Written by Glenn Withers
MSK Physiotherapist, APPI Co-founder and Director, B.Physio MCSP
Joseph Pilates, the visionary behind the Pilates method, once said, “In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20 sessions, you will see the difference. And in 30 sessions, you will have a whole new body.” These words beautifully capture the essence of Pilates and the importance of regular practice. We are often asked, here in the UK, and as we travel the world presenting at large scale conferences or teaching in the many countries around the world that have taken to the APPI method of Pilates – “how many times per week do I need to see you?”. Our answer in quite straight forward – Once a week is a minimum, twice a week is ideal, and no one needs to do it more than three times a week in studio as you should be doing other exercise forms also.
In this blog, we’ll explore the incredible benefits of doing Pilates multiple times a week compared to just once a month. From enhanced physical fitness to lasting improvements in mental well-being, Pilates has much to offer when practiced consistently. I have used many of Joe’s famous quotes to direct the content of the blog here and ensure that the messages are those that have come from our founding father.
Physical Benefits: The Transformation of Your Body
1. Increased Strength:
Joseph Pilates designed the method to strengthen the body from the inside out. When you commit to multiple weekly sessions, you gradually build muscle strength and endurance. Your core, in particular, becomes a powerhouse of stability.
“Physical fitness can neither be achieved by wishful thinking nor outright purchase.” – Joseph Pilates
2. Improved Flexibility:
Regular Pilates sessions enhance flexibility by lengthening and stretching muscles. You’ll notice increased range of motion, which can help prevent injuries and alleviate chronic pain.
“You are only as young as your spine is flexible.” – Joseph Pilates
3. Enhanced Posture:
Pilates emphasises proper alignment and body awareness. With consistent practice, you’ll naturally maintain better posture throughout your daily activities, reducing strain and discomfort.
“Good posture can be successfully acquired only when the entire mechanism of the body is under perfect control.” – Joseph Pilates
Mental and Emotional Benefits: A Balanced Mind
1. Stress Reduction:
Pilates is not just about physical exercise; it’s also a form of mindful movement. Multiple weekly sessions can help you manage stress more effectively, as you learn to focus on the present moment.
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” – Joseph Pilates
2. Enhanced Mental Clarity:
The mind-body connection in Pilates can lead to increased mental clarity and improved concentration. You’ll find it easier to tackle daily tasks and make decisions.
“Contrology [Pilates] develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.” – Joseph Pilates
3. Boosted Self-Confidence:
As your body becomes stronger and more flexible, and you feel a greater sense of inner peace, your self-confidence naturally improves. This newfound confidence can positively impact various aspects of your life.
“Change happens through movement, and movement heals.” – Joseph Pilates
Long-Term Benefits: A Lifetime of Well-Being
1. Injury Prevention:
Regular Pilates practice can significantly reduce the risk of injuries, as it strengthens the body and promotes balanced muscle development.
“If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old. If it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.” – Joseph Pilates.
2. Age Gracefully:
The Pilates method is suitable for people of all ages. Consistency in your practice can help you maintain your fitness levels as you age, ensuring a more active and fulfilling life.
“Age is not measured by years. Nature does not regard time.” – Joseph Pilates
I hope the above analysis of the benefits of Pilates can inspire you to make the choice to commit. Only 10% of our current clients are hitting the once per week target, and only 0.5% coming multiple times per week. This means that, while you are doing great in committing to regular exercise, you are missing out on many of the benefits that will come to your body and mind by not committing to the consistency that is recommended by the man who designed the method in the first place.
In the words of Joseph Pilates himself, “Pilates is a complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” The benefits of practicing Pilates multiple times a week versus once a month are abundant, ranging from enhanced physical fitness to lasting improvements in mental and emotional well-being. By committing to regular sessions, you’ll not only feel and look better but also cultivate a healthier, more vibrant life. So, don’t wait; start your Pilates journey today and experience the transformative power of consistency. Remember, as Joseph Pilates wisely said, “In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference.”