You’ve been told you should try pilates but were unsure it’s enough of a work-out. Then along comes power pilates and you wish you’d stuck to the more blissful breathing exercises in a basic matwork class. Not for the faint-hearted but a guaranteed calorie burner.
What: Power Pilates – A growing trend within the celebrity world, this form of dynamic pilates started in LA and is a cross between personal training and pilates exercises on and off the reformer (a standard apparatus used in pilates with pulleys and ropes to increase resistance). Like matwork pilates, the classes are centred around strengthening the core as well as bums, legs and arms. Unlike most matwork classes, power pilates also builds upon cardiovascular conditioning with an aim to make you sweat!
The Rundown: You want to push yourself but maybe feeling a bit achy through shoulders or lower back? This should stretch and lengthen the body whilst also turning it up a notch on the body conditioning front.
Upon entering the room, upbeat music is played setting an energetic tone. Class begins with an inner thigh squeeze on the perplexing device called the magic circle (this is warm-up?). Things progress from sets of squats and lunges to rigorous repeats of push-ups and dips. Exercises are broken up with light stretching and instruction on how to use the next device (ropes, pulleys or hand weights) to further maximise the work-out. If that wasn’t enough, class finishes with a very long plank session, or so it seems!
Is this right for you?: If you’re looking for an extreme work-out as well as emphasis on core strengthening and alignment, this is no doubt the class for you. If hunting around for a more gentle, refined work-out, then probably best to opt for a pilates matwork class instead.
The studios offer beginner classes for those new to pilates and/or the equipment, and intermediate and advanced classes centred around the ‘no pain, no gain’ mantra, providing more exercises, more repetitions and more resistance. If sweating in front of the opposite sex is not your thing, women-only and men-only classes are also scheduled as well as circuit training classes focusing specifically on toning on and off the reformer.
Where: Bootcamp Pilates has studio space near Bayswater, Paddington, Notting Hill, Fulham, The City and Richmond, Old Street, Fulham, Richmond and Westbourne Grove (see an example of their Beach Body Challenge via You Tube), and Ten Pilates has studio space in Chiswick, Mayfair, St. James, Notting Hill, Hatton Garden with a sixth one in the works (check out one of their sample classes here).
When: Classes are one hour and start at early bird hours from 7am and run through the day and evening. Bootcamp Pilates asks participants to book on-line or phone ahead to assure a spot in the 12 person limit class. From 24 June through 14 July, they are offering 20% off their mixed package deals or new clients can book the £12 for 2 classes intro offer, plus 10% off their first package purchase. Ten Pilates is more flexible with bookings though classes can be full so best to book ahead as well. Ten Pilates also offers initial classes for you and a friend at £12.50 (a reduction of £14.50 from their standard £27 per class).