Type ‘Joseph Pilates’ into Google and you’ll find side-by-side photographs of its creator at ages 57 and 82. Astoundingly, though a quarter of a century has passed between the two photos, Pilates’ incredibly toned body looks virtually identical! #FountainOfYouth!?! Let’s start with a bit of background to understand what the Pilates method is all about and how he seemingly managed to defy age… because we want IN!
Pilates – A (Very) Brief History
Joseph Pilates was a rather sickly child, suffering from a plethora of ailments. He believed that the modern lifestyle, coupled with poor posture and inefficient breathing, lay at the roots of his malaise. He couldn’t find what he considered to be a suitable solution to improving his health and fitness, so decided to take matters into his own hands.
Pilates created a series of exercises that focused on breathing awareness and the strengthening of deep torso abdominal muscles. He believed that improvement in these two areas would help keep the body balanced, while simultaneously providing support to the spine and improving its alignment and flexibility. He also conceptualised and built various pieces of equipment to effectively practice, and ultimately teach, his method.
Fast forward a few decades and welcome JetSet Pilates, who have built upon their namesake’s traditional methods and created a high-intensity, cardio workout that is sure to give even the fittest fitness enthusiasts a run for their money!
The classes center around JetSet’s souped-up version of the traditional Pilates Reformer. In a nutshell, there’s a carriage that moves back and forth along tracks within a frame. The resistance is provided by the exerciser’s body weight and by a set of springs attached to both the moving carriage and a stationary platform. The difficulty level is dependent upon spring tension (or lack thereof) which varies from exercise to exercise. Classes are broken up into segments, some as short as 30 seconds and others well over a minute long. During these intervals the exerciser fatigues a particular muscle by pulling, pushing, holding, pulsing or squeezing, often to the point of physical shaking! (I’ve been assured “shaking is good!”)
But what sets JetSet Pilates apart from other reformer studios? Well, A LOT! The pace is rigorous, the difficulty level is incredibly high and they have an elite team of experienced instructors guiding and motivating clients throughout the entire class. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention some seriously booming tunes that will reverberate throughout your entire body!
While JetSet’s instructors may seem like drill sergeants in leggings, this is not a boot-camp class where you have to worry about the destruction of your joints. JetSet’s classes feel incredibly safe for the body, as their traditions are rooted in improving health and fitness and rehabilitating injuries or weaknesses. In fact, prior to the start of each class clients are asked if they have any injuries or concerns so that modifications can be provided.
For those who want an added challenge, check out instructor Elisa Miller’s focused “Abs and Arms” class. It is quite possibly the hardest and most effective way to sculpt and tone those areas and she is one kick-ass, talented instructor!
Make no mistake; JetSet’s classes aren’t for you if you’re looking to chant meditating “omms,” spend precious class time stretching or have instructors call frequent water breaks. You’ll leave JetSet’s 50-minute classes feeling exhausted, exhilarated and desperate for a shower! It’s hard AF!! … but as the adage goes, ‘Sweat like a pig to look like a fox!’
For more info on JetSet Pilates, visit www.jetsetpilates.com. JetSet Pilates as locations in Coral Gables, Miami Beach (SoFi), Miami Beach (Sunset), North Miami and Wynwood.