Virtual Workout- YEAH!

VIRTUAL CLASSES!  Online and all the time?

How many times have you set the alarm to get up and out and there is a cold driving rain?  In the 40s, yet again in Boston this spring.  You can’t handle wearing your fleece lined running gear again!  Or, it’s your morning to stay with the kiddos while the husband gets to go to the gym?  Maybe, you just want to make sure you get in a decent workout while you are on vacation!  And there is NOTHING like Endurance when you travel.  Join us online for our Virtual Endurance classes!

Our classes are exactly like the classes that you would take in Boston at our studio, except for the fact that you can be in your pajamas in your living room!  We hold our classes on Skype and the instructor and other participants can see you working out.  Or not, if you prefer!  But, you always can see the instructor!   He or she will be looking at your form, providing the adjustments to make your workout more effective.  So, while you are suffering through your Tabata sequence in Julie’s 5:15AM Wednesday PAIN class, you know you are not alone!  Many of our students use our virtual workouts to get in an extra 45 minutes of Endurance intensity to supplement their regular gym and Endurance workouts. 

For your best virtual experience, follow the below suggestions!

Research the studio and the class that you are looking to take.  For example, Julie’s 5:15AM PAIN class requires a kettlebell, jump rope and several balls for participants to partake in the workout.  Most of the participants have taken private sessions with Julie at her studio and know how to adjust for proper form.  This class is a very challenging workout for experienced students with no injuries.  In contrast, Lauren’s Barre Boston class requires only a mat and a chair and can be taken by a student brand new to barre workouts!

Be sure to sign up in advance for the class so that the teacher can make sure that your Skype account is connected to his or her own in order that class can start on time!

For best results, use Skype on a laptop.  Although Skype has recently added the option to use an ipad or iphone, there still seems to be some issues connecting and these issues translate to less quality for the overall call.

If at all possible, attend an in-person class or private session at the virtual studio’s actual space.  While many corrections and directions can be given online, sometimes it takes a very keen eye to ensure that an exercise is being done correctly.  In something like Pilates Mat or yoga, small adjustments make all the difference in the world.  We had an experienced Pilates student who is also marathon runner and avid exerciser remark this week, “You know, when you do something even half right, it makes all the difference in the world.  I feel it so differently- it’s so much harder!” all because of one little adjustment.

Be very aware of your body and limitations.  Know when to push and when to back off.  Take water breaks and form breaks when necessary and listen to the teacher’s instructions, modifications and corrections.

Check out our Endurance schedule and look for the VIRTUAL classes!


Pilates Mat or Reformer?

I am sometimes asked, should I start with Pilates Mat or Pilates Reformer.  The answer to that question is- both and truly, which ever you enjoy more as long as you get started- the earlier, the better.  Although we offer “Pilates” in group classes, it is just a tiny scratch on the surface of understanding the entire Pilates methodology of moving our bodies.  Even our most advanced Endurance Pilates Mat and Reformer classes are teaching very basic movements- single plane movements in both directions- like the rollup or footwork- but we are teaching them very precisely with proper patterning and not allowing any movement that is not controlled, wasted or haphazard. Pilates is a system that employs a very deep understanding of how to move the body- where to stabilize and where to mobilize so that the movement is safe, better executed and contributes to a much more efficient and better looking physique.  Well-executed Pilates on any apparatus or on the mat develops a suit of armor from within.  This is what makes it so popular with professional dancers, athletes, models and other folks that depend on their bodies physically and aesthetically to make a living!  It is also what makes Pilates classes and sessions so challenging and sometimes difficult for those new to the practice.  By employing Endurance Pilates concepts in every exercise we teach, whether in a Barre Boston, yoga, PAIN or Pilates Mat or Reformer class, we are asking you to move your body in a manner that is different from any other type of class you have taken.  You aren’t simply popping up into a boat pose, you are pulling back from the abdominals to stabilize the torso while reaching the legs away from the unmoving torso- employing core strength and oppositional reach and in fact, working the body A LOT while not moving AT ALL!

