I jumped at the chance to try a ‘Dynamic Reformer Class’ by Bootcamp Pilates, not really knowing what I was getting myself into!
When I used to think of ‘reformer Pilates’ I thought of strange looking torture machines; the kind that I’d seen in history books. I can assure you that this is definitely not the case and for those that are still a little unsure as to what I’m going on about, a brief history of Reformer Pilates goes a little something like this…
Dynamic Reformer Pilates involves exercising on Reformer Machines (scary looking torture machines) that were invented originally by Mr Joseph Pilates himself, who through using equipment to hand during the First World War, created a system of springs, straps and pulleys to keep muscles moving whilst lying down (it’s now starting to sound quite luxurious). Jump forward to 2005 and the birth of Bootcamp Pilates in the UK, this revolutionary workout focuses on transforming posture, strength and shape.
Bootcamp Pilates have a whole host of venues covering many top London locations, but I chose to visit The Strand studio, purely because it was on the way home. If like me, you visit Bootcamp Pilates on The Strand, don’t be put off by the back entrance. Admittedly I was slightly confused at first and thought I’d been let in to a deserted underground office but after finding my way down a couple of flights of stairs and though a couple of doors, I was greeted by the loveliest instructor! As usual, I was quite early to my class and so had a bit of time to suss the studio out before I had to get sweaty. For those that have to come straight from work, there is plenty of space to change and lockers for you to keep your belongings in. It’s also possible to pop your things into little cubby holes in the actual studio, so if you’re in a rush after class, you can make a quick grab and run. Water is on tap to fill up any empty bottles
As I’d taken quite a few Pilates classes before, I was recommended to go straight in for the Standard Reformer class, rather than the beginner. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous to start with as I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep up with the class and would use my machine completely wrong but I was quickly put at ease by the lovely instructor who made sure I was set up correctly and felt happy and comfortable. The actual class was split into a warm-up, legs/glutes, arms & abs which was great in terms of following a structure and knowing which muscle groups to focus you energy on, and boy do your muscles let you know that you’re working hard! The reformer machine was great for really pushing your limits and worked muscles that I either didn’t know existed or hadn’t been worked out in an awfully long time….a definite new favourite of mine!
I have to say, I was a bit dubious about what to expect from a Reformer Pilates class to start with. I thought it might be one of those classes that looks really fun but doesn’t give you that killer workout that you were after, but how wrong I was! If you’re looking for an all-over body workout that includes both weights and resistance then I would definitely recommend you try out Bootcamp Pilates (plus it is really fun too). Also, not only do Bootcamp Pilates off Reformer Pilates classes but there a whole host of other exciting classes to sink your teeth (or abs) into, such as HIIP 30, Reformer 45, Express 45 & Cardio Pilates.
Classes start at £25 per class with discount if you purchase multiple in one go, but if your quick and able to get to the studio on The Strand, you might be able to book in some single classes while there is 50% off!! Just use the code ‘STRAND’ at the checkout for classes in that studio.