Resistance training is an incredibly effective form of muscle building exercise. Some trainers encourage you to start with very heavy weights and lift them just a few times. Others say- keep it light, but perform as many reps as you can. I say- USE YOUR BODY!
A friend of mine owns a Pilates studio in Philadelphia (Trullo Pilates in Northern Liberties. Book a session!). And this week we were talking about the words we use in advertising our business. She’s adding signage to her location and Jackie and I are trying to develop some new marketing for the Florida slow season at our studio.
Pilates is something that people THINK they know. “Oh, that’s like yoga, right?” “Do you just lie on the floor?” “That’s with those machines that look like torture equipment.” “That’s just for dancers.” “I went to a class at my gym, and I didn’t feel anything.” Or worse, “I went to a class at my gym and it made my neck hurt.”
Combating these perceptions is a difficult task. Especially in a piece of marketing. Much easier in a conversation and experience.
What are the most important things people need to know about Pilates? Here are mine.
1. Pilates is equal parts strength and stretch. Each exercise should have those 2 things going on.
2. Pilates should translate to your everyday life. One of the advertising phrases Trullo decided to use was “Effective Lifestyle Programs”, implying that Pilates is more than something you do there in the studio. It is a lifestyle (see my Fitness is Not a Number post). Pilates should affect your everyday life- your posture, how you think about movement, your ability to move, in any task- mundane or athletic.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is that attracts me to Pilates and dance. Besides the fact that I’ve been doing them for just AGES at this point. Why? Why do I like it? And, why do I think these things are better, for me and for my clients, than other forms of exercise?
I have a lot of answers, but I’m just going to focus on one of them today. Both Pilates and dance, when taught well, are Mind/Body exercise forms.
Mind/Body, to me, has a bad rep. For many, it means meditating, sitting quietly or moving VERY slowly. That’s not what it means at all! Mind/Body exercise means, in the words of Joseph Pilates, “The brain must work at least as hard as the body!” You must move with consciousness. You have to know where your body is, what it is doing, where it is going- and WHY.
We partake in unconscious exercise often when we are in the gym by ourselves- Running on a treadmill and reading a book and listening to an iPod and watching the E! News headlines. Distracted exercise is less effective than conscious exercise. We don’t work as hard, and our energy isn’t focused on the muscles that need it. Elon professors recently conducted a study that showed distractions definitely don’t make us work harder, and often make us work less. Common sense to me, and yet, you can find distracted exercisers in every gym across the country.
Part of starting my new business, CABARRET, means changing the focus of my writings here. For years, I’ve been writing about arts education, particularly theatre and dance. While dance will still make an appearance, theatre is pretty much out (for now :) ). I’m going to be focusing on what I’m doing, and what, over the course of the past 10 years of study, in school, apprenticeship, and work experience, I’ve come to know very well- fitness.
Fitness is not a number. It is not the weight on the scale, the size of your pants. It’s not even your resting heart rate or the number of calories burned in an hour long aerobics class. I'm not saying those things aren't important. But I am saying, that not what fitness IS.
Google "fitness". What comes up? A list of gyms in your area. And the Webster's definition. That's about it. We've narrowed fitness down to "exercise".
Fitness is a way of life. A conscious choice to, every day, follow habits that are the best for you- body, mind and soul.
CABARRET, to CABARRET, to CABARRET!
Announcing the launch of CABARRET, a new dance fitness program! A perfect blend of sultry jazz and calorie-burning, muscle-sculpting movement.
I'm so excited to get this business off and running!
Yes, this is where all of my time and effort has been going latley. And shout outs to the wonderful team that helped me to get this done! I've been creating routines in the space graciously provided by Ms Jackie Pilates, developing playlists with my fabulous music director Rehab Rebel, and marketing launched with feedback from many wonderful friends and featuring workout photos taken by the talented Valerie Perry.
If you are in South Florida, please come to a class! If Hallandale is too far for you, ask your gym about adding it- I'm willing to travel, and when it gets to be too much, I will hold teacher trainings and give away all my fabulous booty-blasting, thigh-toning, hip-shaking, sexy-strutting secrets!
And Philly, I'm coming for you this summer or fall. There has already been phenomenal interest from the fitness community there, so I will see you soon!