Quality rather than Quantity?

My clients often ask me, ‘so, how often should I be doing Pilates?’ Well, how long is a piece of string? It depends…

Many factors will influence how often one should do Pilates and what format, for that matter. For example, should you be doing group Mat classes, privates, clinical/studio, group reformer or Pilates bootcamp? The latter being the latest version of Pilates to hit town.

Some of us may do Pilates for rehabilitation, general overall fitness and strength or because we are addressing a special need such as to support a pregnancy.

My usual answer is a ‘compromise’ of say, two times a week to start with and then see how you go if you are doing mat classes, for example. However, if you are looking for a specific rehab program in a clinical setting then maybe more sessions per week is your current immediate need, if you are recovering from something such as a knee reconstruction or shoulder surgery.

It may be fun and interesting for you to vary it with one group Reformer and one mat class per week, if your studio offers this. My strong preference is for clients to work their way up to Reformer sessions by getting the fundamentals right in Mat classes or having a  few private sessions. Doing Group Reformer classes can be a fun way to challenge yourself and get a more intense workout, however can sometimes do more harm than good if you don’t have the technique right. This is especially relevant if you are recovering from injury or need to work around a specific condition such as scoliosis. Ideally, if you are attending a specialized studio, they will offer a couple of different levels of group Reformer for you to work yourself up to, if that is what you are after.

With some wise advice from your teacher, you should decide what is right for you, your body and your level of fitness. Learn to listen to your body and never do anything that feels unsafe.

Mr. Pilates had wise words for us with regards to the number of classes we should be attending… ‘In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, In 20 sessions you will see the difference and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body’. Something to mull over…

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