My Pilates Journey

I pride myself on having an open mind when it comes to new experiences. I am the type of person who would give it a try before saying, “Nope, it’s not for me.” This was the approach I used when I first started Pilates which only began last year. And honestly, It felt weird at first.

The word “Pilates” has always been viewed as an exercise specifically for women. I guess that’s one of the main reasons why it made me feel weird. It is probably the same reason why only a few men do this form of low-impact exercise.

Table of Contents

Where Did Pilates Come From?

According to (Pilates Central), Pilates was created in the early twentieth century by a German man named Joseph Pilates. It is said that he grew up to be a sickly kid who was determined to grow up healthy and strong… Like Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was a kid except Arnie was an Austrian with five Mr. Universe titles and seven Mr. Olympia wins.

He aimed to create a new form of exercise and body conditioning that uses equipment that he called “apparatus”.  Pilates helped men recover from their war wounds during the twentieth century. It was first named “Contrology”. But I guess his last name “Pilates” was more catchy. 

If only I had this knowledge before I started Pilates, then it wouldn’t have made me feel weird.

Doing Pilates for the First Time 

I was skeptical about trying out Pilates, but since my sports nutritionist urged me to, I gave it a try. The main reason for the skepticism; Is that whenever I searched for Pilates videos on YouTube, all of the instructors and the majority of those who did it were women. 

Another reason is that I didn’t feel comfortable watching a woman in her sports bra and leggings giving me instructions on what form of exercise I should do next.

Tips for “Pilates-Style” Beginners 

1. Have a Goal

This is the most generic tip when it comes to trying out a workout, but it really works well for this too.

Having a goal in mind will help you get through tough times especially when you face hardships and you don’t feel like doing it anymore. It is one of the best reminders when you feel down.

When you start something, your goal should help keep you motivated. It should also be something that’s realistic and you have to fully believe in yourself in order for you to achieve it.  For me personally, I had the goal of losing weight, being fit in general, and being more flexible.

I Tried Blogilates 

The Pilates that I tried doesn’t use equipment.

Rather, it is a form of exercise that incorporates the “Pilates style” which can be done anywhere, and it is called Blogilates. When I was trying it for the first time, I had the wrong mindset.

I expected it to be a bunch of stretching exercises similar to yoga. It was my fault for thinking so since I associated a yoga mat and comfortable clothing with it. I also thought it was going to be an easy exercise, but then I realized I was gonna go through hell when the instructor said “And that’s it for the warm-up” 10 minutes into the video.

The movements were exercises that I have not experienced before except for the stretching part. Other than that, ninety percent of them were new to me. There were also some that I skipped and didn’t do that made me realize I wasn’t that fit to do it. As someone who aims to be fit, I was challenged to do it even more.

2. It’s Gonna Be Tough (Especially for Guys Who Don’t Do This Stuff)

As someone planning to do this type of exercise, you should know what to expect.

You should at least have an idea of what you’re about to go through. Don’t copy what I did and dive in without thinking. However, we all have different learning styles and that’s what works best for me. If you want, you can research Pilates before deciding that its for you and if its worth your time. 

Of course, there are people who won’t like doing it at first and eventually grow to love it, like me. For those who love challenges in their lives, this would be a great challenge to do while at the same time increasing your physical capabilities, especially your flexibility.

3. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

You’re not gonna get all the movements at first… Unless you’re one of those gifted people who can.

When I first started doing Pilates, I really had a hard time doing the movements since I haven’t done them before and almost all of them are new to me. I had a hard time doing the ab workouts and I still am having a hard time until now. 

I scold myself for not being able to do it, but at the end of the day, you are your own best friend and you should always try not to be too hard on yourself.

Reminding yourself that small progress is still progress will motivate you to complete each workout. Give yourself some leeway and have days where you reward yourself for doing a great job when you had a good workout.

4. Have a Pilates Buddy/Mentor

Suffering with someone is always better than suffering alone.

Having a Pilates buddy or a mentor who can remind you to work out and can help you be motivated will really help you be on track. To have someone do this workout with you will make it more fun and it will really help with the hardships.

For me, my Pilates buddy is also my mentor. I am very lucky to have both as one person, and she helped me a lot in my Pilates journey. I’m not saying you should find one for yourself before you can start doing it, but if you have a friend who can do it with you or teach you the ways then don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Final Thoughts

It’s only been three months since I started doing Pilates. At first, I didn’t like it since I found the movements too hard and weird. However, as time passed, I learned to love it.

Now I  always try to incorporate some Pilates whenever I work out alone because it’s always nice to have variety when working out. The movements might be hard and also require a lot of focus, but I guess that’s the whole point of working out. To have a better mind and body and as a collateral it will also improve your self esteem.

Trying new workouts or trying something new in general can be scary. It can also seem weird if its outside of what you’re used to seeing. 

Despite all this, I am glad I had an open mind and learned something new. 

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The Upward Fall is a blog owned and created by Joshleen Marmol. It is aimed to inspire and help people improve their lives through health and wellness.

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