Pilates At CAN DO

Pilates At CAN DO

I’ve walked by the room hundreds of times on my way into Studio B.  I’ve peaked inside with wonderment. Everyone looked happy and content. They looked like they were getting a strong workout. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about the Pilates room.

I finally decided to book an appointment for a private session. While I was familiar with Pilates mat classes, I had never trained privately with a Pilates trainer with equipment. I love trying new forms of exercise so I was very excited at this opportunity.

Robin Beckman was my trainer.  She began practicing Pilates at the age of 14 at the suggestion of her doctor. Robin suffered from scoliosis and had to wear a brace. She is a walking testament to the healing power of the Pilates Method. Robin received her first Pilates Certification in 1998 and a second Certification in 2002. I felt confident that she knew her stuff as she guided me to the apparatus known as a Reformer. There, Robin led me through a series of small movements. The movements were precise and very challenging. I consider myself to be in decent shape, but at times I had to take an extra breath or two to continue.

As Robin guided me through the exercises, I asked her about Pilates and its background.  She explained how a German man, Joseph Pilates, created the exercise in the early 1900s. He worked as a circus performer and boxer and had spent years reading and studying anatomy, even as a child. During World War I, he was placed in forced internment. While there, he began to develop the exercises that we now call the Pilates mat work. He later began working with rehabilitating detainees who were recovering from injuries. He used whatever was in his possession, such as bedsprings, to create the equipment to help heal his patients. Joseph Pilates and his wife moved to New York City in 1925. There he trained a select number of teachers. Some of these teachers began teaching Joseph Pilates work exactly as he had taught them. This is where the term “classically trained” comes into play. The entire Pilates staff at CAN DO is classically trained in Pilates.

When I asked Robin about the benefits of Pilates, she said the Pilates Method gives you long, lean muscles. However, it doesn’t end there. The Pilates Method gives you stronger abdominals, greater flexibility, more energy and weight loss, to name a few additional benefits.  Taking a look around, I did see a few ballerina type bodies but I pointed out that not everyone had that same shape.  Robin smiled as she said this is one of the reasons why she loved Pilates. It’s for every body. Even people with injuries can practice Pilates. Robin shared that if a client is receiving physical therapy, she will call the physical therapist to review what they are doing to ensure she is doing the best for her client. I was seriously impressed that she went the extra mile!

As we moved on to the apparatus most frequently referred to as The Cadillac, Robin said that when people first start the Pilates Method, they report losing inches, especially in their waistline, and toned thighs.  That sounded great to me.

Depending on the client’s needs, most trainers recommend practicing Pilates 2-3x a week.  Since the Pilates Method uses your entire body and resistance training, you’re getting an amazing, full body workout. Cardiovascular exercise complements the practice nicely as it helps keep the heart strong.         

How quickly can you expect to see results?  You may have heard of the Pilates Promise. Joseph Pilates used to say, “in 10 sessions you will feel a difference, in 20 sessions you will see a difference and in 30 sessions you will have a new body.”

As I walked out, I felt taller and leaner. I was surprisingly sore the next day, which made me feel that I did have a great workout. I can’t wait to go back.

For more information on pricing or to schedule a session, contact Gwenn Wierzbicki, Director of Group Fitness & Pilates, at GWierzbicki@cando-online.com.