Originally called Contrology, Joseph Pilates said, “Pilates is gaining the mastery of your mind over the complete control of our body”.  We use the Pilates Reformers to assist students to begin to find the proper muscles and patterning in order to eventually move properly. Joseph Pilates developed his regimen so that the Pilates Matwork, his list of 34 exercises from his book, Return to Life, was the ultimate challenge- in fact, Matwork was homework in Joseph Pilates’ studio.  As a student, you did the Matwork on your own at home 3 times a week and then came into his studio 3 times per week to perfect movements on the Pilates apparatus. Pilates developed all of the apparatus in order to assist his students to become better mat students- to be able to move their bodies through challenging sequences with control eventually without the assistance of the apparatus.  And they are considered apparatus, not machines- your body is the ultimate machine.  In a true Pilates studio, you will find Pilates Universal Reformers, Cadillac,  Barrels, Wunda Chair, Baby Chair, Electric Chair (some like the name High Chair better!) Pedi-Pole, Foot Correcter and Toe Gizmo just to name a few pieces that we use to refine our students movements.

Pilates isn’t a list of exercises or choreography.  It isn’t just a Group Mat class or a Reformer class.  A Pilates teacher cannot teach Pilates properly unless he or she has learned the entire Pilates system of exercise including all the apparatus and through the Advanced system.  Well.  2 or 3 times.  Even if he or she never teaches or performs all of the advanced exercises, he must know where his student will eventually need to go in order to teach the bits and pieces of exercises and the basic movement patterning that we teach in our group classes.  And  good Pilates teachers continue to learn something new every single day.  Otherwise, she is just an instructor, not a teacher, reciting choreography displayed on a machine- and thus, we’ve lost the benefit of teaching your body to be the machine as it is “reformed” by the apparatus!

It takes a good, talented teacher 7 years to learn “Pilates” in their own bodies.  And then, well, depending on the teacher, the appropriate amount of time to be able to understand it well enough to convey to other folks!  At Endurance, our instructors complete a minimum of 1,000 hours of training to teach the Endurance Method of Pilates.  And every single one of them is at a different place in learning real Pilates.  It isn’t a hobby for our teachers, it is a calling and you will be challenged physically and mentally to assume responsibility for your body, your movement and your well-being through our classes and our private sessions.  Start with the class that works best for you and be ready to discover an entire new body, mind and world through our Endurance Method!  And once you have “mastered” one pattern- guess what, we have a way of making it even more challenging, beneficial and rewarding!  Pilates never gets easier, we just get better at using it to make the rest of our moving lives more efficient, graceful and controlled!

Boston Marathon Bound!

On Monday April 18, I will be running my 22nd marathon, my 3rd Boston!  I am absolutely thrilled to have this privilege.  My training is done, I’m tapering, carbo loading and going a little nuts cutting down on my mileage!  But, I will be so happy when Monday is here!

Here are a couple little tips that I have learned over the past few years of marathoning! Enjoy!

