I hate exercise but I love reformer pilates. It turns my favourite hobbies, lying down and sitting, into an exercise and I want to tell you all about it.
I’ve been going now for about 3 weeks-ish and its been the only exercise I’ve been able to do multiple times a week and still like. It blows my mind because, and you should start a drinking game for how many times I will say this in one blogpost – I fucking hate exercise.
What is reformer pilates
Reformer pilates is when you use this machine that helps you do exercises that puts your own weight and more if you want, against you. Sort of like doing those rowing machines in the gym but you get to lie down and use your legs and arms (not at the same time).
All the reformer teachers know that you have no clue how to use it and everyone is intimidated by it, so on your first few classes they should help you a lot.
Honestly, when I am bouncing up and down on the reformer it makes me feel like a baby on these bouncers.
Is reformer pilates hard?
For me, as someone who hates exercise, can spend days just taking a few hundred steps around my house and gets puffed out from walking on anything with a slight incline, no.
I’ve only been to the beginner reformer classes, and compared to beginner yoga and beginner pole fitness, I find reformer pilates much easier. With yoga, you need to be able to twist in such random positions and hold it yourself – while reformer pilates has the machine that helps you. Pole fitness requires so much strength as you are the only one holding yourself up – reformer pilates is holding you up for you.
I made terrible progress on my pole fitness – I was normally really exhausted by the end of the class, and could only really go once a week due to my schedule/soreness. It is a haunting fear of mine that one day I am going to be drunk, see a pole, decide to show off my 2 years of pole fitness and fall flat on my face.
However, with reformer pilates I can’t say I’m exhausted. I definitely stil have energy after the class, and can definitely do around 3 classes a week.
What’s good about reformer pilates
- Won’t get ‘puffed out’
As someone who gets sports anxiety and a terrible habit of fainting on long hikes because I’m too puffed out and not breathing properly, I panic whenever I feel ‘puffed out’. I do my hardest to avoid exercise where I get puffed out, and like exercises where it’s more slow, steady and about strength like: pole fitness, swimming, yoga.
- Low impact
Running is really bad for you. Swimming, yoga, reformer pilates are the exercises that are low impact on your joints so they’re still ok when we’re old.
- If you don’t like circuits and getting heart rate crazy
I also start panicking when I feel my heart beat crazily, which i think is a sign of good exercise but I hate it. I hate circuits and things where it’s like, we all have to do 10 burpees or something.
I like exercise thats more about the experience, and although there is a bit of an element of doing one exercise for 5 minutes, it’s not counted and you can absolutely do it at your own pace.
- I don’t feel like it’s too hard for me/ can’t do it
I often feel out of my depth with exercise. I can’t do x amount of pushups. I can’t go upside down on a pole. I can’t run for 10 minutes straight.
I have never felt like reformer was ‘too hard’, despite not knowing how to use the machine. And because I feel like I can do it all, it also improves my mood.
What’s bad about reformer pilates
Reformer pilates can’t be for everyone at the moment, because it is definitely not something everyone can afford. It’s one of the more expensive classes, and the studio I go to doesn’t even have a shower like a normal gym. I honestly think it’s not value for money due to the lack of amenities and perks. I think they justify it with the amount of cleaning and maintenance they have to do, and they had to buy the machine.
An actual gym is actually better value for money, who even have classes as part of their membership. It’s just a shame that I don’t like exercise and getting my heart rate pumping, so I know I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as reformer pilates.
- You will not be challenged in fitness
If you love a sweat, grit and feeling like you’ve burnt 1000 calories, reformer pilates is not for you. Maybe if you did an advanced class, but still – it’s not the one where you feel like you can barely breathe and your heart is going to burst out of your chest. I used to think no one wanted this feeling, until I worked with someone who would run up and down a 19 floor building because he ‘liked the burn’. There are some scary people out there.
But truly, I have never been so dedicated and excited for an exercise that it’s the only reason I’m justifying the price tag. I think another exercise I’d like to do is swimming but the pools around me are temporarily closed as they got damaged during Cyclone Gabrielle.
A lot of the studios do an intro offer so I highly recommend going to one that does, and seeing if it’s for you!