Pilates, Workouts

My First Pilates Reformer Class

Saturday morning I was off to my first Pilates reformer class. I was so excited and dying to get on the Reformer. I’d been on a reformer only once before. My girl friend had purchased one so I stopped by her house to check it out. I was immediately in love. Time passed, the Reformer was still my dream machine and I started taking weekly mat classes. Then my teacher told me she’d be offering private reformer classes over the summer to fulfill her required teaching hours. “Sign me up”.

What’s A Reformer?

Other than my dream machine? It’s a machine that has a sliding carriage and springs than can be adjusted to make exercises easier or harder. It also has straps, handles, a jump-board that offers variety of exercises. You can do exercises laying down, seated and standing. With the reformer you can work to build flexibility, strength, coordination, speed, endurance and agility.

Mat or Reformer first?

For me personally, I’m glad that I came to the reformer with several mat classes behind me. I’d learned how to breath properly, I learned how to roll down and stack back up properly, I learned to relax my shoulders, I learned to move smoothly in each exercise and not rush the movement and I gained strength (especially in the core) and stamina that I believed made my first reformer class that more effective.

At the beginning of the class, Rose had me warm-up on a foam roller. Instantly it engaged all my core muscles because I needed to balance as I moved through arm and leg movements to warm up. It only took a few minutes but I was ready to hit the reformer.

Rose took me through 16 exercises and I’m hard pressed to pick a favorite. Unfortunately I didn’t have a pad to jot down the exercises I did. But I did find a source on the web that shows all the exercises. These exercises are known as the Reformer 1 or Beginner Reformer exercises. Rose told me that these were the basic exercises and once they are mastered then we move onto other exercises. Some exercises I was very competent in and others that I need a little bit more practice with. Like the Hundreds. Even on the mat I lose track of inhales and exhales. Oye. I loved the Leg Circles, could do those for hours. The Frog is so much fun. The Stomach Massage left me a little confused. So I don’t think I was executing it properly. Love, love, love the Elephant. Running was fun and the Bottom Lift was challenging. The hour went by so fast.

I’d started the day with a good breakfast. Egg whites with half a yolk and spinach on whole wheat toast.

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Then I headed off to the gym. Arrived and met up with Rose and we went to the Pilates Studio.

Two Reformers.

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One Ladder Barrel.

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One Cadillac & a chair.

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I left class feeling energized and taller. I am totally hooked and right now I can’t imagine not having this as a part of my regular fitness routine. And at least for the summer it will be a regular part of my fitness routine. Fingers-crossed for the fall.

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DVD Review, Fitness, Workouts

Firm Ignite Calorie Burn

I’ve been journaling my workouts so that I can better track results. I also recorded when I didn’t workout and what the reason was. For fit and 40 women, working out becomes more than just doing a workout. As our bodies begin to change, we need to be aware of the exercises we are doing and what effect they have on our bodies. we are eating. The journaling also kept me on a schedule and created that consistency that I’ve been missing.

So, I’m back on track with my workouts and I took the time to review my workouts for a 30 day period. One a scale of 1-10, I gave myself an 8 for consistency and a 5 for change. Not much changed physically for me, so that told me that I needed to change my workouts. I needed to step it up. With that information, I ordered three new dvd workouts. And I’m going to share each one with you. I’m starting with a dvd that’s perfect if you’re looking for quick calorie burning exercises at home.

Title: The Firm Ignite Calorie Burn (Two workouts from the Firm Express Thin in Thirty Days Set (so if you have that series these are duplicates)

Firm Ignite Calorie Burn

Level: Intermediate

Type of Workout: Aerobic & Toning

Equipment Needed: Hand weights

Instructor(s): Emily Walsh and Rebecca Sturkie, Firm Instructors.

What: Total body workout with two 20 minute interval workouts. The mix of cardio with dumbbell body-sculpting keeps your heart rate but the mini-burst of intense cardio lasts 8 seconds followed by a 12 second recovery period takes the workout up a notch. The workout flows easily as does the cuing by both instructors.

Cardio Power Burst with Emily Welsh: Emily is a ball of energy (sometimes she reminds me of Denise Austion). Her workout combines those high intensity bursts of cardio and toning which promises to to rev up your metabolism which means more calorie burn and fat loss.

Interval Blast with Rebekah Sturkie: Rebekah pushes you to give everything you got. She jams in a lot in 20 minutes, you’ll work every muscle and those 12 seconds will be very much welcomed.

Total Running Time: 40 Minutes
Release Date: 2011

Bonus: 10 Minute Abs Downloadable Workout available on the Firms website

Why I enjoyed this workout: First, it’s a Firm workout. Second, I found the workouts fun, effective, challenging without leaving me feeling beat up. I definitely felt my heartrate increase and I did need those 12 seconds for recovery. These two workouts will be perfect for days when I’m crunched on time but I still want to sweat. So if you’re looking for quick calorie burning exercises at home give this dvd a try.