Pilates, Pilates, Pilates
I think I have mentioned this before, but when I started my fitness adventure, I had asked a bunch of people’s opinions on where to start and how to go about it. I’ve listened to some of what was recommended to me, and some of it has been pushed to the side for various reasons. One of the things that AFC Bala’s membership consultant, Josh Davis (and I am name dropping here because I know he’ll want me to) was that it didn’t matter where I started, as long as I figured out what it was that I liked to do. If I wasn’t enjoying myself, I wouldn’t commit to it, and that is completely true. So, as you can see from my recent posts, I have found some classes that I like, and Pilates/Barre type classes have been my focus for a little while. Now, don’t get the idea that by taking classes that might drop into the same fitness bucket I am doing the same thing over and over again, because I don’t feel that way. In the past two weeks, I have taken three different Pilates classes at AFC Bala, and each has been entirely different. The instructor, their way of teaching, even their music, can play an important part in the overall feel of a class.
This class is taught by Trish on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 AM. Now, right in the name, you can tell that it is not only a Pilates class, but combines a little of Yoga into it as well. I had previously taken a Yoga class with Trish, so I thought that the Pilates-Yoga Fusion would be a good fit for me. Trish teaches this class in a similar fashion to the Yoga class. As we moved through the exercises, she walked through, observing each person doing the different movements. We used a variety of equipment during this class – including a large ball and stick, neither of which I had used before. To me, the exercises that we were doing felt more like a Pilates class, but they were intertwined with some Yoga transitions and basic stretching. I think I like the Pilates-Yoga Fusion better than the Vinyasa Yoga class that I had previously taken.
Pilates and More
Pilates and More is a newer class that is taught by Ashley on Saturday mornings at 9:30 AM. That is right, I came to the gym ON A SATURDAY, just to take a class. Who would’ve put money on that a few months ago? If you don’t know, Ashley is a Certified Personal Trainer in Bala, in addition to the Pilates classes that she teaches. I think having this as her background changed the class a little bit. The setup of the class was the same – we used mats and small weights, and did similar exercises to the other Pilates classes that I have taken. The difference in the class was that it seemed almost more like a small group training session. Ashley takes more time to go over the individual movements – explaining the movement, how you should be doing it, what you should be feeling and what you are working on. She also walked around the room, to make sure that everyone was moving correctly, and gave suggestions on adjustments. Rather than just going through the movements, we took a slower approach to the exercises, really making sure that everything was being done properly. If you are new to Pilates, I think this is the class that you should take to start out. It will give you a nice foundation in Pilates, learning the terminology and the movements, and the pace will allow you to time to perfect your motions as you move through the class.
Now, as I do this blog, I feel as though I should not have favorites, like I should be completely objective as I talk about classes (which I try to be). That being said, Chelsea’s Pilates class is my favorite. I’m sorry, I can’t help it. Chelsea teaches on Wednesday mornings at 7 AM, so if I actually want to come in for class BEFORE work, that should tell you something. I’ve taken and talked about her class before, so I won’t go into too much detail here. What I will say is that the class in generally enjoyable. There is 100 seconds of pulsing that kills me, but otherwise, I can manage to do most of the movements (which makes me feel good about myself), but it also works my entire body and I feel it (which makes me feel good about my workout). I enjoy Chelsea’s energy, friendliness and music selection and actually can’t wait to go back next week.
Do What You Enjoy
While each of these classes may have a similar focus and use similar movements, each class is entirely different from the others at the same time. My body has yet to feel like it has gotten used to a movement, and after each of these classes – I was feeling it. So my suggestion to you now, is what Josh suggested to me earlier. Find what workout it is that you like – whether it be our Pilates classes, our Spin program, working out on your own. Whatever it is that is enjoyable to you is what will keep you coming back for more. For me, I’ll continue my journey through all of our classes, but don’t be surprised it every other class has the word “Pilates” in the title. That being said, I’m going to mix in some new classes in the coming week to break out of my newly created Pilates shell. And if you’re keeping count on the bet that Josh & I have going – I’ve taken 7 classes so far this month… One week left to go!