Why Pilates has man power!

2013June04_Pilates_AJoseph Pilates, certainly projected the image of a masculine man – a macho looking, muscle-bound cigar smoker. He also developed Pilates from exercises aimed at helping  injured soldiers recover and recuperate after returning from the war. However, today, most people, including many fitness professionals, see Pilates as an exercise for women only, which has the effect of putting many men off. However, there are many men who would benefit from an exercise program that aims at transforming your body, and potentially your mind too. Lets meet our five types of men who have really experienced the power of Pilates.

The Flab Fighter

He used to keep fit playing football, but after hitting 30 and beyond he’s slowed down on the fitness and taken to overindulging in food and drink instead. He’s now found himself fighting the flab of middle-age spread. After making an effort with healthier eating and a morning run, he’s dropped some excess weight but still has a gigantic gut.

“After trying Pilates I found that the exercises really targeted my mid section. I wasn’t looking for a six pack but the core strengthening exercises helped diminish all of that stomach fat. I keep it at bay with three classes a week. Now I have more energy and endurance to keep me going at work and at play.”

The Injured Convert

A dedicated follower of fitness, his exercise program used to be mainly lifting weights a couple of days a week in the gym and trying to get a daily run in. He thought he had all his fitness bases covered. His  girlfriend took up Pilates and would go with all her friends and I saw this as an ideal fitness program for women. It wasn’t until I damaged my knee in a cycling accident and couldn’t run, that I went along for a class because I was missing my usual exercise routine. I was impressed from the start.

“This wasn’t some easy class aimed at women with no power. Some of the exercises took all of my strength and I was using muscles that I was barely aware existed. Because the exercises helped to strengthen my glutes and hips, I was able to overcome my knee injury and start running again. I feel more flexible than ever and much stronger in my mid section, something that years of weights could not achieve. I now keep my own Pilates mat next to my girlfriend’s by the door and join her when she heads to the studio.”

The Older Man

He’s worked hard to support his family for years, which has turned him from a college athlete to an overweight and unfit older man who spends long hours sitting at his desk. After a while he was not only starting to get the middle age spread around his belly but also back pain that doctors and chiropractors couldn’t seem to do anything for. After retirement, with more time to keep fit he decides to try Pilates as it’s an exercise program open to all ages and fitness levels.

“I was hesitant after my first class and felt like an aging rooster in the hen house but I persevered, because of what the instructor had told me the benefits could be for someone of my age who doesn’t have a strong fitness background. I found that the exercises strengthened my back and relieved my back pain after years of sitting down. I’m far more agile and looking forward to doing the energetic things I’ve wanted to do with my family in my retirement years. I’m looking forward to a walking tour in Austria booked for this summer!”

The Athlete

He has always kept myself in shape, doing track and field, lifting weights and swimming for the local team and really had no idea what Pilates was all about. It was by chance that he joined a Pilates class, after a fitness friend recommended it. Being fit, he presumes that as the class is mainly full of women that the exercises won’t stretch him in any shape or form at all. How wrong he was!

“I was really surprised to find it was such a challenging workout. I thought I was already in great shape. I decided try Pilates for at least six weeks and I soon found that I was a great deal more flexible by the time I had finished.  Since then I haven’t looked back!. I feel that I have more power and endurance, and not just when doing sports. It is the icing on the cake of my active life.”

The Developing Teen

He’s only 16  and been doing gymnastics for years and has always been on school sport teams. He would never have started Pilates under his own steam but he’s encouraged to try it after his mom came back from classes raving about them. He helped her with her exercises too and isn’t too fazed by old fashioned male stereotypes or keeping up a macho image.

“I found that it made me much more flexible when I was doing my horse work in the gym. I tended to get injured less than other classmates and knew the limits of my body. It has also helped my posture, I seem to walk taller and this makes me feel more confident about who I am and how I come across to others. Not only that but my physique is at its prime and I look great in anything!”

Are you a man who’s had a positive experience of Pilates? Do you think that Pilates might bring a little extra to your fitness program? Pilates has real man power and that’s an energy many men would like to plug into!

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