Pilates: Created by a Man for Men

Did you know that Joseph Pilates created the series of exercises now known as Pilates specifically for men? It was meant to be manly but once Mr. Pilates started teaching in New York it became popular among women and dancers. As a Pilates instructor, my female to male client ratio is higher on the female end. When someone asks me about Pilates I always tell them anyone can do Pilates: male or female, young or old, athletic or out of shape, tall or short. There’s something for everyone to enjoy and achieve and my own husband is able to explain this better than myself.

“Let’s be honest, I would never had tried Pilates on my own…in fact I had no clue what it was until my then girlfriend, now wife, Rachel introduced it to me in Columbus, OH.  She had been going to a Stott Pilates class for a while and we did a double date – Pilates and a late Breakfast. There was anticipation of the unknown, and a little “will I look silly, trying this out for the first time?” sort of vibe, but I quickly got over it.  After the session, I realized it was a good workout – at the time I was more into running and was training for a Half Marathon. Even after runs of over 6 miles, I never had this work out type of feeling in my core and smaller muscle groups. It was the good kind of interesting to say the least…fast forward a little and I really didn’t get into Pilates at the time, but I respected it.  My goal was to finish my first half marathon and that was really all I was focused on – the training plan I had already laid out…not thinking that other cross training exercises would have been complimentary…first time mistakes, but learning opportunities for the future!”

I began to attend night mat classes with her instructor after we moved to Wisconsin.  Boy, was I in for a rude awakening! What I found simple and efficient in Stott Pilates, classical Pilates I found more intense and faster paced…really working your mind to keep up with what you are asking your body to do.  It took a few lessons before I realized I was doing so much wrong and needed to focus more on the imagery…I am a good learner visually and by doing…imagery really helped me understand what I couldn’t quite “feel” and then feel it finally.  I am a creative person so I related to the imagery portion of Rachel’s certification and to this day I key in on imagery for any physical activity and how it can be so powerful.”

More mat classes taught me that the Hundred is the foundation of a good session, and if you don’t have at least a little sweat going at the end, it wasn’t done right.  Quit wasting time watching Pilates and DO Pilates…listen to the instructor…if they are skilled it will show…as if you could be blindfolded and still rock out a great mat class.”

I remember the Ah, HA! moment where Teaser clicked for me…I remember my first time on the reformer…I remember the first time on Chair, and thinking “is that it?” then Rachel actually changing the springs, and making me raise my entire body up in unusual ways…learning that it IS truly hard!”

I love Pilates for several reasons…selfishly, because I learned more about my own body and how it is truly a tool to improve my life…and in marriage because it brings my wife such joy to be an instructor of Pilates and help change other’s lives.”

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