Finding the True “Core” of Fitness: Making Fitness Goals that Matter

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Finding the True “Core” of Fitness: Making Fitness Goals that Matter

By: Estin Holcomb, 2 months into Pilates training

Many of us think of training in terms of sweat equity. In order for a session to be thought of as a “success,” we should be tired, sweaty, hot, and sore. These symptoms equate to a good workout. I believed this for years, until I stepped into a Pilates mat class at Waveforms Pilates.

My transition from typical free weight resistance training and cardio (mainly running) to Pilates was not an easy one at first. I came in thinking the work I saw being done didn’t appear to be work at all. People who were training weren’t panting and out of breath; they weren’t beat red, dripping with sweat.

These physical signs had become my definition of a normal work out.

 

Stepping Into a Pilates Mat Class

 

My first few mat sessions I felt restless and a bit discouraged by the repeated corrections of my poor form and body posture. My trainer would tell me I was done because my technique was being compromised and she didn’t want me to get hurt, even though I felt I could do a lot more.

Estin Pilates Forward Flexion

The truth was my form was bad, my posture was poor, and my supportive muscle groups were weak. I had decent abdominal definition but my internal core muscles were weak and my low back was suffering as result. When we continue because we think we can do more, it can result in overuse injury, joint problems, cramping, or worse. This was a stark difference from the kind of exercise I was used to.

 

Setting Realistic Goals for Holistic Health

 

As my trainer worked with me my mindset started to change to focus on fitness goals that would increase the overall functionality of my body and improve my sense of well being. I noticed I feel taller and my limbs longer. I’m more flexible; I can bend over and touch my toes, twist and rotate my upper body from side to side, and tension I used to carry in my neck and shoulders has subsided. Most notable, I no longer experience muscle cramps through my shoulder and chest when I run.

img_4124Continuing Body Weight Pilates Training

 

Pilates resistance training focuses on form first, then builds strength and flexibility. Techniques are done slow and controlled. Through this transition, I feel like I’ve worked out without being beaten down and in pain the next day. This is making me more efficient when I train and leaving me with energy for my next session.

 

I am very excited to see what the future holds with my continued training. The beginning stages of a Pilates journey are full of exploration and discovery. For me thus far, redefining my idea of a work out has been beneficial for my overall health and training plan. It’s clear this redefinition has and will continue to be beneficial for my physical accomplishments going forward.


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Waveforms Spotlight: Carolyn K. – “Pilates makes you more fit, stronger, and increases your stability.”

Contributing Author: Courtney Cerniglia

When Carolyn moved to the Fox Cities, she wanted to continue her Pilates routine. “I felt blessed to have found Courtney in this area. She’s right up there with some of the top trainers I’ve worked with.” Knowledgeable, kind, and thoughtful, Carolyn enjoyed these qualities of Courtney’s that made their private sessions fun and effective. Working in the new Waveforms Pilates studio this summer, she felt more relaxed and comfortable in the “studio spa space,” as she described it.

 

fullsizeoutput_bWhile Carolyn has done both Pilates mat and private sessions, she will never give up her private sessions. The one-on-one training she receives from Courtney is helping her continue to progress towards her goals. Her goals shift over time, but she continues to see benefits in keeping her body mobile and capable for any phase of life.

 

Once an athlete, Carolyn mentions how powerful it is to pair Pilates work into your training regimen. We asked her what benefits of her practice she’s noticed, she exclaimed, “Strength! Pilates makes you more fit, stronger, and increases your stability. I’ve also lost some weight as well, as it tightens everything up. For an athlete, it’s a discipline that works on the things other methods don’t.”

 

“Pilates is results driven,” Carolyn explained. “You stand taller and gain results from the work you put into it. Courtney challenges me to work harder, do more, and take my practice to the next level.”

 

 

Carolyn’s favorite Pilates exercises tend to include almost anything on the reformer. Different than with a mat class, using the reformer can create space in places hard to access without the added resistance. It also adds an extra element of gravitational pull and spring resistance to add intensity to easier movements. But when Carolyn’s on the mat, she likes plank postures. “They’re difficult, yet rewarding. I feel a sense of accomplishment in the end.”

 

It’s easy to see Carolyn has a goal driven practice that’s pushing her to maintain a healthy lifestyle. She uses Pilates to enhance her natural strength and continue to improve in areas that need more love.
“I encourage anyone who isn’t sure about Pilates to look into adding it to your routine. Runners, cyclists, triathletes, can all see improvements to their performance by incorporating it into a training program,” she encourages. “I can’t say enough great things about working with Courtney at Waveforms Pilates. She has a vast breadth of knowledge, acute attention to detail and a kind approach, she is everything I am looking for in a trainer.”

 

Pilates Trainer Courtney & Carolyn K.