Put your Joe on

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘Put your Joe on’ or ‘Be like Joe’. As a Pilates instructor it’s a good reminder that even though I’m female, Joseph Pilates was a man’s man meaning he boxed, he had good physique, and he created Pilates for men. But it’s no secret that Pilates is dominated by women. Or that some studios have more marketing geared towards women.

Now that we’re in the year 2020 it’s still a hope to be gender neutral, to not put stereotypes on hobbies, jobs, or exercise. We’ve made progress with having clothing for men and women to do Pilates and move with ease. But there are still many ways we can improve.

I’m always excited to see men in my classes. I also try to contain some of that excitement, I don’t want to scare them away. There’s no denying that men and women are motivated differently and respond to positive reinforcement differently. Even woman to woman and man to man are different with their motivation and personalities.

So when I have men in my class I try to use images that aren’t so feminine like curtsy or corset. And I also try to remind the women in class to ‘Put their Joe on’ or muscle up. Reminding women that they are stronger than they think. On the other end of the spectrum I sometimes tell the men to tame down their muscling. They aren’t at a gym and pushing 50 pounds of weight or more and that’s where I see them struggle.

So tell me, when you’re teaching a class with men and women, which cues do you leave out? How do you encourage both men and women at the same time?

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