Joseph H. Pilates
Below you will find answers to many of the questions we commonly hear about Pilates. If your question is not answered here, please contact us and we will be happy to speak with you by phone or e-mail. We are also happy to schedule your FREE introductory consultation visit to our studio.
Who Can Practice Pilates?
Pilates can be practiced by anyone, from beginners to elite athletes. It can be beneficial for virtually all ages, fitness levels and body conditions. Our oldest client celebrated her 101st birthday while training with us, and our youngest was just 8 years old when she started her sessions!
Adaptations can be made to accommodate all levels of flexibility and movement experience, and exercises can be modified and customized for individual needs.
Everyone can use Pilates to improve their posture, breathing and alignment. In addition, the mind as well as the body will greatly benefit: You’ll feel stronger “from the inside out.”
What is the Difference Between ‘Core’ Training and Pilates?
‘Core’ training refers to isolating and contracting the body’s abdominal muscles. Pilates strengthens, stretches, and balances the entire body with all of the movement initiated and controlled from the development of the body’s center which is referred to as the “Powerhouse.”
The Powerhouse is made up of all of the abdominal, back, and gluteal muscles, as well as the pelvic muscles, thigh muscles, and diaphragm. Learning to engage these muscles properly through Pilates is the key to a strong core, a balanced musculature and a supple spine.
How is Pilates Different?
Pilates is invaluable not only as an overall fitness program, but also as an important addition to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds. With literally hundreds of exercises, Pilates lends itself to all fitness levels, from post-rehabilitation, to exercise novices, to professional athletes.
Lasting results are achieved through the use of proper form combined with the mechanics of the equipment and total concentration of the participant. The exercises are performed on a mat and/or spring driven apparatus. In all cases, each movement is flowing, centered and performed with control.
Unlike many other forms of exercise, Pilates does not emphasize multiple repetitions or duration. The focus is on the quality of balanced and controlled movement, not the quantity of repetitions.
Is it Safe?
Pilates is a very safe, non-impact system. However, if you have been under a doctor’s care for an injury or recent surgery, please ask your health care professional if you are ready to start.
What Can Pilates Do for Me?
- Improve posture and core strength
- Strengthen and tone muscles without added bulk
- Increase flexibility and muscle control
- Improve alignment, coordination, and balance
- Increase lung capacity and circulation
- Uniformly develop muscles
- Improve range of motion
- Improve body awareness
- Develop a more balanced body which helps prevent muscle and joint injury
- Improve bone density and joint health
- Enhance mental awareness and mind/body connection
What if I Am Overweight?
Pilates is a wonderful program for those who are starting or already engaged in a weight loss program. You will learn to control, center and balance your body through discovering and engaging your Powerhouse. This will result in being able to move your body in more fluid motion utilizing your muscles rather than stressing your joints.
Will I Lose Weight Through Pilates?
Pilates can be an important adjunct to any weight loss program. Because of its resistive nature, Pilates will tone and lengthen muscle groups creating a much longer, leaner appearance. As your Powerhouse gets stronger and you become more toned, you will notice the difference in your body. Yet although the waistline will narrow and the thighs will slim down, Pilates is not typically a cardio workout. The best way to balance the scale of caloric energy is to add your Pilates practice to a proper cardio training and diet regimen. With commitment to your Pilates practice, however, you can develop into more intermediate/advanced training, which will become more flowing and will, in fact, have an aerobic training effect.
I Have an Injury. Is Pilates a Good Idea for Me?
Pilates is excellent for someone who has finished physical therapy and has been cleared by their physician to go on with more movement conditioning. It is a system of body conditioning that is both gentle and athletic, known for its rehabilitative and body transforming results.
What Should I Look for in a Qualified Pilates Instructor?
Today’s competitive fitness market has produced a dangerous flurry of companies seeking to capitalize on Pilates’ popularity by mass-producing instructors. This is an ironic twist of fate considering the Pilates credo of ‘Quality over Quantity’. This dilution of the exclusive standards once upheld within the trade has caused confusion and uncertainty for those searching the marketplace for an authentic program, with true results.
Ideally your Pilates instructor should be certified through a recognized, comprehensive Pilates training program comprised of lecture, observation, practice, and hands-on apprenticing, plus written and practical examinations. The New York Pilates Studio® Teacher Certiﬁcation Program, Romana’s Pilates® Instructor Training Program, and the Art and Science of Contrology®: Traditional Pilates Teacher Training Program are the most widely recognized, rigorous, and highly regarded certiﬁcation programs available, and the only Pilates certiﬁcations that teach the authentic Pilates method. Every instructor is required to complete a minimum of 700 hours of training and apprenticeship, and most who complete one of these two programs will graduate having completed closer to 800 or 900 hours of training! They must pass rigorous written and practical examinations at all levels of Pilates mat work and apparatus training, and their Certification must be maintained through yearly continuing education seminars where Continuing Professional Education credits are earned.
