When it comes to Pilates, do you prefer mats or machines? Our experience thus far had only been in Pilates mat classes, so in this month’s Fitness First we decided to try out a class using Pilates machines. We found a local studio who was willing to show us the ropes, and here is what we learned.
What is it?
Pilates “machine” classes involve various strength and flexibility exercises using some combination of a Reformer, Chair and/or Springboard. All these machines use springs to add resistance to the various exercises, for example crunches on the Reformer, bicep curls on the Springboard, or pikes on the Chair.
What do I wear?
Comfortable clothing that you can move in, as you will be laying down, kneeling, and standing at various points throughout the workout. No shoes or socks.
What gear do I need?
Just a water bottle! It was recommended to us to bring a towel, which we brought and never used.
Overall I thought…
B: It was ok. I was intrigued by the machines and enjoyed doing various exercises on them. I can see how you can get some variety in the classes with the machines. However, I didn’t think it gave me anything more than a mat based class.
T: It was kind of boring. We didn’t have a great teacher so I’m not sure if it was that or the fact that it just wasn’t that intense. It was kinda fun to pull myself with the pulley system and doing ab exercises on the chair since that was something different, but that was the best part for me.
I was surprised by….
B: How hard it was to move the machines so you didn’t slam them back in place! It was an extra step to concentrate on slowly moving the machine both up and back.
T: How slow paced the workout was and how much it was just about counting your reps…which is something I am not great at (I lose count!).
I wish I had…
B: Per the above, I wish I didn’t slam the machines so many times. Ok, so it was only a handful of times but it is so loud and it doesn’t feel good on your muscles!
T: Prepped a bit more on what you get out of these classes. The teacher did not supply this information even though it was a beginner class so I left a bit baffled about the pilates craze.
Would you do it again?
B: Eh, I’m on the fence. If friends were going I would gladly join in, but not sure I would seek it out again. It was a decent workout, but I feel that I get more out of a mat based Pilates class. Perhaps this just wasn’t intense enough for me?!
T: I would like to try it again with a better or more experienced teacher to get a better judge of if I would like the exercises if you took the teacher out of it. I did not sweat and was barely sore the next day, but again, maybe a different class and teacher would be different?