, Instructor Marcia Volkmann said eleven words that really struck me. And stuck with me.
“Pilates Reformer is the most sophisticated form of exercise out there”—Marcia Volkmann, Renaissance Instructor
Wow, I thought—that’s a powerful statement. And Marcia’s right. I’m working smarter, not harder. (Marcia also says: “Nothing works the booty like Pilates.” She’s right about that too, ladies.)
5 THINGS I LOVE MOST ABOUT PILATES REFORMER:
While there are many things I adore about Pilates Reformer, these are in the top five.
1. It’s gentle on my body and joints. My first day of class, the instructor pointed out that I was I doing a squat—while I was laying down, and on a sliding platform! My mouth fell open. I mean, come on! (No pressure on the joints? Uh, yes, sign me up!).
2. I don’t have to sweat insanely. Here’s the smarter, not harder idea again. I’m not a big sweat fan—in the sauna, yes, but working out—not if I don’t have to. And it seems I don’t have to! It’s kind of like doing 100 crunches mediocre-style or doing ten perfectly correct. Pilates Reformer is all in the details. (Watch the Instagram video below for Pilates proof.)
3. The instructors made me feel at home. I quickly felt like I’d found my thing. Sure, I was intimidated at my first class, but the Club’s instructors—Brigitte, Stephanie, Marcia and Janet—all made me feel at ease instantly. They’re friendly, fun, Pilates experts and seriously thoughtful. With a max of four students in a class, you’re ensured close attention and assured you’ll be treating your body respectfully.
4. It’s an hour of my day. I’m not spent afterwards, I don’t have to shower and recover from exhaustion, and I can hop on my laptop right after and get to work.
5. I’m seeing results. I’m getting definition that I haven’t gotten from other fitness. My leg are slimming down, my abs are tightening and I’m way more aware of my posture. I still have many goals, but I’m getting there—and having fun!
Below is Brigitte, who teaches Reformer at the Club Mondays and Fridays. ‘B’ is meticulous in form and flexibility—and an all-around doll.
You can see from B’s movements in the video below how Pilates Reformer works you from the core and strengthens abs and legs with precision. (click to play, then click to stop)
I always tell people that they’ve got to try Pilates Reformer when they ask what I’m doing. Now, do I think they’re actually going to try it? I don’t know, but they should. People often avoid new things, especially as they get older. And Pilates falls into that fitness category that seems special/exclusive/unknown. And anything in the “unknown” often never gets tried. Hey, ‘you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.’ (A mantra I’m going with lately.)
Want to turn it up? More Hi-Paced Pilates:
Now if you do like to sweat and really crank the dial, Marcia is your girl. Her style of Pilates Reformer is fast music to a Brazilian beat, lights low and your heart rate amped up. Marcia works with heavier weight and keeps a hi-paced class. She’s a lot of fun. You won’t be drenched but you’ll be internally seriously heated up!
Stephanie also has a new fast-circuit class that’s sure to turn up the dial: REFORMER PILATES BOOTCAMP CIRCUIT (March 8th-March 31st, a total body circuit workout using the Reformer, Tower and Chair; combined with a fast mix of cardio and strength).
As for me, my journey continues. I’m getting stronger (the gals tell me) and I’m learning ‘the ropes,’ the carriage moves and the spring lingo, but I still have much to master. The more the better I figure; it helps me get my fix.
For more information on Pilates Reformer classes at Renaissance ClubSport, located in Aliso Viejo, visit the Club’s Activities Desk or call (949) 330-5560. Classes average $25 a class with package pricing—and you can always try an intro class for free Monday nights or Saturday mornings to first see if it’s a fit with you.
More Fit & Fab talk from me can always be found in my wellness column too, “Listen to your body. Be Fit & Fabulous” by Debbie Lavdas.