  1. MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE- you MUST overuse BodyGlide…everywhere….any place you think there could be friction, under arms (for women all around sports bras where they connect with skin), inner thighs, around waist, on feet- all over, toes, heels.  If you are wearing an arm band or fuel belt at any connections with the skin.  At the waistband.  Just everywhere.  Use half the stick- you will never ever regret it and you will know around mile 20 where you missed!  Any place where fabric meets skin that is snug, yet can move just a little!  The warmer the weather, smaller the clothing choices, greater the need for BodyGlide!
  2. TEST YOUR FUELING CHOICES- do not take Gatorade or Powerade/Gu/ShotBlocks/oranges/candy from strangers- anything that you have not tested again and again- over and over in training.  There are some additives and preservatives in the drinks and gels that act as laxatives on the digestive system and affect many runners.  Have a plan for fueling whether you carry your drinks and energy eats in your belt or you have friends and family meet you with your favorites along the course.
  3. BE VERY CONSERVATIVE EATING YOUR “LAST SUPPER” PRE-MARATHON.  Fuel up in the days leading up to the marathon.  The night before does not mean you have a license to eat anything and everything.  Be a little more conservative- light on the heavies- sauces, fats, too much of anything.  You are better off with a bigger meal 2 nights prior to the marathon.
  4. HAVE YOUR CLOTHES, EXTRA CLOTHES, NUMBER, BELTS, FUEL, SNEAKERS, HATS, SECOND OPTION IN CASE THE WEATHER CHANGE- IT IS NEW ENGLAND, WE CAN GO FROM SNOW TO 80 IN 7 HOURS – EVERYTHING IS LAID OUT AND READY, YOUR WATCH IS CHARGED the night before.  And ready to go.  And tested no extra tags, chafing.  No fancy last minute additions – if you wear a tutu, you have tested it!  I have waited to debut a new watch the day of a marathon… when I couldn’t get a signal – just no, don’t do it!!
  5. KNOW WHERE YOUR FANS/FAMILY WILL BE!  Boston’s second half is (to say it nicely) BRUTAL!  I always position one my family viewing points for Boston right around Newton Wellesley Hospital with an Elmo balloon and some candy for me and I always end up crying my eyes out because I know they will be there, I’ve just finished a physically challenging portion of the race and am getting ready for the most physically and mentally demanding part of the course – this is a place where we have just crossed over a hill that nobody talks about- getting folks over the 128 bridge and to the fire station where they will start the ascent up the Newton Hills.  Some years, I have felt amazing here, smiling- high-fiving. But, I have also been in tears and completely distraught at this point, depending on the year, knowing what I had coming up in front of me.   I have always used a mantra in races where I know I would see friends and family, “Six miles until Chrissy and the kids” and then “Four more miles to Jack and Alex” and then “Ten miles until my dad and Nicole” on and on.  You will be emotional, so very happy to see them and they will keep you going long after the signs and hugs and high fives.  The feeling that I get seeing friends and family along a marathon course is unmatched and I certainly hope that they know this- it inspires me, heals me, pushes me, makes me feel loved and appreciated and gets me through the next group of miles, however long they might be!  I have also run marathons without cheering sections and have relied on those out on the course to help me keep going.  Write your name somewhere on you in BIG LETTERS so folks will yell it out to you on the course.  You have no idea how much this will mean to you until a BU student screams your name on Commonwealth at the exact moment you were going to start walking and feeling bad for yourself!
  6. TRUST YOUR TRAINING.  No need to do 100m repeats the week prior to the marathon.  This is an injury waiting to happen.  No speedwork- this can wait until after the race!  Trust what you have worked through all winter.  And, if you skipped a couple workouts, who cares- our friends that ran in 2015 endured that winter and all of those icy runs/cancelled runs/treadmill delegated 20 milers!  You put in the miles that you could.  Be sure that you are comfortable with your pace!  There are plenty of websites to consult on pace based on your last 20-22 miler or an earlier race.  Try this Mcmillan running pace calculator and be honest with your training and pacing!
  7. BRING TOILET PAPER OR PAPER TOWELS, JUST A FEW to Boston especially if you are in the 4th WAVE.  Just do it.  Trust me.  The toilet paper in the porta-potties will be LONG GONE!  And, DEFINITELY sneak into that last group of potties right before you get into the corrals- I promise you, that last little pee is worth the 25 seconds before getting into the coral!  Otherwise, you will spend your first 5 miles in Hopkinton looking for a wooded area to jump out on- and the guys will totally do this- the gals, we ALL stress!  I’ve suffered, ran onto beaches, into Dunkin’ Donuts, Miami gas stations- JUST TAKE THE LAST PORTA POTTY stop with the paper towel you brought from home- best investment in the next four hours you have EVER made!
  8. ENJOY – Boston is a privilege, a celebration, an honor – give the high fives, the hugs and ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!