Last Sunday I went to the local gym for a basic training class. Actually the only reason I went is because the studio was fully booked!!
I haven’t been in a gym for a while but I was quickly reminded of how cold and unfriendly they are. Of course no-one knew or asked my name when I arrived or seemed particularly interested in me. I approached the instructor to ask about the class and he was friendly enough but didn’t ask if I had any injuries. I did notice that he had very poor posture.
As the class progressed & people started to tire, I noticed that the majority of participants lost their form, neutral spine & balance. They were mainly young people who probably sit at a desk most of the day and flog themselves at the gym on weekends. I did overhear one guy telling his friend that his back was killing him but he pushed right through every move, pushup, plank, situp and squat. The instructor did shout out instructions but none were about form and most of the time he said push through and have fun.
After the class I felt very proud of the personal and attentive classes and feedback that we give to our clients at the studio. The highly trained teachers watching every movement you do and the way the reformer supports you while you move. The injury prevention and balance training we include into every class. This way we know our clients names, exercise history and most importantly their injuries.
I also love the fact that pilates is a non-competitive exercise and that there is no keeping up with the person next to you or your friends. At work there is enough ‘healthy’ competition, KPI’s and ladder climbing – it feels right to just let that all go when you come to a studio and work within your limits and explore movement.
My point is that we have come a long way in the exercise world and that there is so much out there that is not the self-absorbing, impersonal nature of the gym. Boutique studios with small classes allow us to actually enjoy the class, get some personal attention, have fun and know that we are on your way to building a healthier body and mind!