For nearly 100 years, Pilates has been used to increase body strength and help with injuries and recovery. Fast forward to the present day, where it’s more popular than ever, thanks to celebrity endorsements and at-home equipment, making it easier to commit. Here’s the scoop on Club Pilates and why it may be worth it to put on your workout gear and head to the gym instead of staying at home.
Disclosure: Only you know your body best, so check with your physician before beginning any workout and exercise regimen to ensure you’re safe and good to go.
The older I get, the less I want to throw on a pair of running shoes and do high-impact exercises. And for the past couple of decades, I’ve loved the experience of both yoga and at-home Pilates. I know the whole-body benefits of yoga, but does Pilates offer the same, especially in a gym environment? Here’s everything you need to know.
If you can believe it, Pilates has been around for a century. A married couple, Joseph and Clara Pilates, opened up a studio in the 1920s in New York City. Called a Body Conditioning Gym, Mr. Pilates invented the first equipment to help his own body as he aged. A sickly child, he was determined to combat his frailty and used his own strength training methods to help injured soldiers in World War I.
When the couple moved from Europe in the 1920s, he took his skills and knowledge and opened the gym. The dance community loved the gym and its equipment and used it to both gain strength and to help rehabilitate after injuries.
Additionally, Pilates helps to strengthen core muscles, so followers would not only improve their posture, they would be leaner due to increased fat-burning efficiency.
There are three main principles to Pilates: breath, whole-body commitment, and whole-body health. By following these three, breath (the most important), concentration, and precision can be used to benefit the exerciser.
In the 1990s, celebrities like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow brought Pilates to the forefront. Nowadays, you’ll read about everyone from Lady Gaga to Adele to Jennifer Aniston and even Sylvester Stallone, that swear by its benefits.
These days, while the machines and gyms may be more modern, the traditional practices, techniques, and methods are still the basis of Pilates. Traditionally a low-impact workout, Pilates can be done by people of all ages and fitness levels.
With the mantra of “the path to a fuller, more satisfying existence,” Club Pilates is popping up all over the world. With over 750 studios on four continents, it’s the largest Pilates brand worldwide. After doing my research into both Pilates and the Club, it’s worth noting that users comment on the lack of sweat they have while attending. Keep in mind that you are getting a full body workout while strengthening and toning, whether you’re sweating or not.
Each studio offers nine different types of classes:
Intro – This is your first class to get a taste of what Pilates is all about. It’s a 30-minute, full-body session with a pro trainer.
Reformer Flow – Classical Pilates with a twist. Take this one if you want to strengthen and lengthen your entire body.
Cardio Sculpt – High energy and low impact using a Jumpboard and plyometric movement.
Center + Balance – Light movement and deep stretching.
Control – Inspired by the dancers at the original NYC gym, you’ll sculpt your legs and butt while on the Springboard.
Restore – Repair muscles and joints with the use of foam rollers and Reformer movements.
Suspend – Combines Pilates with the incredibly effective TRX® suspension training system to enhance strength, coordination, mobility, and balance.
F.I.T – High-intensity, calorie-blasting cardio work, and lower-intensity, Pilates-based strength training focusing on aerobic ability.
Teen – Build self-esteem, strength, and coordination for a growing body in a fun, safe environment where proper movement and body alignment are learned.
Each of the nine above classes has up to four levels of fitness that will benefit the participant:
1 – Foundation
1.5 – Evolution
2 – Progression
2.5 – Mastery
So, for example, an Intro class is for Level 1 users while F.I.T. is best for 2 and 2.5 exercisers.
What should you wear for a Pilates class? Apart from needing grip socks, wear anything that feels comfortable and allows you to move freely during a session. You’ll also want to take a towel and water bottle as you’ll need to stay hydrated.
According to the official Club Pilates website, the monthly price depends on the studio location, the region you’re in, and the type of membership you want. While that’s very vague, after doing a little digging online, I found that single classes can range from $25 to $85 per class.
One of the top-tier packages is just under $200 per month and allows you to attend and take as many classes per month as you want. Yep, that’s a hefty price, but folks that religiously attend Club Pilates swear by its benefits and feel the benefits and health they get from it well outweigh the cost.