My first Pilates class, 30 days later and why I will never go to a big box gym.
Originally published March 2016
I had always been an active person but 5 years of sitting behind the keyboard roughly 16 hours a day took its toll, feeling out of shape and not myself it was time to get serious.
Pilates, I was told would be the choice to strengthen my core, stretch and work all my muscles. I saw an ad for a Pilates club in Kent through Groupon, contacted the club and in January an email arrived with an invitation to a demo class. The morning of the free 30 minute demo class my neck and left shoulder were in pain (it’s where I keep all of my stress and computer work ties it in knots), not sure if this class would help, I gave it a try.
Walking through the door of Club Pilates Kent, I liked what I saw, the instructor immediately made me feel comfortable, even though I had absolutely no clue what I was doing or the terminology. End of class two things happened. 1) My neck and shoulder pain felt much better 2) I WAS HOOKED!
What is Pilates?
“Pilates is an innovative and safe system of mind-body exercise using a Reformer, a floor mat or a variety of Pilates tools. A balanced blend of strength, flexibility training and endurance movements, benefits include prevention and treatment of back pain and reducing stress; working several muscle groups simultaneously through smooth, continuous motion, with a particular concentration on strengthening and stabilizing the core (the abdomen, back and pelvic girdle region, sometimes referred to as the “powerhouse”). Pilates can dramatically transform the way your body looks, feels and performs while building strength without excess bulk. Learn to turn on or off a muscle“
*By the way, if you think going to a Pilates class will not make you sweat, think again my friend; you get a full body workout and depending on the level you choose, including cardio, you might be reaching for the oxygen.
Is Pilates like Yoga? There are differences and benefits to both, find out more at Yoga vs. Pilates: What’s Right For You?
The Pilates Reformer is a bed-like machine with a movable carriage, adjustable resistance with a detachable jump-board for the feet usually for Cardio. The versatility of the reformer is wide, it can train many parts and dynamics of the body in so many different ways to promote length, strength, flexibility, and balance.
Never having taken a Pilates class (Reformer or mat), I didn’t know what to expect; so what after one class had me hooked and become a Pilates person for life at Club Pilates Kent? The short answer, working on the reformer with the instructor’s guidance and Pilates tools made it possible to get a full body work out, without fear of injury or getting so out of breathe it was hard to continue; therefore, I wanted to go back, because I could achieve my goals. Why I started going almost daily and hooked on this studio? Read on.
Club Pilates Kent
Club Pilates Kent, is located in the vibrant historic heart of Kent with plenty of free parking. The studio is setup in a manner that gives it a private studio feel; the look is bright but serene, not frilly or generic. There are 10 stations, each includes a Reformer and additional Pilates tools (the Chair, the Springboard, the Barre, etc) kept together for efficient position changes, continuing the flow; with an area in the back for private sessions. Club Pilates Kent is a welcoming place where you can check the world at the door while connecting and strengthening your body and mind.
My 30 days at Club Pilates Kent has felt like a “private studio” experience, for several reasons (no particular order); 1) Right, size no more than 10 stations 2) No one in the building except those of us taking class which always felt laid back and comfortable. 3) The instructors.
Club Pilates Kent – Instructors
I found the instructors to be fantastic! See them below. The instructors challenged participants at every level and targeted exactly what they wanted to work on most. Whether class was full or with just a few, the instructors walked around and observed every participant, correcting form when needed, never condescending, always cheering you on and praising the work. Every instructor was sure to explain set-up, proper form and execution of every single move, sometimes repeating the instructions while breathing with the class. They were patient and skilled with us that suffer from “coordination challenge” (me, seriously!). Participants varied, everything from body types, skill levels, old injuries or working on rehab to super workouts, all needs covered. The instructors grew to know my body, what I could or could not do and suggested modifications as warranted. A major PLUS and awesome feature of Club Pilates Kent, all instructors bring their personality with unique brand of teaching to class; so you are guaranteed to have a different workout experience with every instructor. All of this was done with a sense of humor thrown in, further enhancing the “private studio” experience.
CLUB PILATES KENT INSTRUCTORS
CP Reformer Plus 1
Length: 50 minutes
First time trying Club Pilates? Level 1 will still challenge those brand new to Pilates or if you have limitations or injuries. You will still sweat, a little, while you move your body safely. You will feel muscles working while you become more familiar with the Club Pilates Method and apparatus. Exercises will be safe and simple, yet effective to challenge appropriately from head to toe. * Club Pilates description* I agree
CP Reformer Plus 1.5
Length: 50 minutes
This is a perfect level if you are ready to start exploring more complex and challenging movements on the Club Pilates reformer. Intermediate exercises are introduced but modifications are always provided. * Club Pilates description* Enjoy this class
CP Cardio Sculpt 1.5 Class
Length: 50 minutes
Class tempo is moderate and focused with a steady class flow. Do not worry, you will definitely feel a difference after class. Intermediate exercises are introduced but modifications are always provided and progressions are always used so you can honor your body and work at your own individual focus. * Club Pilates description* I found the class to be the right challenge and yes modifications were in order .
There are several options available, if you plan on going often either to Kent or Bellevue or both, I recommend the unlimited plan.
Hours of operation, I wish there were earlier classes in Kent. Bellevue has 6:00am but the earliest class I have seen is 8:30am Sunday morning. Hopefully since this is still a new location as it grows so will the hours.
Website : Club Pilates Kent
Jocelyn front desk guru and always smiling.
After signing up, the first week I went for 5 days, second week 6 days then 7, sometimes like on Monday and Wed I would try to go 2 times a day. Do you need to go that much to get the benefits? No. I found the benefit for me was much more than just physical it was the mind, body connection you experience with Pilates. 50 minutes a day, I truly had to leave the world behind as I tried to conquer my breathing correctly, or the positions (remember my coordination challenge ). Going to Pilates daily did a few things for me: Reduced my stress, made me feel better (did not like missing class), my posture improved, started to gain strength and slowly my energy increased; bonus lost 5 pounds.
Going to Club Pilates daily was great because I always got a full body work out every time; there are places (studios or gyms) where you may only work certain parts of your body repeatedly and ignore others but not here. As I stated above every instructor is unique while still teaching the same method, so your experience will be different daily (take a class two times in a day and it will be different). My experience at Club Pilates Kent has been great and made it so that I would not want to attend a big box gym, I have also spoken to other participants that have voiced the same opinion.
Another benefit as I get stronger, Club Pilates offers classes I can take that are more challenging such as CP Reformer 2.5 or Cardio 2.5 and Barre Fusion, Boot Camp, TRX Reformer Fusion, Stretch-ilates, Restor-ilates and more.
I thoroughly enjoyed the instructors, the studio and the participants and doubt I will get bored here. Making a point of visiting the Club Pilates studio in Bellevue soon.
Lou Taylor Vinyl Radio Staff * Disclaimer: I attended the classes at Club Pilates Kent on a monthly paid membership. The Club nor any other entity has in anyway compensated me for this review
Club Pilates in Kent and Bellevue open to help your mind and body connection get strong. “Honor your body”