What do you get when you mix cardio with Pilates? Cardiolates, of course! If I’m going to be honest, I had nooo idea that this was even a thing. But, then again, I’ve never done a Pilates class—let alone a cardiolates class.
So what better way to introduce myself than to the wonderful world of all things Pilates by signing up for a Wednesday night cardiolates class—nothing like being thrown into the deep end, right?
I packed my gym bag and tootled off to Reform Fitness where I was greeted by the lovely David Enitcott. He explained that the one-hour session would be divided into two sections: 30 minutes of HIIT (that’s high-intensity interval training) followed by 30 minutes of strength and conditioning on the reformer.
“The what?” I asked. As it turns out, a reformer is an odd-looking exercise machine used for Pilates. Springs, pulleys and body weight create resistance while performing movements to target specific muscle groups. Right. Gotcha. I probably should have Googled that before the class.
My lack of knowledge wasn’t enough to put me off though. Ignorance is bliss, huh? Feeling eager, I strapped my feet into a spin bike and got ready to work up a sweat.
The class started with sets on the bike—20 seconds going full bore, 10 seconds slow. We then jumped (read: staggered) off and did various forms of bodyweight squats and lunges. My glutes were already burning and the fun had just begun!
It was then back to the bike for four more ‘20 on, 10 off’ sets. I realise four sets doesn’t sound like much but, when you’re pedalling like your life depends on it, you start to feel it pretty damn fast.
We were far from being done with lunges and squats. This time David added kettlebells to the squats and, with weights in hand, used the reformer machine to do lunges.
As a daily gym gal, I rate my ability to squat and lunge but this was unlike anything I’d done before. The movement was slow and controlled allowing for maximum bum burn. My body was shaking from the movements—a sure sign my muscles were feeling the fatigue.
There was no time for pity though. It was back to the bike for us. This time we did six (!) sets. Every pore of my body was dripping with sweat. But did I stop? Nope! David was one hella motivating teacher. He clearly loves what he does and there’s nothing more inspiring than passion. His motivating banter had me believing I was capable of anything—including making that bike my bitch and completing those sets like a champ.
We dismounted the bikes for the last time (thank goodness!) for a final hurrah on the reformer machine. We focused on movements that target the core as well as our arms and back muscles before finishing off with a much-needed cool-down and stretch.
I had survived my very first cardiolates (and Pilates class!) and lived to tell the tale. My verdict? Cardiolates is your one-stop shop if you wanna work up a sweat, feel that muscle burn and have a good time while you’re at it!
Image credit: Reform Pilates via Facebook