Day 7 of Fitness – Sculpted Body Pilates
Best Self editor: Flannery Keck
For Day 7 of Fitness, I went to a Pilates Megaformer class at Sculpted Body Pilates. When a workout takes places on something called a “Megaformer,” you can bet that it’s going to be intense. Sculpted Body Pilates certainly delivered!
I arrived at the East Cobb studio for the 6:15 class last night and slipped my shoes and socks off. I put them and my other belongings in a cubby, which sat right at the entrance. The whole studio consists of one long room, making it a very comfortable and non-intimidating space. Kathy Dickson, the owner, greeted me at the desk and introduced me to the class instructor—also named Kathy! She gave me a tutorial on the Megaformer equipment, which I had never used before. As intimidating as it may look, the machine actually is pretty straightforward to use. It consists of a stable platform at the front and the back, two sets of handlebars, a sliding “carriage” in the middle and straps in various places. There are also springs that attach underneath the carriage that can increase stability or change the challenge level of your workout.
After that introduction, Kathy put us to work. We started with our hands on the handlebars and our feet on the carriage, sliding slowly back to a plank position and then slowly back up. It’s very tough to cheat with this type of workout, I quickly realized, because if you don’t activate your core and hold yourself up, your carriage will just keep sliding your feet further away from you! (Or your knees, or one foot, etc—the body part on the carriage changes with different postures.) This is true of most of the movements we did. You’re really forced to activate your core, legs, and arms in order to keep the right position. The hardest position for me was when we worked our inner thighs from a standing position. With one foot on the stable platform and one foot on the sliding carriage, I had to fight with my own flexibility to keep my legs together and my movements controlled. It was tough, but I certainly can feel the benefit in my legs today.
Kathy was great about walking through the room, adjusting people’s springs as needed and correcting form for the maximum benefit in each posture. With some postures, we added arm weights, rings (pictured) or stabilizing poles to get the best position. By the end of the class, all of us were shaking in our legs and cores from the muscle fatigue, which was the goal! During some of the movements, I definitely felt my heart rate spiking because of the muscle challenges, so I even got some cardio benefit from this workout. We had worked every major muscle group and then ended with a few stretches to work out some of the soreness that was already setting in. If you’re looking for a lot of benefit from a relatively short class, this is a great option! Don’t be afraid of the unfamiliar equipment—with a great tutorial and personal attention, you’ll be feeling toned in no time.
Details: First class is $10, eight-visit pass for new members is $119, 1205 Johnson Ferry Road, Suite 133, Marietta, GA, sculptedbodypilates.com