The Ideal Schedule For Reformer Pilates (Remember To Always Enjoy It!)
The benefits that Pilates can provide for you are endless, whether you’re looking to improve your flexibility, lose some body weight, strengthen your muscles, or better your stability and balance.
The great thing about Pilates is that it is incredibly versatile and suitable for absolutely everyone, and the way you design your schedule is completely up to you and how you want to incorporate your Pilates workouts into your lifestyle!
So if you’re new to Pilates, especially reformer Pilates, then this guide will give you some advice on what workout schedule is going to be best for you to begin your Pilates workout journey!
What Is Reformer Pilates?
If you’re new to Pilates and have never heard of reformer Pilates then you might be wondering what the difference between regular Pilates and reformer Pilates actually is.
Whereas regular Pilates is performed on a mat, and sometimes using extra equipment such as fitness bands or exercise balls, reformer Pilates is done using a special Pilates reformer machine.
This form of Pilates tends to be much more intensive than your normal mat-based Pilates and is a lot more dynamic too.
This is a result of the additional resistance that gets added to the exercises thanks to the springs found inside the reformer machine.
Not only is reformer Pilates more intensive, but it also adds a great variety of exercises to your workout routine, and helps to provide you with a workout that will leave you feeling thoroughly exercised by the end of it.
So, if you feel like regular Pilates isn’t enough of a workout for you, but you happen to like some of the exercises, then you should definitely consider looking into doing some reformer Pilates instead!
What Does A Reformer Look Like, And Who’s It For?
Upon initial appearances, a reformer might come across as rather scary if you’re not expecting it, and looks like it could be something out of a horror movie!
A reformer generally tends to look like a bed, except with springs, ropes, pulleys, and even a sliding carriage.
Once you’ve got over its worrying appearance and used one, however, you’ll soon realize why reformer Pilates is so popular!
Although it was initially designed to help break down some of the movements found in traditional Pilates and add extra resistance to increase the user’s strength in order for them to be able to do Pilates on a mat better, today it has become its own form of workout that goes beyond its initial purpose.
It works brilliantly as a specific training tool if you’re looking to target a certain area of the body, and is excellent for complimenting workouts for athletes too, especially as it helps to increase your muscle endurance, joint strength and mobility, as well as your lactate tolerance.
Additionally, because you’re lying down as you do it, reformer Pilates is great if you’ve suffered an injury to your legs and are trying to rehabilitate them!
By removing any pressure or weight from your legs, it allows you to workout and re-strengthen the muscles, which can even help to speed up the recovery process too.
How To Create The Perfect Schedule?
When it comes to designing the perfect workout schedule to use the Pilates reformer, then there are a number of factors that require some consideration to ensure you get the best use out of the reformer and are enjoying your Pilates workouts.
One of the most important factors to consider is what sort of goals for your fitness you have.
Figure out exactly why it is that you want to use the Pilates reformer and what are you going to achieve by doing so.
If you’re someone who has a particularly busy lifestyle, you might want to just do one longer session, whereas if you have a lot of smaller gaps in your schedule, then doing multiple sessions a week for shorter periods of time is a great way to incorporate reformer Pilates into your routine.
If you’re an athlete who is wanting to use a reformer as part of your weekly training, then the likelihood is you won’t have too much time amongst your various other training routines for using a reformer, so you can easily just use it once or twice a week if you’re looking to target a specific area, just keep the level of intensity in mind if you’re using it alongside other workouts so you don’t injure yourself.
Whereas if you’re using a reformer in order to rehabilitate after an injury or to restore some movement, then you should look at using a reformer as much as 4 times a week, especially since the likelihood is that you’re not going to be doing much exercise outside of the Pilates workout, so you should try to get as much use out of the reformer as possible.
If you’re completely new to using a Pilates reformer, then it is generally recommended that you use it between 2-3 times a week, this should be more than enough time for you to begin to gain experience and to learn how to make proper use of the reformer, whilst giving your body enough time in between sessions to allow your muscles to heal.
If you’re at an intermediate level, then you’ll know how intensive a workout can be whilst making use of the reformer, which is why it is important not to overdo it in an attempt to gain experience too quickly, as this won’t give your body enough time to heal and you’ll likely end up injuring yourself in the process.
If you’re an expert and have been using a reformer for a long time then you’ll be fully aware of how long your body takes to repair itself and heal after a session, and you can decide on how often you want to use it at your own discretion.
Typically, your average Pilates reformer session will last anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes depending on the intensity.
However, if you find that you are unable to do any more than 1 or 2 sessions or week then you can increase the session length if you want to, however this may get boring and will lead to burnout eventually.
If you workout multiple times a week then you can always reduce the session time, this ensures that your body has enough time to heal and keeps the workouts as fun as possible!
Remember that even if you just do one session a week then you’ll still be reaping the benefits of doing reformer Pilates regardless of how long you do it for!
To summarize, reformer Pilates is an excellent way to really up the intensity from your traditional Pilates regime, but creating your schedule can be a little difficult for a number of reasons, but remember, the best schedule is one that keeps your workouts as fun and enjoyable as possible!