Practicing with our instructors, you can be confident in their qualifications and practical experience, as well as the safety of your Pilates sessions. If you are still looking for a studio to suit your requirements, keep in mind that there is no shame is asking about your potential instructors’ qualifications if this information isn’t publicly available.
How Many Private Classes Do I Need?
5-10 Private sessions with a qualified Pilates instructor are highly recommended. You will get individual attention and a greater understanding of using your body properly along with learning and breaking down the Principles of Pilates. It is important that you understand how to do the exercises correctly and engage the Powerhouse properly to gain the full benefit from the method and prevent injuries.
Thereafter, we suggest 2-3 times per week (in any combination of private/semi-private sessions, apparatus classes, or mat/groupX classes) for best results. However, even one session per week — done
consistently — will provide results, especially in conjunction with other forms of exercise or leisure activities.
Keep in mind that everyone is different and will learn at a different rate. Be patient, learn properly, and you will reap the rewards of Pilates!
How Long is a Session or Class?
Private and semi-private sessions, apparatus classes, and mat/groupX classes are 50-55 minutes long.
What are the Benefits of Working Out with Pilates Apparatus?
Pilates apparatus consists of a wide array of equipment designed to accommodate clients at every fitness level. It was developed by Joseph Pilates after he created the traditional mat exercises. Spring tension, straps to hold feet or hands, supports for back, neck and shoulders are an important part of the process. Because of the remarkable nature of the apparatus to both challenge and support the body as you learn to move more efficiently, the inimitably designed pieces truly act as a complement to the challenging mat work exercises.
When you train at Joe’s Place-True Pilates you will be working on Gratz Pilates apparatus, the finest available, with designs based upon the original specifications of Joseph Pilates.
How Do I Get Started?
We offer an initial consultation visit to introduce you to our studio, provide you with information about the Pilates system and how it works, try several exercises using the Pilates apparatus and discuss the options available for your Pilates training that will best help you achieve your goals. Please call us at 508-385-8882, or e-mail us at JoesPlaceTruePilates@gmail.com to set up this visit.
And rest assured, there is absolutely no obligation to purchase anything further and no hard sell involved. This visit is designed to provide you with information and time for questions – our goal is to educate you and allow you to take whatever time you need to make an informed decision about choosing Pilates!
What Should I Wear?
We recommend that you wear comfortable, breathable clothing that will allow you to move freely and stretch, and allow your instructor to see how you are moving. Be sure that pants or shorts are well-fitting and not too loose so they don’t get caught in the apparatus. And it is a good idea to dress your upper body in layers, so that you can remove or add layers as needed for warmth. No shoes are required – be prepared to work out in socks.
What Do I Do if I Want to Learn Classic Pilates Mat Exercises But Don’t Want to Do Private Sessions?
The Classic Pilates Mat exercises are appropriate for men and women of all ages, body types, and fitness levels. However, not everybody can do every Pilates mat exercise to its fullest, especially when first learning Pilates. Modifications of the exercises are often necessary to allow students to gradually increase their strength and flexibility, thereby reducing the possibility of unnecessary strain to the body.
Learning Classic Pilates is a gradual process that over time and practice will go very deep into both body and mind. This is why we strongly recommend private sessions for beginners. However, if you are unable to do private sessions, we are able to offer you alternative choices through our mat classes and small group sessions.
My Gym Offers Pilates….Why Should I Pay to Come to Your Pilates Studio?
We specialize in teaching True Pilates and have comprehensively certified Pilates instructors who are committed to teaching the authentic Pilates method. This means that in general, the classes offered here will be superior to those offered at gyms or general fitness centers.
The most noticeable difference between the two typically is seen in teaching style, skills and experience of the instructors. Our classes are also limited to 5-8 students to provide for the highest quality instruction and individual attention. We also offer an extensive selection of Pilates apparatus, as well as expertise in use of this apparatus, whereas the Pilates classes at gyms may only involve mat work.
Do I Need to Do Other Exercise?
Complementing Pilates with cardiovascular training/workouts is beneficial both for weight management and heart health! Moreover, as you practice Pilates, you will notice the improved performance and better movement pattern during your cardio workouts.
How Long Before I See Results?
The answer to this question varies. This really depends on the determination of the student. The following are factors in a successful session (workout): Frequency of workouts, ability to focus and attend to the teacher’s directions and body awareness. If all factors are present, results are usually very quick. Typically, if practiced consistently, you will see results in 4-6 weeks. As Joseph Pilates said, “In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body.”