Longer, Leaner, Stronger Muscles – Pilates does that!

Longer, leaner legs with Pilates!

In my twenties I used to lift weights three to four times a week.  I can admit I did not love it but I wanted to be strong and toned.  It seemed like the only way to accomplish that goal. The part of my gym workout I enjoyed the most was being finished!

Then I discovered pilates a few years later  and I can honestly say within a couple months my body changed. Not only did I enjoy doing pilates – I loved what it was doing to my muscles and shape.  My arms and legs were leaner and still very strong.  My core was better than it had ever been  I was more toned and yet I wasn’t struggling as much to get these results. Pilates was not hard on my body and I did not feel beat up the next day. I definitely got results and even my friends commented how much more toned I looked!  My legs, after years of running track and cross country, had become thicker. After a couple months of pilates- I noticed my legs leaning out and my running improving! A win win! I was sold. Pilates was it for me.

I always tell my clients that it’s a matter of finding what you enjoy.  Some may love weight lifting more than I did. Some may love bootcamp more than I do. If you love it or at least like it- you are more likely to stick too it! If you haven’t tried Pilates, I encourage you to give it a try – and it may or may not be for you!  You won’t know until you try.

Too often however I hear bad information being spread around about fitness. Just the other night I attended a workshop on body image that was open to the public. An owner of a new fitness facility was one of the presenters. She was very hyper – about 3 red bulls hyper! She told the crowd of 30 or so women that the most important thing in fitness was ‘they needed to sweat a lot’. She continued to say it was admirable to reach the point of wanting to collapse while working out. She emphasized the importance of lifting heavy things, throwing things and really stressing muscles. People – if this is the kind of workout you like – fine- but you do not need to sweat a lot, feel like you are going to collapse, or beat yourself up to get a good workout!!!  Yes – you will burn calories and challenge muscle this way but you are also at more risk for injury and it’s difficult to sustain this type of workout day in and day out. YOU DO NOT NEED TO FEEL SORE, BROKEN AND BEAT UP EVERYDAY BY YOUR WORKOUT!  Yeap – I’m yelling here because it frustrates me that trainers try to convince students that if they aren’t extremely sore the next day they didn’t work hard enough. Yes – you should challenge yourself – but do it smartly! Who wants to feel achy and sore all the time? There is a difference between pushing yourself for a race and being sore for a few days and beating up your body day in and day out

I came across this article about Pilates and how it effectively develops longer, leaner muscles without beating up the body.  I thought the author did a good job of explaining the benefits and beauty of Pilates so I wanted to share it with you! Enjoy!  

Does Pilates Lengthen Your Muscles?

After reading the article – if you still want to go back to beating yourself up – so be it!  I’ll just be happy that you are active and informed now!

7 thoughts on “Longer, Leaner, Stronger Muscles – Pilates does that!

  1. Hi there, I came across your post today and absolutely agree with you. I have the exact same history as yourself, worked out in gyms weight training, running, doing bootcamps and did it just to keep thin and toned, not because I loved it. It was time for a change and a few years ago I started reformer pilates. I have to say that it was difficult for me to get co-ordinated initialy but once I got it – what a difference! And as you mentioned, I am no longer hurting by body by overexerting and straining, I am actually helping heal. I have strengthened my core, worked out my imbalances (I had thick legs as well!) and just feel stronger, taller, leaner, and calmer as well. What is the best is that every week I cannot wait to go to my pilates class!!

    1. Thanks for sharing! It’s nice to hear you’ve had a similar experience and come to love pilates too. Honestly as an instructor- I have yet to have a new student tell me they don’t like it after trying it! It’s just hard sometimes to get folks to try. Continued success with your pilates practice!

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