Common Pilates Q’s and A’s

Common Pilates Q’s and A’s

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You’ve got questions and I have answers, and if I don’t then please email or call me with them.  Starting a new workout routine can be a bit scary and a little intimidating, but once you take your first steps into the Pilates studio in the West Loop of Chicago you will feel a sense of excitement and your worries will quickly drift away!  The studio does not have street front visibility so you can workout comfortably without people peeking and gawking in.  It is not a membership based gym so the only people exercising are the people I have appointments with…no crowds inside watching either.  It is a fresh and warm space with plenty of sunlight and brand new equipment!  Please read below and see what questions I can answer in advance and then pick up the phone and make your first Pilates appointment!

Who Can practice Pilates?

The beauty about Pilates is that almost anyone can practice Pilates.  There are so many exercises, variations, modifications, and pieces of apparatus that every workout can be customized to individual needs and bodies.  I would not recommend children going through puberty, pregnant women that have never practiced before, or people that are recently out of a surgery.  You always want to have a doctor’s consent and release to exercise if you have any medical restrictions, limitations, or injuries.

I am new to Pilates, should I take a class or a private session?

I always encourage new people (even if you are not new to exercise) to take private sessions.  I also encourage people that have practiced at other studios to take private sessions (just 1 or 2).  Every studio is different in the way the equipment is set up, the teaching style of the instructors vary, and the cues called out and the names given to the moves are different so it is ideal to get familiar with a new studio with a 1 on 1 session.  Pilates is like no other form of exercise so it is important to get a proper understanding of the flow and format and to provide an environment where questions can be asked freely and comfortably.  After you have taken a few private sessions you can then discuss with the instructor the best course of action moving forward.  For those of you that have injuries, especially back issues, I highly recommend taking Private sessions until your back and your body are in a healthy and strong place.

What should I wear to Pilates?

You want your teacher to be able to see how you move and how your body aligns, so nothing too baggy.  A fitted t-shirt for men with workout pants or workout shorts with compression shorts under are perfectly fine.  For women a fitness top and workout capris or leggings are great.  Everyone needs to wear a pair of socks (no shoes needed here) and for women always have your hair safely pulled back.  You also want to minimize your jewelry.

What do I need to bring?

I love making the experience as simple as possible at my Pilates studio in the West Loop.  I always provide fresh towels and bottled water.  I also have filtered water and a Nespresso coffee maker for those days that you may need an extra boost.  If you get to the Pilates studio and you feel a bit low on the blood sugar I also have organic fruit and protein bars.  For women I have all the essential products.  All you need to bring is yourself and a great attitude!

Does Pilates burn a lot of calories?

Yes Pilates can get your heart rate up and yes you can sweat when you are practicing Pilates, but it takes a little time and patience to build the intensity and pace up.  You are learning how to use new pieces of equipment and you are learning how to move your body in different ways, so in the beginning the intensity will be a little lower because there is a learning curve.  If your goal is high weight loss then I encourage you to be exercising most days of the week.  Diet plays a large role in weight loss as well so you have to partner positive eating habits with regular exercise.  Patience, consistency, and dedication will turn this workout into a heart pumping and body sweating experience.

How many times a week should I practice Pilates?

With anything, the more often you practice the better you get.  Pilates does require the time to get there and the funds to practice so most people cross train with other styles of exercise.  You can practice Pilates once a week with me and you will see results, it may just take a little longer.  Ideally I like to see me clients 2- 3 times a week.  Many people will take a combination of private sessions to get some solid one on one attention and group classes to get in multiple times without breaking the bank.  There is an excellent quote by Joseph Pilates that can sum it up:

“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference.  In 20, you will see the difference.  And in 30, you will be on your way to HAVING a WHOLE NEW BODY.”

What can  I expect for my first session?

I always have every client complete a background form.  It is important for me to understand where you are coming from as it relates to exercise and Pilates, what your goals are for your health and wellness, and if there are any limitations or restrictions that I need to be made aware of.  I will give you a little overview of the studio and the equipment and then we will begin your workout.  I always tell new people that you will feel a bit like a fish out of water and that is perfectly normal.  Everything is new to the body so it takes a bit of time to understand how the equipment works and how you are to move your body.  You will walk away feeling a little taller, feeling some sleepy muscles waking, and a renewed sense of energy.  We will discuss at the end of your session what the best plan of action is for your Pilates practice.

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Here are some amazing quotes from Joseph Pilates that can give you a better sense of what to expect and what Pilates can do for you:

“Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.”

“You are only as young as your spine is flexible.”

“Patience and Persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavor.”

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.  In order to achieve happiness, it is important to gain mastery of your body.  If at the age of 30 you are stiff and out of shape, you are old.  If at 60 you are supple and strong then you are young.”

“Not only is health a normal condition, but it is our duty not only to attain it, but to maintain it.”

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