One, Two, Buckle My shoe
Three, Four, Shut the door
Five, Six, Pick up sticks
Seven, Eight, Don’t be late
Nine, Ten, Do it over again!
There are two questions I tend to get asked by new Pilates clients…
1) How many classes a week do I need to take to FEEL a difference?
2) How long until I SEE a difference?
If you have looked up some basic information about Pilates you might have seen a quote by Joseph Pilates himself….
“In 10 sessions, you’ll feel the difference. In 20 sessions, you’ll see the difference. In 30 sessions, others will see the difference.”
Joseph was emphatic about being consistent. Regular practice can do more than just tone and lean out one’s body. It begins in those initial Pilates workouts.
First 10 sessions:You will develop a greater awareness of your body. Your posture begins to improve, which elongates your silhouette, your breath will become more focused and you might start to alleviate muscle soreness and back pain. With continued practice, you will see increased muscle tone and definition, and will feel different in the way you move in everyday activities.
Second 10 sessions: You will definitely feel stronger and maybe even see some physical differences in your shape. However, if your goal is to lose weight, you need to take into consideration that diet is about 70-80% responsible for weight loss and physical physique. Meaning, no matter how much Pilates you do, if you aren’t mindful of your diet, weight loss might elude you. That being said, if your diet is well-balanced, I would expect 3–4 sessions of dedicated practice weekly to follow Pilates’ rule of thumb about when you’ll see results. Give it a couple of weeks, and you’ll really start to feel consistently better (usually that “feel better” feeling occurs immediately after a session…after a few sessions, you’ll see those feel good moments will start to stick). If you do other activities, you might even start to see the effects of Pilates seep through there (better golf score, hitting the volleyball harder, running faster, deeper Yoga practice). And if you have special conditions or chronic aches and pains, you might reap the benefits of Pilates there first.
Third 10 sessions:How often you practice Pilates also contributes to how fast you see and feel a change in your body, as well as the intensity of your workouts. When you focus on form and breath, challenge yourself with each session, and integrate the six principles of Pilates each time you exercise, you’ll see changes faster than if you approach it with less intensity and take lots of breaks. What I hear most from Pilates clients is that if they take a break from Pilates classes, THAT is when they feel how much Pilates had been doing for them. The old pre-Pilates complaints of back pain, loss of balance, weakness all come back. Whether or not someone sees physical differences in you, they will most certainly see a difference in your attitude and confidence in your body and the way it moves.
Therefore, there is no need to “count” how many sessions you have done. The results are conclusive that no matter how many or how often, YOU will feel better, move better, and look better when you practice Pilates!