I tried dr pilates, a pilates reformer studio. Here is what you can expect!
Editor: Kimberly Atkins Farcomeni
I have taken my fair share of pilates, yoga, dance and barre classes through the years but I have never tried a reformer pilates class. My girlfriends tell me if I really want to lean down with great muscle definition a Reformer Pilates class is the next thing I should try. I did a local search on the Mindbody and ClassPass apps and I found dr pilates in Los Angeles. The studio is named after the owner Doug who I had the pleasure of meeting my first time at the studio.
There are two dr pilates studios in Los Angeles. The studio in Larchmont has been around about 4 years and the studio off Wilshire in Mid-city opened Dec of 2018. Both studios offer group classes almost every hour on week days and every hour until 3pm on weekends. Both locations offer group classes, private classes, workshops and meditation classes. You can book a dr pilates class though the website www.drpilates.com, the Mindbody app and the ClassPass app. ($40 off a ClassPass plan with this link)
The reformer group class is a 50 minute, all-level class and the studio highly suggests having previous pilates experience before trying their reformer class and I would agree. Though the reformer will be new to many, having taken a pilates class previously will help you understand the movement, poses and exercises that will be done on the reformer. Pilates or grip socks are required. You can bring your own, purchase a pair on amazon, or purchase a pair at the studio for $12-$20.
When should I arrive? 20-25 minutes before class to find parking, purchase grip socks and understand how the reformer works.
What should I bring? Water bottle and pilates or grip socks (Bring your own or they have socks to purchase if you need some)
What should I wear? Yoga pants, sports bra and a shirt.
Facilities: Bathroom, water fountain, workout towel and cubbies for personal items
What superhero would most enjoy this workout? Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Black Canery, Bat Girl.
Class Number 1- Mid-city- Wilshire studio. Apx 300 calories burned
The studio is just off Wilshire on Dunsmuir. There is street parking both metered and unmetered (just read the street signs for specifics) and a small shared parking lot behind the building on Dusmuir. The entrance to the studio is a little recessed but has their logo printed on the door. When you enter the studio there is a bench to wait for your class to start if you arrive early and a small desk to check in for your class. Dr Pilates supplies the Allegro II Reformer along with all other apparatus’ you will be using during class. You can find matts, towels and blocks supplied as well. There is a water fountain to refill your bottle, one restroom, and cubbies to place your personal items in for class. The only things I kept with me were my grip socks, water bottle and workout tracking watch. I got there early and met Alexia my instructor. I told her it was my first class and she was happy to show me the different parts of the reformer before class began.
The noon class was mostly full with only a few reformers left available. Throughout the class Alexia gave us fantastic instruction on how to use the reformer and how to properly do each of the exercises. She had different modifications for people with injuries or if we needed more or less weight for the exercises. She would count us down through the time left on each exercise and give positive corrections and reminders regularly. Everything in this class was slow and controlled with a mindfulness to breath. The class was definitely a full body workout concentrating on hamstrings, inner and outer thighs, gluteus, core, biceps and triceps. 3 days later I was experiencing that good but deep muscle soreness you get after you workout muscles you do not regularly workout. Apx 300 calories burned during class.
Class Number 2- Larchmont. Apx 400 calories burned
This studio is also very easy to find from the street with the front door on Larchmont Blvd, just past Beverly Blvd. I went to this studio at noon on Sunday and easily found metered street parking. I advise you give a little extra time to find parking in this area on a weekday. The layout of this studio was very similar to the previous studio. After checking in I found a reformer and put my stuff in a cubby. This studio also has a water fountain, restroom, towels and all equipment needed for class. The exercises we did were very similar to the previous class at the other studio. I felt a lot more comfortable and stable on the reformer having been on it once before. Though the instructor did similar exercises she had a different teaching style. She was very knowledgeable and you could tell she has been teaching for a while. She also offered positive corrections and reminders on how to do each exercise properly. I did find that I felt my muscles burning during class and broke a sweat, but I was not as sore after this class as I was from my first class.
Class Number 3- Mid-city- Wilshire. Apx 350 calories
For my third class I went back to the Mid-City location at noon on a Friday and had Andrea as my instructor. I did not find parking in the small lot but did find free street parking. This was probably my favorite class of the three I tried. Though Andrea was new to teaching at the dr pilates studio you could tell she had an extensive background in pilates. I felt the most comfortable on the reformer this class and a few of the exercises I had done in the previous classes were revisited so had the experience and knowledge of what my body should be doing. Our class was about half full and the students were a little more talkative during class, commenting on the music and so on. Though this was a full body workout working similar muscle groups as the last two classes I found we did quite a few different exercises and though everything was slow and controlled I was sweating within the first 15 minutes of class. I am not used to being able to break a sweat with slow and controlled movement and it was refreshing to be able to do so. I left the class feeling sore, sweaty but energized.
THINGS TO EXPECT-
-Get there early and let the instructor know its your first class!
-When working with a reformer expect slow controlled movements.
-Though moving slow expect to sweat.
-Expect to feel your muscles burn during the exercise.
-Expect to be sore the next day.
If you have taken pilates or yoga and are looking for a way to change up your practice or get more muscle definition I highly suggest reformer pilates. It does take a bit of coordination so try a few regular pilates classes before jumping straight onto the reformer. The instructors at dr pilates were all very knowledgeable, professional and helpful during the workouts.
Interested in trying a different type of workout but don’t know what to do? See my reviews of the different types studios and workouts I have tried and see if one sounds like something you would like too!
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