Sometimes we are our own worst enemy. We’re always pushing ourselves to do more and better, and we forget where we started. In sessions with my clients, I try to gently encourage while simultaneously honing in on form and increasing difficulty.
Remember when you couldn’t roll up off the ground?
Remember when you could only do this with one spring?
Remember when you had to rest between every rep?
As humans we tend to have a negativity bias where we remember more the negative (that haven’t “mastered” an exercise) versus the positive (how far we’ve come since we first started Pilates). It’s important to remember that Pilates is a Practice.
Other times, Pilates can feel harder as we progress because the more Pilates you learn, the more you learn how to use the “right” muscles in each move. You learn how not to “cheat” on a tricky move by engaging the muscles you’re supposed to be using instead of cheating with some other stronger ones. Not only are these muscles not used to working so hard, they are now also working in conjunction with those other more dominant muscles, and so you DO need more precision, concentration, and strength to do these moves.
Nevertheless, if you feel like your Pilates practice isn’t where you want it to be, here are my three recommendations:
- Book a Private Session: If you are in group sessions and you feel like you’re stalling, book some private sessions. There is no replacement for working one on one with an instructor who can not only tailor every workout to your individual needs, but is also solely focused on you during that time. This will help you focus specifically on your goals during that session, which enables you to meet your goals faster!
- Try 3 Sessions a Week for 3 Months: If you’re already IN private sessions, consider how many sessions a week you’re able to commit to. I generally recommend clients stick to two to three sessions a week every week. This will allow you to see the most results and to more easily and efficiently build on your progress.
- Remember how far you’ve come: Think back to when you first started, and what you could do then versus what you can do now. Not just ON the mat, but OFF as well. Make a list of things that have improved since you started Pilates. Take note in your mind of where you were when you first started…. I bet you’ll realize just how far you’ve come!