Lifestyle: We’ve discovered the benefits of Pilates (better late than never)

After a recent proposal which means wedding planning and a trip to Europe that made one of us feel more flubby than ever (we blame the 4pm cocktails every day and carbs with every meal) – TWAIN decided at our regular Monday morning coffee meeting, that something had to change. I mean, we had a wedding dress to go shopping for (with 5 way mirrors) and a pair of $450 jeans that no longer fit (ouch!).

After a one hour Google search and celebrity stalking stint later, we decided on Pilates. It’s what all the cool kids were doing (yes we’re a little bit behind). Before committing (I mean one of us has real commitment issues), we wanted to ask a few questions to ensure this was the exercise routine for us. So we spoke with James from KX Pilates to get a better understanding of how Pilates reformers work and what kind of results we’re going to see in the short term…

James, tell us what Pilates on a reformer actually is and how we will benefit? We’re kind of desperate to fit into those $450 jeans again… 

Pilates will give you that lean and balanced physique you’ve been looking for. It will increase your flexibility, balance and co-ordination; allowing you to stand taller, be stronger and have overall better cardiovascular health. It will also make you resilient to the everyday stresses of work and life.

Sell KX Pilates to use – what sets you apart? 

KX Pilates classes are fast paced, high intensity and body-toning – in just 50 minutes. It fuses elements of traditional reformer Pilates, with cardio and endurance training to give you a high-intensity workout.

At our studio, we focus a little less on the precise core stabilization of clinical Pilates, by adding a specific cardio element; so whilst the core is still being activated, the rest of the body can be trained at a faster pace, giving the client a full body workout.

The workout is intensified by using more muscle fibers in the shortest amount of time, and by reducing the amount of time between exercise sets. This style of training works by targeting the whole body through continuous, precise, controlled movements and functional exercises. This style of workout allows you to continue to burn calories hours after the class has finished.

OK, the hard question. Am I likely to fit into my jeans by next month? And will Ash be able to face those 5 way mirrors in bridal shops? 

It can be hard to determine an exact number of calories burnt – we’re not calorie counters. A general recommendation is to attend 2-3 sessions per week in conjunction with and additional cardiovascular workout a few times a week to start seeing the benefit.

James sold us. So we then turned to Emily Hartley (Dietitian with Improve Peformance) and asked her… 

With exercise comes hunger – any quick tips on office mid-afternoon snacks to satisfy that hunger?

When we exercise we are burning and utilising the body’s energy stores. After exercise our body needs to energy and fuel help with the growth and repair of muscle and tissues and as a result causes us to feel more hungry. Be sure to eat before your workout to ensure you are fuelled for the activity and so you can get the most out of the session. Post workout opt for a meal or snack that contains a quality source of protein and carbohydrate to fuel you for the rest of the day and assist the muscles in recovery. A fruit smoothie with low-fat milk and yoghurt makes for the perfect on-the-go workout snack!

After our chat with James, we’ve now made a pact that we’d commit to 3 reformer Pilates sessions a week (on top of our regular boxing classes) – for 3 months. We’ve make a few other lifestyle changes to – we’ll cut out the 3pm coffee and replace for herbal tea, no bread for lunch; rather quinoa or brown rice, we will double our water intake every day and we’ll change our afternoon snack to a low-fat fruit smoothie.

We are 2 weeks in – stay tuned for a 3 month review in November.