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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!
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.