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Stereotypes & Common Misconceptions of Pilates

1. Pilates is only for women – FALSE

I think this was a common misconception when Reformer Pilates first began gaining popularity in the early 2000s, but it has evolved tremendously since then! Not to mention many professional athletes swear by Reformer Pilates, such as Kobe Bryant and Michael Phelps, because of its ability to increase strength without sacrificing lean muscle mass. And don’t forget about all those male fitness models who do reformer work from time to time 😉

2. Pilates will make me bulky – FALSE

The thing about Reformer Pilates is… you don’t build bulk. You develop lean muscle with Reformer Pilates that is slow-twitch muscle fiber which is the type of muscle that takes oxygen into your system, meaning you can sustain long periods of cardio without tiring out too quickly. With Reformer Pilates you are using repetitions to build strength but it’s not like traditional weightlifting where your muscles get bigger and bulk up. Please keep in mind Reformer Pilates is only one form of exercise, so what you eat will make more of a difference than reformer without proper nutrition anyway!

3. Pilates is boring – FALSE

Reformer Pilates is anything but boring! I don’t know about you guys, but I am always on edge during reformers because my instructor is constantly changing things up and throwing me for a loop! I can’t even tell you how many times reformers have kicked my butt and I just wanted to walk out of the studio, yet somehow, we make it through as a class always feeling amazing by the time we are done. In Reformer Pilates everyone has their own stack for their reformer station which means you never know who is going to be next to you working out – now that’s exciting! Plus, Reformer Pilates classes change from day to day too, depending on what our instructor feels like giving us that particular day.

4. Pilates doesn’t work unless I am sore AFTER – FALSE

This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions about Reformer Pilates – nobody really understands reformers unless they have taken Reformer Pilates before. The thing about reformers is that you use your own body weight to create resistance – there are no weights or other forms of equipment required! It doesn’t matter what size reformer station you are on because it forces you to engage the correct muscles throughout each exercise, which in turn makes them work whether you think they are working or not.

5. Pilates is for girls who want “toned” butts – FALSE

Who says men can’t wear leggings too? Just kidding ;). Honestly, though guys take Reformer Pilates all the time and yes, I see them wearing revealing clothing like compression shorts (underneath their regular workout clothes) and tank tops, but Reformer Pilates is not about becoming an IG model – Reformer Pilates is about focusing on form and technique which will in turn give you the shape, tone, and definition that you are looking for! It is not just girls who want to focus on their backsides either. That’s what makes Reformer Pilates so fun because your reformer workout is truly designed around your needs every single time you step foot onto a reformer bed.

6. Pilates is for older women (over 40) who want to stay flexible – FALSE

“You’re too young for Reformer Pilates!” Yeah, I heard this one before… But guess what? No matter what age you are Reformer Pilates is for you. We have Reformer Pilates clients who are teenagers, Reformer Pilates clients who are in their 20’s, Reformer Pilates clients who are in their 30’s, Reformer Pilates clients in their 40’s… Reformer Pilates is for EVERY AGE because it can benefit anyone at any level of physical fitness! Pilates does not discriminate, and neither should you when it comes to your reformers class *cue mic drop*.

7. Pilates reformer is not a total body workout – FALSE

If you think reformers only focus on your abdominals and lower back, you are totally wrong! While reformers will certainly hit those areas as well as the hips and glutes reformers also help sculpt and define the arms, shoulders, biceps, triceps, chest, middle back , upper back, lats, forearms… reformers truly work your entire body from head to toe which I can admit is such an underrated aspect about Reformer Pilates.

8. You need to be flexible for Reformer Pilates – FALSE

You do not need to be bendy like a circus freak in order to take reformers! In fact, if you already have a decent amount of strength reformers will still work for you. It does not matter what age group you’re in, Reformer Pilates is designed to take your fitness level and put it through the ultimate reformer test! You will always be challenged and pushed harder than before.

9. Pilates reformer is all about cardio and endurance – FALSE

I think reformers can definitely get your heart rate up there but it’s not just cardio… reformers also help improve your core strength which means they work on both sides of the body at once whereas most other exercises focus solely on one side or another (bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, etc.). This means that while reformers are great for cardio workouts, they also really help tone and define your entire body while lengthening and strengthening muscles to make them leaner.

10. All reformers are the same… FALSE

Again, this probably stems from not knowing what reformers are actually used for… Some people see one reformer at their gym and think “oh Reformer Pilates is Reformer Pilates” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Different reformers are used for different reasons, which means reformers work on your body in many different ways.

11. If I’m new to Pilates I need mat class experience – FALSE

I used to think Reformer Pilates was just for people who already knew Pilates inside and out. But I can tell you 100% reformers are for everyone *cue mic drop again*. When I got started, I had no clue what Reformer Pilates was all about but my instructor took time to explain the equipment (a requirement of reformer 1A), how it worked, why we were using that specific piece of equipment, etc. And guess what? I still go back today, over 5 years later because reformers is something that truly changes your body. No matter your fitness level or skill set there is a reformer class designed for you!

12. There’s only one way to do Reformer Pilates – FALSE

Reformers Pilates is a really individualized workout. You can do Reformer Pilates in multiple different ways and every reformer instructor has their own way of teaching reformers so take classes from multiple different instructors to find what works best for your body and your schedule!

13. Pilate’s reformer class only focuses on the core- FALSE

This comes back to me thinking reformers was just another word for abs… But you guys know it’s not, right? Yes, the reformer will help with your core strength but there are so many other aspects of Reformer Pilates that make it more than just an ab workout which brings me to my next point….

14. Pilates reformers are all ab workouts – FALSE

Reformers Pilates is so much more than just an abdominal workout. reformers really help tone and define your whole body while lengthening and strengthening muscles to make them leaner.

15. Reformer Pilates only works on one side of the body at a time – FALSE

Reformers work both sides of the body at once which means they not only help tone and define your entire body but also improve balance, coordination, flexibility, etc.

16. Reformer Pilates only focuses on the muscles under your “six pack” – FALSE

Again, another misconception of thinking reformers was all ab workouts… But I’m here to tell you it’s about so much more! Like I mentioned earlier reformers really help tone and define your entire body while lengthening and strengthening muscles to make them leaner.