How often should I do Pilates?

Cartoon Caroline thinking
Studio 306

How often should I do Pilates?

This is a question I have been asked many times by clients. My answer is simple – As many times as you can. This answer I hope respects the reality of my clients’ lives – they may be nursing an injury, they may not have the time or financial resources to attend Pilates class as often as I might like.

Let’s look at how Joseph Pilates would have answered that question. Perhaps the most oft-used quote of his is “You will feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 sessions and have a completely new body in 30 sessions”. What exactly did he mean? The sessions he was referring to were circuits around the Apparatus he invented for his gymnasium. Clients would first be assessed and taught the underlying principles of Contrology (what we not refer to as Pilates), then taught a series of exercises on the original Pilates apparatus. Thereafter clients worked out independently in the gymnasium, under the watchful eye of instructors and students who were always ready to correct poor technique or give tips on good form. Clients were expected to attend the gym 3 times per week and perform home exercises on the floor in between. So, when Joseph Pilates promised these changes they were based on 3 intense gym sessions supplemented by home exercise. (If you have ever attended my Pilates Circuits the class format will be familiar to you- I’ve just added the modern concept of interval training to what was done in Joseph Pilates’ original gymnasium on 8th Avenue in New York.)

In a general sense, how often should you exercise? Healthy Ireland recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on 5 days a week, or 150 minutes a week in total for adults. I would love my clients to attend 2 sessions a week and also perform home exercises in between. I would love them all to experience the changes in their bodies that can be brought about by adherence to a well thought out, mindful exercise practice, done regularly. This was my inspiration for launching My Pilates Partner. I wanted to offer my clients the chance to ‘bring the studio home’.

So, to finally answer the question…..try to make it to one or two studio classes and supplement this with studio-quality home workouts of varied lengths and intensities on My Pilates Partner.

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