When you did Pilates for the first time did it feel easy or difficult and you thought you might die? Was it mat class or an equipment class? Was it a group class or a private session? Did you come to class thinking you had strong muscle groups as well as some weaker ones?
Sometimes in a mat class we get through it with grit and sweat and grimaces but may not feel as accomplished as we thought we could. You feel sore the next day but maybe not in the right places. But you enjoyed it and decided to keep coming back. You felt something inside your body that gave you a craving for more.
To be honest, the mat exercises are some of the easiest ones to fake. You’ll hear an instructor say if it’s easy, you’re not doing it correctly. You have to feel the movement from all parts of your body instead of going through the motion, hitting the ‘pose’, or keeping pace with the others in the room.
Have you ever watched someone lifting weights at the gym or lifted weights yourself, even small dumbbells for your arms? Have you done the recommended reps of 15 for 3 times and felt like you didn’t do anything or hardly worked your muscles? What if you only did 3 reps with weights? Would you feel cheated?
Pilates has less reps for a reason. When done correctly you don’t need to do 20 to feel accomplished. Think of the first 2 or 4 reps as practice to have the last repetition be the best one possible.
When you relate the Pilates movement to your body and equipment (even if it’s mat) you feel the motion. It’s all encompassing and not just an ab exercise or an arm exercise.