Frequently Asked Questions
What the heck is Pilates, anyway?
Yes, this is the number one question we (and every Pilates studio ever) gets asked. You’ve probably already read the usual answer: Pilates is a functional fitness system that offers a total mind-body workout, aimed at conditioning the whole body and maintaining health. But what does that actually mean?
Said in actual English, Pilates consists of different movements or exercises that emphasize precise control. It’s really important that each movement be performed with a clear focus on precision; many of the movements are small and therefore it matters even more that they are done correctly. While you do these movements, you will be breathing in a way that calms the nervous system while conditioning the core.
A combination of mat exercises and apparatus are used. The movements are designed to strengthen and lengthen muscles, increase flexibility and balance, and heal the body from existing injuries while protecting against future ones. This system is not designed to build bulk, but to keep the body lean and working at its optimum. Pilates is meant to be a personalized, individual system rather than something that is taught to many people at one time. This is what we talk about when we talk about doing it right.
Will it work for me if I’m injured / rehabbing an injury / have an on-going condition or pain / haven’t ever set foot off my couch?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Yes, definitely!
But seriously, folks, this system is one of the most effective ways to both rehab an injury and prevent future injuries from even happening. It’s designed to be one-on-one and personalized, so whether you have an ongoing medical condition, have finally become determined to get off the couch after decades of sitting, or have some non-diagnosed pain or discomfort, our instructors are highly trained to help tailor the practice to you, specifically. Please, don’t let concerns over injuries or discomfort in your body keep you from taking charge of your health and feeling better! Come see us. We can help.
Will it work for me if I’m an athlete in training?
Again, short answer: Yes
Pilates will absolutely give you that extra edge in strength, endurance, core power, and confidence. Even if you have been training for much of your life, you may be surprised at the advances you can make when you incorporate the Pilates system into your regimen.
When will I see results?
When performed correctly, Pilates is one of the fastest methods of getting the results you want. Doing the exercises correctly, with the guidance of your instructor, is key. When you first begin, it will likely take some time for you to understand the exercises and how they should be performed. This is normal! We encourage you to ask if you’re not clear about the directions. Don’t be shy – we were all beginners once, and we at Concord Pilates hope to create an atmosphere of learning and curiosity. You will not be judged for not knowing something. Remember, the only way to benefit from the exercises is if you learn the correct technique. And that’s why we’re here.
Are there shortcuts?
Nope. Like with most things that are good, you gotta do the work. But if you want an idea of time frame, here’s what Joseph Pilates says:
“If you will faithfully perform your contrology [Pilates] exercises regularly only four times a week for just three months,…, you will find your body development approaching the ideal, accompanied by renewed mental vigor and spiritual enhancement.”
Why do I have to start with the free Initial Assessment?
Because we want to help you find the Pilates plan that will help you reach your goals as quickly as possible. Whether you have never done a single Pilates movement or you've been working with Pilates for decades, we want to meet with you in a personalized setting to learn more about you and your goals. We will perform a short fitness screening to reveal your body's strengths and needs. With this information in mind, we'll help you customize a plan to best fit your schedule, budget, and body.
Will it help me lose weight?
Yes. Maybe. Depends on what you mean by that. Pilates is not specifically designed for weight loss, but it is designed to tone and lengthen your muscles. Your body will change, growing leaner and stronger. Will that mean you lose weight? Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. Sometimes you’ll gain more muscle and so your weight will stay the same. But what it will do is make you look better and feel better. And when you look and feel good, you might just find you don’t care about that number on the scale anymore.
What if I’m in a class and I can’t do something? Can I just do a different exercise?
In Pilates, it is never about what you do, but how you do it. For this reason, we ask that you do not just “do something else” if an exercise is not attainable. Rather, we want to show you the correct way to do something that IS attainable for you. If you have limitations or injuries, or experience pain in class, please speak up and tell us. An exercise is just a tool to achieve a certain effect; if the tool isn’t working for you, we can give you one that will.
We know that the standard way of thinking about exercise is “I just have to do it, even if it hurts” and “More is better.” But neither of these is true. We at Concord Pilates are here to help you; it’s what you pay us for! It’s our job to show you the way to get from where you are to where you want to be. If you cannot do an exercise or if it doesn’t feel right, please don’t just struggle along or change some part of the exercise. Stop the exercise and tell us so we can help.
Why is it better than a gym?
What sets us apart here at Concord Pilates is that we care about teaching you to move better, to use the equipment and knowledge we have in a way that brings you to your optimum self. So while “better” might not be the right word (even if we kinda like it!), “different” is definitely true. In a gym, you might work with a trainer to learn how to use the equipment, but then you’re mostly on your own. Here, we have decades of combined training. We have solutions for your movement problems. We are vigilant about assuring that you are getting the movements that are correct for you.
How come you guys are so darn smart?
Training, training, training! In a word: training. Oh—that, and heart. We are constantly learning, studying, training so that we can give you the very best cutting edge information and experience. And we care: about you, about us, about the community we build together, and about this system of functional fitness. Thanks for being part of the whole thing.