Iza Goulart, aka one of the Brazilian Victoria’s Secret goddesses, swears by Pilates and starts each day toning and stretching on the reformer machine. And if it’s good enough for those tanned limbs, I’m pretty sure it’ll be good for me!
Having never actually used a reformer machine and being knee-deep into my first ever marathon training, the offer of trying out the Bootcamp Pilates challenge was too good to miss. I was curious about the benefits of using the machine, and pretty eager to have a change from my current training regime (running, and well, more running!). And with the hope that it would not only be great for my bod, but also useful for my running form, I embarked on my first week of training.
This week I was able to attend three beginner’s classes as my intro to the world of Bootcamp Pilates. And I can pretty loudly say that I love it! I was a bit nervous of falling off or embarrassing myself on the reformer machine – thankfully that has not happened – but the instructors give very clear and straight forward directions on how to use the machine, and it is not as intimidating as it looks! In fact, I find it quite an awesome invention – it’s all about strengthening and lengthening, and with all my running lately, it is just what my body needs.
Two things I find about the classes: it is tough, concentrated muscle work – it’s all about control and focus. Yet at the same time I find working on the machine relaxing (even though I’m sweating my derriere off! Or as my mother would say ‘glowing’). Perhaps it is the rhythmic, controlled movements, or the fluidity of the machine, but I find it very calming. A much-needed change from pounding the streets and the jarring impact on my joints. Plus, my core feels constantly engaged during the class.
I think I have begun a life-long love affair with it. This next week I will attempt to move into the ‘normal’ level classes (I have no idea what this will entail, as the beginner’s classes are already a great workout!).
What is the Autumn Bootcamp Challenge? A nice little programme (16 classes in 4 weeks or in my case as many sessions as I can fit around the marathon training) to get you refocused after the summer holidays, or just to introduce you to the benefits of Dynamic Reformer Pilates.
What does it involve? You work on the reformer machine for the entire class, using body weight, cables, or light weights performing various exercises from squat variations, rows, the plank etc., with the added resistance and challenge of the machine – which also stretches out your movements.
The instructors? I’ve had the pleasure of two of the very qualified and helpful instructors teach me (Lee smith and Jay Brockway), and I know you’re not supposed to say this, but it is an added bonus that they’re quite buff 😉 I’m sure the lady instructors are lovely too though!
How I feel after the classes? My body feels like it has had a tough and thorough toning session, yet stretched and limber – a good combo!
You can find out more info at www.bootcamppilates.com. They have studios located in Richmond, Fulham, Notting Hill and near Old Street.
The Running in High Heels (RIHH) Rating: 4 out of 5 heels.