Here’s What Happened When… I Tried Pilates

The thing I like best about ClassPass is the variety. There’s a class for everyone, whether you prefer cycling, barre or bootcamp. We all have our preferences. Some types of classes we love and can’t get enough of, while other types of classes, well, we may not like as much.

For me, that would be Pilates.

I took a Pilates class a few years ago and had a really terrible experience. I typically enjoy circuit classes, dance classes or bootcamp classes that involve a lot of moving around. When I went to Pilates and spent the entire class in one spot, I was less than enthusiastic about it.

If I don’t sweat that much, am I really working out? 

However, a co-worker challenged me to take three classes of something I didn’t like, so my Pilates journey began! Here’s what I learned:

There are different kinds of Pilates
Tower? Reformer? Mat? Needless to say, I was overwhelmed by the choices. I always assumed a Pilates class was just that—a Pilates class. I had no idea there were different kinds of Pilates that used different machines and worked different parts of your body. After learning this, I decided to take one of each type of class. Each gave me a completely different workout and helped with things I wasn’t expecting, such as strength and flexibility.

Okay, fine: You don’t need to sweat to get a great workout
Sure, the workout was difficult while I was doing it, but I didn’t know how much it was really going to impact me—until the next day, that is. I was so sore! Pilates had me working muscles I never reach in my typical circuit classes, and I was feeling every one of them 24-48 hours later.

Your core needs more than just crunches
I never knew there were so many different ways to work out your core. In fact, whether it was tower, reformer or mat, practically every exercise in Pilates involved activating your core in some way. I don’t know about you, but I’m fully ready to abandon doing 1,000 crunches for a more interesting and exciting way to work on my abs.

I guess the million dollar question is, did I go from hating Pilates to loving it?

I can’t say I’m a total convert. I still think if given the choice, I’d prefer to sweat it out at bootcamp than head to a mat class. However, I will say that I have officially added Pilates into my ClassPass rotation. Turns out, I really enjoy reformer Pilates. I found the machine to be super helpful in isolating the areas I wanted to focus on, and I have taken a reformer class since my experiment.

All in all, I learned that even if one class turns out to be not so great, you shouldn’t rule out the whole category. I challenge you to take a class that you typically wouldn’t. You may end up learning something new or even finding a new favorite studio!

Cara Friedman is the Director of Community at ClassPass. When not trying new classes, you can find Cara at the movies, reading her Kindle or celebrating happy hour.