Last night at 1am when I couldn’t sleep, I have to admit I wasn’t looking forward to getting up at 8am for my workout – especially since it was my first time going to Club Pilates and my first reformer class in a LONG time. The thought of my iPhone nudging me awake, pulling on yoga pants, and venturing to find a new studio wasn’t appealing, but ClassPass’ unexpected benefit is that you can’t cancel within 24 hours without paying a $20 fee. Bad for when you have an emergency come up, but really good for getting your lazy bum out of bed and into a workout.
Anyway, finding the studio was only mildly difficult. Once I got to Cherry Creek, there was a big sign with “Club Pilates” written on it indicating I had to go to the “Garden Level.” Everything in Cherry Creek is just fancier.
After a venturing down the stairs and winding a little bit through the various other shops and salons, I relatively easily found my way to the very pleasant, Mediterranean feeling Club Pilates studio.
I was promptly greeted, checked-in, and given instruction on which props to get, which today was just a pair of hand weights. After placing my belongings in a cubby in the studio, grabbing my little 3-pounders, and situating myself on the reformer, I was excited to begin and glad ClassPass forced me to get up and out.
For those of you unfamiliar with the reformer, it is a spring loaded resistance machine that you can lay, crouch, or stand on to perform a variety of different moves. It has straps that allow you to add resistance to moves like leg lifts and arm circles and a little bar that lets you do a variety of different squats, pikes, and stretches. Check out the video below to see it in action.
My favorite part about the reformer is that it can be very gentle, or very intense, and there is always an element of stretching and core strength. I was first introduced to this contraption when I was running Track at Stanford. I had a bad back spasm and my physical therapist would always use the reformer as a tool to strengthen my low back and all the little accessory muscles around it. The main reason I haven’t jumped back on the Pilates wagon after college is that the classes can be very expensive. And honestly, being able to take reformer classes may have been my single biggest motivator for getting ClassPass.
My experience at Club Pilates Denver was really great. The class had an amazing, positive energy that made every move seem fun – largely due to the great instructor. We started with the hand weights and did a variety of upper/lower body combination movements lying on the reformer, like a squat with arm lifts or calve raises with chest press. We then moved on to the famous “Pilates 100” (which involves being in a V-shape and pumping your hands up and down in tiny little movements 100 times) and a variety of little crunch movements that really engaged the whole core, including bridges and bicycles. After that we got off the machine and did a few movements standing on the reformer – think pikes and lunges – and then did upper body exercises on the “spring board” which is essentially a board on the wall with band-like springs attached with handles to pull for bicep curls, tricep extensions, chest press, really anything.
We finished lying back down on the reformer for my favorite part – the straps. You can see these in the video above, but you’re essentially doing leg lifts, leg circles, and a variety of different stretches with your feet in these straps that add resistance and pull you up and down the machine.
Overall, I left feeling strong, long, and lean, which is exactly what I’m aiming for. It wasn’t the hardest workout I’ve ever done, but my legs were surprisingly jelly-y when I got up to put my shoes back on. This was actually one of my favorite classes I’ve done so far and I’m hoping to use the full three times per month allowance here each month!
Do any of you do Pilates in Denver? Which other studios do you love?