Have y’all ever tried Pilates on a Reformer Machine? Let me tell ya, it is hard. But, I LOVED my experience at Speir Pilates in Santa Monica. I was lucky to be invited to their 2nd birthday celebration where I tried a workout by Andrea Speir …..and then ate Sweetgreen salads and drank Suja juice 😉 I’m always looking for the best fitness studios and classes in Los Angeles, so I’m excited to be launching a series where I review and share about LA workout studios! And we’re kicking it off today with Speir Pilates!
Before we talk about the studio, let’s go over the basics: What is Pilates?
WHAT IS PILATES?
Pilates is a series of movements and exercises that are designed to focus on improving flexibility, posture and physical strength. It also claims to enhance mental awareness, which I love! Our mental state is a key component of our overall wellness. The moves take a lot of precision and control and work to help sculpt and contour your body. (One look at Andrea Speir and you know it works….)
Reformer Pilates vs Mat Pilates: If you’re taking a class as part of your gym membership, it’s most likely a mat Pilates class. Pilates on the Reformer machine is much more dynamic and also uses resistance from the springs. I’ve now experienced both types of Pilates and I much prefer the Reformer version. It’s so fun (and again, hard) to use the machines!
Speir Pilates is located at 1427 7th Street in Santa Monica. It’s a beautiful white space with pretty plants and a fabulous neon sign that says SWEAT + Good Vibes (Insert hallelujah emoji here!)
I had only ever taken one other Reformer Pilates class before and that was a long time ago, so I was basically a beginner. When I first walked into the studio, I was greeted by Andrea herself (and her super fab PR team). She gave me a huge hug and was just so friendly. And beautiful. The woman is gorgeous. The entire staff was sooo nice and helpful and even walked around during class to help us correct our form.
The class itself is hard. I think it was a special class for us that combined a few different aspects of their signature classes. There’s lots of fun music to keep you motivated and of course the machines are the best part. Before we got on the Reformer, we did some light free weights on the mat. Then we laid down on the carriage of the machine that moves on springs. (You adjust the color of the springs to increase or decrease the difficulty level.) I loved Speirs Pilates because they did this bouncing movement as part of the workout routine. (Watch the bouncing here!) Pilates does not traditionally incorporate cardio but the bouncing (achieved by pushing off the jumpboard) can be considered cardio. Andrea told me the bouncing is basically like doing Cardio while lying down. Um, hello that is the easiest way to do cardio ever! Love.
Their website says, “The jumpboard employs the principles of plyometrics to train coordination, strengthen muscles and burn calories. It attaches to the end of the reformer and allows you to get cardio aerobic training with very little stress or impact on the joints, and the springs help the muscles tone without bulking. It’s great for athletes because it develops and strengthens the fast twitch muscles in the quadricep without compression, helping to improve speed, agility and power. The jumpboard is a great alternative to traditional cardio, and is recommended for anyone looking to strengthen lower body joints, get relief from osteoporosis or just looking to get a killer fat-burning workout! In this innovative class, we fuse multiple styles of modern cardio and exercise elements with the elongating reformer work to offer an all-in-one workout. We like to think of this class as what would happen if your gym and Pilate studio had a baby. Get ready to get sweaty, and leave with a huge smile on your face because this class is great fun!”
THE BOTTOM LINE
The next day I was super sore. I felt it mostly in my core and abs, but pretty much my entire body was hurtin’. In a good way though!
You can expect to sweat at your first Pilates class, especially if you do the one that incorporates cardio. Don’t get frustrated. Just know that it is a lot harder than it looks! The machines look simple and fun, but they are hard. You’ll have to pay close attention to your form to make sure you’re activating the right muscles, but don’t worry the instructors are wonderful and will help you. They also offer modifications, which can be a lifesaver!
So grateful to Andrea Speir and Speir Pilates for having me! I really enjoyed the workout! I’m going to incorporate Reformer Pilates into my workout routine.
Have you done Reformer Pilates?