Pilates Goal Setting and Class Level Choices, which is the right one?
We all want the challenge of a difficult class, but how do you know when a class is too difficult? Or, how do you know that it's time to move to a more challenging class? It can be confusing, but finding the right level class - or even mixing it up a bit - can improve your Pilates practice.
At Love Pilates, we level our classes. That means that ideally you're working with other clients at a similar level to yours. We ask all clients brand new to Pilates to begin with private lessons, or with our Pilates 101/Fundamentals classes. We have a good reason for that! If you understand the fundamentals and principles of Pilates, you'll be able to work at a deeper level and get more out of your sessions. If you can breathe properly, work with concentration, control, flow, precision, and use your center (core) properly, you'll get more out of any class. In fact, a more advanced class without the application of the 6 principles I just listed won't be as effective as a fundamentals class where you're applying the Pilates principles to the work.
So, how to decide? I know many of us decide on which class to take based on the time the class is offered. But, if you really want to improve and set goals for yourself, choose the class that is at a level that challenges you but is doable. Attempting exercises that you cannot yet perform (short spine, long spine, roll-up, or teaser for example) isn't actually the best way to build the strength to be able to execute more challenging exercises. I'm not saying don't try, but chose a level of class where you can focus on the exercises that help you build the strength to do the harder exercises.
Consider taking a level of class lower than you are used to! You'll be surprised at how deeply you can work once you are able to apply the 6 principles to the work, and stepping down a level might be the thing you need to find the connection that will help you in the higher level class. Then, come a take the higher level class and apply what you've learned/felt to that class. Or, take a mixed-level class and work on progressions (making an exercise increasingly more advanced).
Whatever level you're at, we want you to get the most out of every workout. Please ask us questions and let us know your goals so we can help you improve!
See you in class!