Jazmin Kopotsha | Culture Writer | Sunday, 28 May 2017

Debrief Does: Dynamic Pilates

Debrief Does: Dynamic Pilates

The Debrief: Ever wondered how the hell those Pilates Reformer machines work? We went and gave them a whirl over at Ten Health & Fitness. Here's how we got on...

Jazmin hates anything that feels remotely like legitimate exercise while Alyss thrives on that feeling of getting a really good workout. What happens when two young women with completely opposing outlooks on (and willingness to) exercise try out the fitness class of the moment? Here’s where we find out...

We don’t know about you guys but Pilates has always seemed like one of those things we all know exists but probably because our mums were really into it at one point. There’s the assumption that it’s kind of like yoga because you have to use your body weight, breath properly and stretch quite a bit; but also that it’s not really like yoga because, well, everyone already gets what yoga is. 

But once you throw one of those scary looking Reformer machines into the mix, everything gets confusing. So, we headed over to Ten Health and Fitness to try their signature Dynamic Pilates class, or as they like to call it ‘Pilates with extra bite’, to get to grips with the equipment and try the class that loads of people seem to swear by. 

First thoughts?

Jazmin: Now we’re talking! Something that doesn’t involve me running, doing burpees or wanting to cry after the first ten minutes of activity. Bloody love a stretch. 

Alyss: Pilates is like yoga right? So I won’t be running around like a mad woman for 45 minutes? Errrrmmm that’s kinda not my thing. 

How difficult is it?

Jazmin: Okay, I’ll be honest. I got a bit cocky. The movements themselves aren’t too difficult to do but it’s not as easy as I thought as it would be to do them correctly. As our lovely instructor, Nick kept having to remind me, it’s effectiveness really relies on good technique and actually knowing which muscles you’re trying to activate. I did not know which muscles I was trying to activate.

Alyss: Well, I’m going to take back my previous sentence. Just because you’re not going crazy for a session doing burpees and push ups, doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. I know I need to chill the f out once in a while, and this session taught me that. It was controlled, slow, but my God was it hard. You really need to engage your muscles to feel it, but if you do it correctly it burns. 

Do I need a working knowledge of exercise beforehand?

Jazmin: Well I wouldn’t recommend jumping into an Advanced class if you’ve never laid eyes on a Reformer before. Even though it was my first time using the machine it wasn’t long before I was used to changing the resistance and locking my feet into those weird little straps that help you stretch more.

Alyss: We did a beginner class, and I’m glad we did. If I went along to an advanced, i’d probably get a little cocky and go full steam ahead. This would most likely result in me falling off the reformer belt. 

What do I need to wear? 

Jazmin: I’d definitely go for something fitted at this one gang. I’m not a fan of baggy clothing flapping around while you’re trying to negotiate strapping yourself into new machinery.

Alyss: You could wear just about anything to this type of class, there isn’t any jumping around so you don’t need to worry about lose leggings falling down. I wore Sweaty Betty leggings - these are probably the comfiest leggings I own and they always feel great in yoga type classes. Along with my Nike top, this was a winning outfit combo. 

Can I fit it into a lunch break?

Jazmin: Totally. Classes are about 55 minutes so you could totally get away with it. 

Alyss: You could, but it would be a tight squeeze. Go ready, and maybe wear your ‘active wear’ after too. 

Could I take a mate?

Jazmin: Of course. I wouldn’t say you need to but definitely have someone fun with you purely for the joy of catching each other’s eyes when you’re told to bend over and dangle your head between your legs. 

Alyss: Because of the amount of concentration needed for this one, I say go solo. Dare you, you’ll be fine. 

Would I need to shower after?

Jazmin: You could totally get away with not showering but I found myself reaching that level of low key surprise sweat. You know, when you strut out of the class thinking you’re fine and then taking off your sports bra to find that the entirety of your body is actually really moist. Yes, moist. 

Alyss: You could quite easily just throw on a jumper and roll onto brunch for this one. 

Was it fun, though?

Jazmin: This is about as close to a dream class as I think I’ll ever get. I really enjoyed it because I got to get my stretch on and, once I got my head around concentrating on specific muscles, it was easy to see the point of each exercise. I’m going to go back to do another class. By choice. To ‘workout’. #newwoman 

Alyss: I’m really not used to working out like this. I found it quite slow paced and a little frustrating at times, but that’s only because I enjoy bouncing off the walls. I felt pretty amazing after, though - and my legs ached, in a ‘hey hi I just exercised look at me,’ kinda way. 

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Tags: Witness The Fitness