It’s a question frequently asked by new Pilates students, “When will I see measurable results from my Pilates workouts?” Everyone is eager to start reaping the benefits from their investment in Pilates workouts. And since we’re living in an instant-gratification society, the faster we can get results, the better! Patience seems to be a lost art. We want our aches and pains to disappear instantly – even though the poor posture and movement habits we’ve been using that created the problems have accumulated over time, leaving us with the aches, pains, and injuries we are now trying to get rid of.
Results, it’s all about Results. One healthy dinner is not going to result in a 10 lb weight loss. But it’s a great start for a lifetime of better eating habits! Pilates is the same. One workout probably isn’t going to “fix” all your bad habits and miraculously make your aching back feel better – but there are lots of Pilates enthusiasts out there that have seen amazing results and improvements even from one Pilates Workout. These client success stories help create the belief and awareness that it is possible to change your body and improve your health with Pilates!
Results need to be measurable. It’s the only way that you’ll really know things are changing. The question becomes, what do YOU want to measure? Is it how you feel? How much energy you have to get through the day? A decrease in the amount of pain you have on a 1-10 scale? How close are you to touching your toes? How easy it is to climb up a flight of stairs? How easily you can balance on one leg without falling over? How many push-ups, pull-ups or dips can you do? How many inches you’ve lost around your waist? How many pounds you’ve lost or gained? How easy is it to fall asleep? Has your golf score improved? It’s easier to breathe? Are you less fuzzy-headed and can think more clearly? Have you eliminated your chronic knee pain, foot pain, hip pain, back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain? All of these are measurable results my clients have experienced over the years thanks to their Pilates workouts.
In my experience, it’s rare for me to see a new client who is healthy and fit! Usually people show up at the studio with “issues” they’ve put up with, feeling crappy for a long time. Maybe they’ve tried other things and didn’t really get results. Pilates is their last-ditch effort to see if it’s possible to get their life back. (They haven’t’ lost all hope, but they’re pretty close to rock bottom…) I love these clients! They are the most eager to work, try their hardest, and are always eternally grateful as they start to see and feel the progress they’re making to get their life back. And most of the time changes start happening quickly – even during their very first session! It’s not what I’m doing for them, it’s what they are doing with the help of the Pilates System to improve posture, breathing, and re-educate the body for better health!
When the body is in good alignment, it’s easier to activate the right muscles to move. Improve how you move, and good health follows.
What’s more important than quick results, is the consistency and discipline to keep plugging away at it. There is always more to learn and ways to continue challenging the body with Pilates to improve your health. I’ve got clients who have dedicated more than twenty years to consistent 2-4 day a week Pilates workouts! Why are they still at it? Because every week things improve and their bodies feels better. They know that they are STILL getting results from their efforts.
Pilates isn’t just about doing the exercises… It’s about improving them – every single time you do a workout. With this philosophy in place, results happen (and keep happening) because you’re always striving to be better, stretch farther, and find a little bit of extra muscle to move and improve your balance, coordination, and body control.
Joseph Pilates had this to say about getting results from his method of exercise:
“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference. In 20 sessions you’ll see the difference. And in 30 sessions you’ll have a completely new body.”
The only way to start seeing measurable results from your Pilates workouts is to make the commitment to do Pilates. Work the system – Reformer and Matwork in addition to supplemental exercises with the Cadillac, Chairs, and Barrels. By using the Pilates system, (not just doing a couple of “Pilates” based exercises during a workout.) you will be able to really reap the benefits of better whole-body health from your Pilates program. If you’re doing Pilates and striving to make the last rep of every exercise your best rep ever, you will continue to see measurable results from your Pilates workouts.
Pick a goal or two that you want to achieve. Let your Pilates teacher know what you want to work on and improve. Be aware that even though you might not see the relevance, there are probably a myriad of exercises in your workouts that are helping to move you forward to your goals.
Don’t lose faith. Sometimes change happens very quickly and other times it’s a journey – your brain and body must arrive at a place where change can happen. When the time is right and the body is ready, you WILL begin seeing measurable results from your Pilates workouts. The effort is worth it! Better health is a birthright.
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