I have been to Bootcamp Pilates quite a few times in the past and always really enjoyed it. However, for no particular reason I haven’t been for ages…so when they got in touch and offered Healthy Living London the chance to trial their Cardio Pilates class I jumped at the chance – mostly because I’ve always rated them as a studio but also I get bored super easily so I loved the idea of taking the reformer machine and creating a new kind of class around it.
The class has about 12 reformer machines and so the trainer is always able to keep a fairly close eye on your form – which is absolutely essential in pilates. Pilates isn’t about doing as many reps as you can possibly do, it is about doing each rep right, engaging your core and other muscles correctly to create the movement. It’s different to most of the other exercise I do so I always find it fun and refreshing when I do manage to get to a class. Bootcamp pilates is all done in either bare feet or socks – pilates socks with little sticky bobbles are good but not essential. Also something worth noting is every time I have ever been to Bootcamp Pilates there have always been men in the class – so don’t be shy boys – pilates is going to work you hard too!
I wasn’t certain how they were going to make a reformer pilates class cardio – but basically it went a little like this: We worked in sets, in each set there were 3 floor exercises to get your heart rate up quickly and formed the cardio part of the workout. Then you would do 3 exercises on the reformer machine bringing in the pilates side of the workout. This full set of floor and reformer pilates work was then repeated. The floor exercises were varied from walkouts to plyometrics and some of these were performed with dumbells so you could choose to go heavier if you fancied and wanted to push yourself that extra mile. The reformer moves were well balanced with the floor exercises and during the 55 minute class the full body was worked in different sets – arms, legs, core. Having so many different parts to each set was really enjoyable as even while each bit hurt while you were doing it – it wasn’t for too long before you were onto the next movement which was good and certainly not long enough to get bored! The trainer was attentive and quick to correct any bad form which I thought was great – it’s really annoying if technique doesn’t get corrected, particularly in pilates as the slightest tweak can make such a big difference to the exercise!
I would definitely recommend this class to everyone. The studio is clean, equipment of good quality, well maintained and the instructors consistently great in my experience. As far as this specific class goes I loved the mixture of exercises on and off the reformer machine – so if you enjoy variation in your workout and thinking about incorporating some pilates into your regime this is a really great class to try out. If you would prefer a class that is all on the reformer machine I would definitely recommend one of their regular classes – they have standard and beginner classes so there is something for everyone.