Pilates vs bootcamp type reformer classes

Pilates vs bootcamp type reformer classes

Pilates vs bootcamp type reformer classes. Which is better?
It all depends on what you’re trying to achieve. You could ask yourself: weight lifting vs. ballet? The comparison is on different sets of exercise types with two completely different aims.

A boot camp conditioning style class on the reformer does not usually follow the Pilates exercises.
Bootcamp style classes use the reformer piece of equipment to teach dynamic circuit type conditioning exercises. Classic Pilates on the reformer however, is based on a set of mind-body principles pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates and follows a comprehensive systematic order of exercises. While the traditional pure classical Pilates method preserves the teachings of Mr Pilates pretty much the way he created them up until the day he passed on.  Newer approaches, such as STOTT Pilates®, taught at Core Kensington, a contemporary approach, still preserves the original Pilates exercises but incorporates modern exercise principles, and applies proven and accepted practices in biomechanics, rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement.

In a nutshell: what’s the difference between Pilates classes and bootcamp type reformer classes
So, if you are looking for a technique based discipline (e.g. martial arts), a mind-body form of exercise then a Pilates class might be your thing. Pilates emphasises spinal and joint mobility, working on your deeper spinal and peripheral joint stabilisers, it requires great body awareness, coordination, precision, grace, fluidity, concentration, control. This will be your thing. Try it also if you are looking for exercise rehabilitation.
But, If you are looking for a conditioning Pilates class that will make you sweat from the first class by working on your more superficial (fast twitch) muscles challenging their endurance, then you should probably try a bootcamp style dynamic class. you will love it!

How is this possible?
Anyone can use the Pilates reformer as a piece of equipment whether they are a certified Pilates instructor or not, put together gym circuit style exercises on the machine and create a workout. This happens often in studios where conditioning gym trainers are taught a set of conditioning exercises to put together a class. However, this does not mean that in a boot camp style Pilates class your instructor will be a Pilates certified instructor, and attendees should not expect a Pilates class to avoid disappointment.

The misconception?
When a class participant claims to be advanced in Pilates, mainly because they have attended boot camp style classes extensively,  yet they are not able to recognise any Pilates exercises, their “expertise’ in Pilates becomes dubious and honestly quite mind boggling. Many clients who not familiar with the Pilates principals often lack core stability and body awareness when put in a Pilates intermediate group class. One can only attribute this lack of technique to the commonly misguided advertisement of classes dubbed Pilates. In recent years a significant number of these trendy so-called “Pilates” studios have been ubiquitously emerging claiming to offer Pilates classes. None of which  seem to be teaching the so “classic” Pilates repertoire.

What’s wrong with calling it Pilates?
Absolutely nothing. However, dubbing dynamic reformer classes “Pilates” can be misleading to the general population who may be unaware of the difference between the two. The word Pilates is commonly associated with widely known benefits, such as being a mindful form of exercise that focuses on building a strong inner core unit (having a predilection to elicit slow oxidative, and fast oxidative glycolytic muscle fibres), increasing body awareness and coordination, focusing on restoring the spinal curvatures and increasing joint mobility.  Moreover, Pilates is known for its rehabilitation value.
These are some of the reasons why Pilates is widely advocated by health practitioners including doctors, osteopaths, physiotherapists and fitness professionals among others.
On the other hand, boot camp style classes on the reformer are not designed to promote the aforementioned benefits, however, they are able to provide the participant with an effective workout that will be endurance challenging, make them sweat as an interval class would in a gym setting without embedding the classic Pilates exercises.
Both disciplines have their space and are unique.

Can the name be changed?
The word Pilates is not a protected name, so anyone can use the name Pilates and claim to teach it. Some see this as devaluating for the Pilates discipline. It can take years of training to complete the examination, certification and gain full qualification as a Pilates instructor in all the levels and in all pieces of equipment, but only a few days to learn a few circuit conditioning exercises on the reformer.

How can I tell the difference?
If you are looking for Pilates classes and wish to find out, look up any of the Pilates exercises; ask your instructor if they have heard of it or if they will be teaching it in class. (e.g. short spine, stomach massage or the teaser). This might give you an indication of what to expect when you book your next Pilates class.

By all means, try both styles, and make your own opinion on Pilates vs. bootcamp type reformer classes and which one suits and benefits you best. You can then make a trully informed choice.

We are located inside the Bootcamp building, sharing their premises. try both our classes and enjoy the completely different approaches to Pilates training!

Blog written by Carlo Yanez for Core Kensington LTD.
Pilates vs bootcamp type reformer classes
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