There are many myths about mind-body fitness. One is that it's easy. Another is that mind-body fitness is only for women. Both of these are ridiculous and untrue. Guys, it's time to grow a pair and get through the studio door before you're injured. Let’s begin with a few facts.
“Pilates” was created by Joseph Pilates (male).
Joseph Pilates was quite ill and sickly as a child, suffering from rickets, asthma, and rheumatic fever.
Through his own determination and through the help of his gymnastic trained father and naturopath mother, Joseph became a model for anatomy charts by the age of 14.
He was a professional boxer and self-defense trainer for Scotland Yard, involved in skiing, gymnastics, yoga, & martial arts.
Unfortunately, when Pilates went very mainstream in the 80s, it was marketed as the secret to a flat gut and a tight butt. Typically this type of marketing IS geared towards the female population. It was designed to get people into the studio so that they could then be immersed in the Pilates Method.
Often men injure themselves in extreme sports or due to improper form during weight lifting. After a few sessions with a physical therapist, many are prescribed Pilates to build
strength in the muscles that sports require and weight lifting doesn’t target.
Men, if you feel more comfortable with a male instructor, then find one. There are many of us out there. Women will train you just as hard, though. And don’t believe the hype – “Pilates for Men” and those types of programs. You will be doing the exact same exercises that women do. The work is the work – it is NOT based on gender (again, created by a MAN).
The Pilates Method is HARD! You will sweat, you will stretch, you will work,
you will ache. Don’t be fooled – those “petite feminine dolls” doing Pilates are hard-core athletes (pun
intended). Yes, you will have to use your brain, remembering exercises, sequence, and breathing patterns. You don’t get to tune out and read a magazine or watch a TV on your elliptical. Pilates is challenging and difficult and transformative. But you have to get over yourself and get through the studio door!
I’m not telling you to stop marathon running, weight lifting, Crossfit, or any other exercise program you’re already doing. But Pilates will ensure that you can continue those things you love to do for years to come. Invest in yourself and check that macho ego at the door. You might even find that you feel more of a man by adding Pilates to your life.
For more info about Joseph Pilates or the Pilates Method, watch the short video clip on my website.