Pilates has been made famous by celebs who claim it has radically changed their bodies. Yes, I’m sure it has. I’m also sure that they have a top of the line pilate s reformer and an equally as fancy trainer to give guidance along the way. For the common folk, it’s more likely that we have a $29.99/mo gym membership and a little square on the Sunday class schedule that says “Mat Pilates”. I’ve wondered if it’s worth it. I mean really, does the guy that teaches spin class and weight training really know anything about pilates? Maybe, maybe not.
1. Try out the different instuctors at your gym.My favorite pilates teacher ever wasn’t at a fancy school. She was at Lifestyles gym in Portland, ME. My least favorite was also at that gym. It took a couple of tries and some miserable classes, but I eventually found the an instructor that was knowledgeable, challenging and motivating. I went 3 times a week and felt like it was an amazing deal since pilates studios usually charge about $12 -$15 per group session.
2. Sometimes you get what you pay for.Sometimes the Pilates class at your gym may just be a good workout, not necessarily the best Pilates training session. Try to appreciate it for what it is.
3. Use classes at the gym to see what you like. If your gym offers Pilates or Yoga or hip hop dance class, try it. It’s included in the price and even if you hate it, you tried something new and changed up your workout routine. The pilates class at the gym might not be the most technically perfect, but it will show you that the principals of pilates are about your core. In a gym class they may focus on the specific muscles and the ‘workout’ but in a pilates studio you’ll find that it’s about the muscles, but it’s mostly about breathing, centering, control, alignment and concentration. So use those gym classes to see if you’re interested in the the ‘workout’ and know that if you go to a pilates studio, you’ll integrate that with all of the other principals. Treat the gym class as a very basic introduction.
4. Think of it as an introduction to new fitness equipment.I was recently introduced to the fitness circle (aka the fitness ring, pilates magic circle, etc) at a gym pilates class. I ended up buying on for my home gym.
Pilates at your local gym might not be up to par with the fancy studios, but it’s also priced right and it’s a good introduction. Take advantage!