Back in the days when Meghan Markle was a hollywood star with an instagram account, and not a member of the Royal Family, her now deactivated insta account was filled with photos of her doing reformer pilates workouts and singing their praises. And I absolutely understand why. As someone who has had a love hate relationship with the gym, and a hate hate relationship with yoga (sorry I really did try to love it but couldn’t), it’s always been a battle to find something to help combat the South Aussie food and wine lifestyle I enjoy. That was of course, until I discovered Studio Pilates, which specialises in reformer pilates classes.
Well as an advocate for reformer pilates, Meghan Markle has shown us why we should take a second look at this mysterious exercise regime, and to take note of its benefits.
Last year I dove into the reformer pilates world, starting my experience with their 30 day challenge. As someone who was completely unfit and not used to a fitness routine, I don’t think I got the most out of the experience. I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but I could physically only manage about 3 days a week, needing to have spacer days to recover. At the end of my 30 days, I felt stronger, but didn’t look too different, and I certainly didn’t follow the eating plan that was recommended. My before and after body scans by SA Body Analysis, basically showed little change which was disappointing. I knew it was my fault though, and I swore to do better in 2018.
Well 2018 rolled around and I started my January with the first New Year’s Resolution that I’ve ever kept. Less drinking, better eating and fitness all rolled in together. I started doing Studio Pilates again with the launch of their new Henley Beach studio, and come February, I began their most recent 30 day challenge. I booked in 4-5 times a week, not 3, and I ate better and drank less. It worked.
I’ve just finished my 30 day challenge and my muffin top is gone. The back rolls (evidence of a Christmas well spent) are gone. My stomach is flat. And I’m feeling lean and fabulous. Best of all, the classes were only 40 minutes long (good for lunch hour workouts) so I was able to fit it into my existing routine without too much hassle. Which means I can keep doing it!
Today I had my body scan and the before and after results are fantastic. My skeletal muscle mass has gone up, my percentage body fat has gone down, and my BMI is in the healthy range on the scale. I’m finally on the right track. And I can thank Meghan Markle for some of that, because she showed me a celeb fitness fab that is actually accessible to us mortals.
If you’ve ever wanted to try reformer pilates, the guys over at Studio Pilates (based on Young St in the city, Henley Square, and on The Parade in Norwood) have an intro pack on offer which is 6 classes for $60. With casual classes priced at $27 – it’s an incredible saving to kick off your experience, and if you love it as much as I do, you can buy discounted blocks of classes to save as you go. Grab more info from them here.
As for the fitness tips to get your pre-Summer (sorry I abused you in Winter) body back on track, and to lead you into a healthier life – here’s the way forward.
6 TIPS TO ENSURE YOU’RE GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR WORKOUTS
- Have you reset goals lately?
It’s time to take stock of where you are and where you want to be. What do you want to accomplish? Be realistic, but dream big.
Is it to get lean and strong? To lose weight? To lose centimetres? Gain greater flexibility? Take some time out just for you? All of the above?
It is best to make your goals SMART ie specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. So rather than saying “I want to increase my energy levels” or “I want to lose weight”, add meaningful details, such as “I want to have the strength and stamina I need for my trekking trip in November.”
- Do you have a clear payoff in mind?
Why do I want to achieve this goal? How will achieving it make me feel? This is crucial to your goal setting.
eg “I want to be confident I can keep up with the group on the trek, so that I can enjoy amazing places and experiences that can only be seen on foot.”
- Do you have a plan?
How are you going to achieve your goals?
Your goals need some structure and support around them so you can develop a “no excuses” mentality. What do you need to do, or accomplish, in order to reach your goals? In what time frame?
Write down your goals – and list your steps to getting there. Maybe you want to enlist the help of a digital fitness tracker, or a friend. What was a wish, or a hope, or a dream, gets turned into a commitment to which you are accountable … which means your chances of success just skyrocketed!
Too busy to exercise? Not in the mood? Can’t resist that burger and fries? Your plan will remind you just what you are committing to and why your goal is so important. It will also help you identify your saboteurs and plan appropriate countermeasures. It will give you clarity, and help you check your progress, and provide validation for your actions.
- Change up what you are doing – regularly
Can you add a new cardio interest into the mix? Can you ramp up your resistance? Can you fit in another class each week? Your instructor is there to ensure you are getting the most out of your workout, so make sure you have a chat about what you would like out of your sessions. Keep your body guessing – and your mind stimulated with new challenges.
- When the going gets tough – and it will – what will you do?
What obstacles – real or perceived – might you be facing? Think about your favourite excuses. Do you blame others for misleading you? Do you blame your work hours for stopping you from exercising? Is your negative head chatter about your body image holding you back?
Don’t let those excuses get the better of you. Remember, you are in charge of your destiny. Wake up earlier to fit in a workout. Get your clothes out the night before. Put your alarm clock on the other side of the room. Have only “clean” food in the house while you are watching your weight. Become your own cheerleader. Enlist the help and support of friends. For every excuse you’re likely to develop when things get tough, have a countermeasure at the ready. Resolve to push through it, sore muscles and all!
- Don’t forget the fun bit: your rewards
Think about the rewards you will give yourself as you achieve your mini goals and major goal. Keep focused on these as you move towards your next goal. Acknowledging yourself for a job well done is a vital part of keeping up your enthusiasm. What’s it to be? A special outing for the halfway mark? A new workout kit? A celebration with friends? You deserve it!
So what are you waiting for? Say goodbye to evidence of your Winter indulgences, and hello to your new body. I will be.
First published on Mar 19, 2018.