My First Time... Doing Pilates; Result: Mind And Body Shook!

Like pizza dough, my body was stretched well and good after a 45min workout.
Like pizza dough, my body was stretched well and good after a 45min workout.
Like pizza dough, my body was stretched well and good after a 45min workout. | Photo: Nicholas Yong

I’m someone who needs to be really persuaded to get off my comfy sofa to even stand up and touch my toes. So you can understand my apprehension when I was asked to try Virgin Active’s Reformer Pilates Programme (which debuts at all six of their locations on Singles' Day, 11 Nov 2022).

It was my first time ever trying Pilates too! I mean, I’m always game to try something new, but even this was a real stretch (in more ways than one).

Turns out, I really enjoyed the sesh. In fact, I was completely mind-blown! Here are five misconceptions I had about Pilates that were debunked, and left me feeling strong, sweaty, stretched and completely shook:

The machine I used was called a
The machine I used was called a
The machine I used was called a "Reformer", which is adjustable to give more/less resistance. | Photo: Nicholas Yong

Misconception: I thought Pilates was like yoga.

Actually, it’s not like yoga at all. In yoga, you need to hold a position and slowly switch to another pose. But in Pilates, you adopt one position, then challenge your core by moving your arms and/or legs. It was a sweat-fest, especially during the “Athletic” course. More on that later.

The session included some regular exercises like squats, but modified to include the
The session included some regular exercises like squats, but modified to include the
The session included some regular exercises like squats, but modified to include the "Reformer". | Photo: Nicholas Yong

Misconception: I thought you needed to be damn flexible.

Actually, no need to be flexible at all. While flexibility is important and advantageous, it comes with regular practice. Through regular Pilates classes, you can learn and develop correct movement patterns that reduce your risk of injury. During the class, I was given options to push myself further with additional movements but I didn’t have to do them if I was unable to do so.

I was actually very exhausted by this point, but had no muscle aches!
I was actually very exhausted by this point, but had no muscle aches!
I was actually very exhausted by this point, but had no muscle aches! | Photo: Nicholas Yong

Misconception: I thought I would ache like mad the next day.

Actually - and thank goodness - I didn't. Usually, my entire body would be screaming after going through an intense workout (especially for the first time). Instead, I felt very refreshed the next day. Quite nice lah the feeling.

45 minutes just flew by without me noticing.
45 minutes just flew by without me noticing.
45 minutes just flew by without me noticing. | Photo: Nicholas Yong

Misconception: I thought it would just be 15 minutes of glorified stretching.

Actually, it was a 45-minute full-body workout. I got to try three different Pilates sessions in 15-minute segments using a machine called the “Reformer”, and did everything from leg lifts to all sorts of stretches.

“Introduction” is for beginners like me who have never taken a class before. “Align” resembles a traditional Pilates class. “Athletic” is for pushing yourself to the limit, increasing your heart rate while working out to the beat of the music. (Yes, I also did the "Athletic" portion).

Honestly, after it was over, I did not even realise that 45 minutes had passed.

I came alone, but I still had fun!
I came alone, but I still had fun!
I came alone, but I still had fun! | Photo: Nicholas Yong

Misconception: I thought Pilates die-die had to be a social/group activity.

Actually, I was completely in my own zone - apart from instructor Renée coming over a few times to correct my position. I didn’t know anyone else in the class, but I didn’t feel left out or awkward at all. It is a perfect class for introverted singles, that’s for sure. With that - Happy Singles' Day!

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