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Starting a new fitness class can be daunting. Just remember: no one knows what they’re doing the first class, but also it’s nice to learn a little info before you book.
Whether you’re on the mat or machine, take a few tips from the team at Pilates Plus OC on how to prepare for your first class—and enjoy it!
What separates Pilates Plus + OC from other studios is our amazing staff and instructors. But, the energy our clients bring to the studios is what really sets us apart. All of our instructors are certified in teaching the Lagree Method, but many of them have various other certifications as well. This not only makes them super knowledgeable in fitness techniques and movement, but it also helps them cater to our diverse clientele by allowing them to create routines for all levels of fitness.
While staying true to the Lagree Method, each instructor incorporates their own technical flair and playlists, so our clients never get bored! Our tight-knit community of clients bring fun and inviting energy to every class. Everyone becomes part of the Pilates Plus OC family when they walk through our doors!
We not only specialize in the Lagree Method, but Pilates Plus OC was actually one of the first licensees to open nationwide, and the first one in Orange County! The Lagree Method stays true to the strengthening and lengthening of traditional Pilates, but it builds upon it by safely providing more intensity.
The Lagree Method is a low impact, full-body conditioning program that focuses on continuous “time-under-tension;” targeting the slow-twitch muscle fibers that lean out the muscles. Think of a marriage between strength, endurance, core, cardio, and flexibility, and you’ve got Lagree! There’s a reason why celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Sophia Vergara trust Lagree to keep them in camera-ready shape. It is truly fit for royalty…just ask Duchess Megan Markle.
When coming to a Pilates Plus OC class, you can expect a state of the art, low-impact machine known as the Megaformer. The versatility of this machine is truly incredible. It is easily adaptable to all fitness levels and designed for ease of use and fast transitions in a class setting.
The Megaformer is often imitated, but never duplicated. The amount of research that has gone into its design is unparalleled and constantly evolving! We also use various props during class likes weights, balance discs, and weighted balls. The possibilities are truly endless with this machine!
Amy Briant and Gianna Stremick—Pilates Plus OC owners—share their favorite move: scrambled eggs! It targets the obliques in such a deep way that you cannot mimic it on another machine. While working your core, you also target secondary muscles like your glutes, hamstrings, and the stabilizing muscles along your spine. You end up working your entire body just holding the position and keeping proper form!
Amy and Gianna also love the Reverse Crunch because it truly targets your pelvic floor and your transverse abs (deep abs). The Reverse Crunch does this all while keeping your neck and shoulders from straining, which can often happen during a traditional crunch done on the floor.
Honestly? Sore in all the right places! But you will always feel accomplished, and ready for more.
Ideally, our trainers recommend you start off doing Pilates two to three times per week to see the results. If your schedule allows, three to four times per week is even better!
The best part about taking a Pilates Plus OC class on the Megaformer is that you truly work the entire body in every single class! Our clients are always pleasantly surprised at how quickly the class goes by—it’s so much fun! When you walk out of our door, you're done working out for the day. You've already worked all of your muscles in our 50-minute class!
“Stretch, protein and LUMIONskin,” says Studio Operations Manager Kayla Lyons, who is also a certified fitness trainer. Making sure to stretch after she exercises, she knows that, “most people aren’t aware you can gain up to 15% more muscle mass by stretching after a workout, not to mention it keeps me flexible.”
Kayla recommends consuming protein 1-2 hours after every Pilates class to help muscles recover quicker, and reduce soreness. “I’m super busy, and constantly on the go. I don’t have time to stop or shower after class if I’m working at the studio, so to avoid breakouts and kill post-workout bacteria I use LUMIONskin Mist; an oxygen spray we carry here at the studio.”
LUMIONskin is an all-natural skincare line created by co-owner of Pilates Plus OC, Amy Briant, and can be found in many fitness boutiques and wellness stores across the nation. Explore LUMIONskin products and follow them at @lumionskin on Instagram!
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.