After trying Bar Method, yoga, swimming  and running, my search for new workouts around the bay landed on Pilates. I had heard great things about Pilates from a ton of my friends and decided, why not? I searched around the web for a place to get my Pilates on and found that South Tampa Pilates was a short walk away from where I lived (hello extra cardio!) After doing some research on their website I discovered I could take an hour intro class for just $20. Sold!

I had emailed Kelly (the co-owner) to ask about the intro-class. She was so prompt in getting back to me that I had scheduled my private class for the next week. I had originally asked if I could do the class with a partner (hoping I could drag one of the boys with me), but she  informed me that although she was able to do the class with 2 people, it was much easier to work alone as the other person may be plagued by injuries and we may not get to as many examples, etc. So sorry boys- I’m taking this one solo.

Kelly had informed me that just like the bar class, you should do class in comfy clothes and either barefeet or socks. On Thursday night I started my walk to South Tampa Pilates. Now I have to tell you, if you aren’t familiar with the location of the studio you might miss it. I had seen the sign on my runs so I knew where I was going but for those of you unaware, they are located down the little alleyway behind Gourmet Pizza Company on Armenia Ave. It seemed a little sketchy to me at first (as sketchy as Soho/Hyde Park can be) but when I walked into the studio it was like another world.

The studio was much bigger than I had previously thought. It has 2 big rooms for all their classes (They offer 6 different classes- Reformer, Xtend Barre, Flex & Flow, TRX, Power Hour and a Pilates mat class) I entered the room to the right and took a seat. The room was a light blue color and provided a relaxing atmosphere. Around 7pm I was face to face with Kelly. She gave me a friendly greeting and had me fill out some paperwork (standard)- once the paperwork was out-of-the-way we were ready to start. I was a little intimidated as a class was going on simultaneously but also happy that I got to see how a class was run. There were only about 5 people in the class and they seemed to be getting a lot of individual attention which I liked to see. — but back to me 🙂

Having no previous knowledge of Pilates I was excited to learn something new. She taught me about the reformer machine and how it worked. I laid down (ladies- you might want to wear your hair in a bun so it doesn’t get caught) and went through various exercises working my arms, legs, thighs, ankles, and everything in between. She even had me do work with a “magic circle” to workout my inner thighs. (killer) Once the workout was done on the reformer she asked if I wanted to take a stab at the Pilates chair. Not knowing any better, I said yes. Part of me was happy to get in such a great ab workout, but here I am 2 days later with abs that cringe in pain if I move in the wrong direction. Serves me right for ignoring my core.

Once the Pilates chair workout was finished, it was time to move over to the table (aka: cadillac) I thought I was going to have to get up on the table but instead we just did some arm workouts using the springs on the side of the table. Kelly told me that once you get more advanced people can do flips and hang upside down and do all kinds of crazy things on the table (I decided to stay on the ground) After the workout was finished it was time to stretch using the ladder barrel. While I stretched Kelly told me about the other classes they offer and also about an app called MindBody Fitness. It gives you the option to find yoga, Pilates, and group fitness classes in your area and even sign up for them via your phone. Perfect!

Pilates Chair, Cadillac/Table, Ladder Barrel

When I was all done Kelly explained that in order to take reformer classes you need 3 intro classes ($120 for all 3), but also told me that the Pilates mats classes were just as good and only cost $12.50-$15 a class depending on which package you want to get. I also expressed  my interest in TRX classes and she told me it’s $30 for the first class and they are offered on Saturday mornings. So keep it here to find out how that goes… because I am definitely going to try that out! After taking the class I was happy to see how yoga, Bar Method and Pilates all connect. Kelly was such a great instructor and really made me feel at ease during my first ever Pilates experience. I look forward to trying another class at South Tampa Pilates soon!

Feel the Burn! – Allison

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