We asked our member Jacinta to attend 3 reformer pilates classes a week for a month. In this blog post, Jacinta shares her experience and learnings from throughout the month. Here’s her story.
My name is Jacinta and I am now closer to 40 than 30. I have 2 young children (6yo and 2yo) work 4 days a week and have struggled to find time for ‘me’ since having my second little person, life just gets busy.
Before my second child, I played netball socially as it had been a sport I had always played. Post baby no.2 I tried learning how to run (I had never been a runner) but it was hard to find the right motivation and get out there and do it.
In November 2016 I did a 1 month trial with Rebalance and have never enjoyed something exercise related so much in my life. My goal since December has been to get to 3 classes a week. Life and family commitments sometimes make that impossible, but whenever I can, I make sure I make the time.
As someone who has struggled with core strength most of my life I have noticed a real difference to date with my core strength. I still have a long way to go to consider myself as an expert and the challenge I am about to undertake provides a great opportunity to test myself in regards to core strength.
My goal with the reformer challenge is ambitious and has two parts, No.1; to attend 3 reformer classes a week whilst also maintaining 2 other classes. No.2; to clean up my eating act. For me, being realistic, this means to limit (and hopefully eliminate) regular consumption of junk foods…sounds simple but as they say old habits die hard. At this point I call it even with the ambition level in relation to part 1 and 2 of my goal.
Challenge Day 1: Beginner reformer class.
Fantastic start to the challenge. The beginner class was a great re-introduction to the reformer. Going through things slowly allowed me to really know what and where I should be feeling for each exercise.
As well as that Kailey was continually checking form and assisting with making adjustments when needed.
But don’t be deceived, the beginner class was by no means an easy class.
I would say the beginner class is a must do introduction for people before doing any reformer classes to have an understanding of the basics.
Week 1 summary
2 x reformer
1 x mat class
Definitely feeling some muscles that haven’t had such a work out in a while or ever. Stuck with the beginner springs on the reformer to try and get the movements correct.
Goal 2 of better eating was fairly relaxed in the latter part of the week with a few glasses of wine in the mix. Definite room for improvement next week.
Week 2, day 1
Feeling optimistic. Double up this morning of reformer and then a mat with Ash. Ash’s reformer class was an absolute punish on the legs! Felt like giving up a number of times (and I won’t lie, I also might have a little) but Ash keeps talking you through it. If nothing I feel like I tried to push through more than I normally would. A stretch after work made everything better going into day 2.
Week 2, day 3
Almost getting used to getting up at 4.30am. I find early morning classes a great time to get out of the house before everyone else wakes. Amazing what you can achieve before 7am when your body has been woken up and muscles engaged so early in the day.
Week 2 Summary
3 reformer classes
1 Mat class + 1 Barre class
Nowhere near as sore as I thought I might be and my muscles seem to be getting used to the daily challenges. I have struggled a little with some of the leg exercises that target the lower thigh. Working on control and mental commitment to get more out of these exercises and not give up. I rounded off the week with a Barre class. It was good to get the heart rate up a little and stretch out a bit.
Overall feeling like I have a lot more energy, even after 5 classes in 4 days. The early wake-up calls haven’t been as bad as I thought. In regards to goal part 2, much improved eating this week. By no means perfect but certainly making proactive decisions to avoid junk.
Week 3, day 3
As I sit on the train wearing a dress and holding my legs together they are close enough to shaking after the killer inner thigh work out so far this week.
Sleep has been a bit disturbed the last few days but it amazes me how refreshed I feel after attending a class. The afternoon sugar cravings are still challenging to ignore but at least in the mornings I feel ready to start the day.
Feeling more confident on the reformer at this point. Still sticking to the beginner springs and making sure I get the actions right and a larger range of movement before challenging myself more. By no means do I have abs of steel just yet but feeling my core to be slightly stronger/more stable which is fantastic for me.
In a room of up to 13 other people it’s always a good personal reminder that it’s not a competition. Everyone is different and you never know how long the person next to you or across the room from you has been practising pilates. It’s best to focus on yourself and getting it right vs competing with others on how low your legs can go.
Week 3 Summary
3 x reformer classes
2 x mat classes
Due to a lack of consistent sleep I elected to skip the barre class I had booked for Thursday and got a little sleep in to 5.30am instead….. Although I have felt stronger abs to this point my final class for the week was a reminder of the ab work I need to do. As much as I focused on the breath and the connections I still struggled with a proper roll up and was a little disappointed in myself. Considering scheduling time each night to do some of the exercises targeting core strength.
Progress on goal 2 has been consistent with last week. Making some good decisions but also some not so good decisions but moving in the right direction.
Week 4 Summary
1 x reformer class
Week 4 didn’t go at all as planned. With a couple of work functions which I knew would keep me up late I had scheduled a double up on Monday and Friday of reformer and mat to make sure I was as close as possible to my goal for the week. Unfortunately it was not at all meant to be as sick little people and no sleep turned into cancelled classes.
Being a parent of small children I am aware of my limits and as much as I hate to have cancelled these classes I knew my sanity was more important at this point. This was one of those weeks where life gets in your way and you need to adapt. I can’t hold a grudge with my children for being ill, however it was a timely reminder to make sure I get the most out of every class as you never know when something out of your control will mean you are unable to attend the classes you thought you could.
Goal 2; took a little backwards step with functions and big meals, however still making a conscious effort to consider whether there is a healthier option or whether I really need to eat the sugar I think I am craving.
What I learnt from the challenge
- I am stronger than I think.
- Getting up at 4.30am isn’t that bad, it just takes a level of organisation the night before.
- I definitely prefer the early morning classes to get out before the house is awake but I also get a kick out of how alert you feel after a class.
- The reformer is addictive and so is a regular routine for ‘sport’. To be honest if I could go to a pilates/reformer/barre class every day of the week I would, even if it meant always getting up at 4.30am.
- Given what I would call my weak core I sometimes mentally give up as other people in the class can ‘do more than me’. I need to remind myself it’s about working as hard as I can on any given day and not to worry about what anyone else is doing.
- Old habits are hard to break. You need to be committed to the cause and never give up if you want to change something. It’s not about excuses if you fall back into old habits, it’s about acknowledging any times you ‘fall off the wagon’ and getting straight back on again.
Do you want to take the reformer pilates challenge? Call or email us to get started. Joining the Rebalance Family means more than just a workout. We care about your wellbeing and have a supportive environment. We prioritise your wellbeing and provide a sanctuary for you to come and relax. Workout. But workout with purpose with us!
Written by Jacinta, Rebalance Member