Who Loves Pilates? Cassie Does! (Giveaway Inside!)

Each winter around this time, I start getting bored with my fitness regimen. I can’t do much outside so cardio machines, Thera-Band and free weights are my only exercise friends.

Or are they?

Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to try a new fitness video every week or two. Not only will I try it, I’ll post a review and give you a chance to win it! (Yes, I’m dragging ya’ll along on my “spice of life” campaign.)

Having said all that, however, I’m not the one wrote today’s review of “Element Slim and Tone Pilates with Kara Wily.” My daughter Cassie, mother of my g-babies, was crazy about this video and so I thought I’d let her tell you what’s up.

First a little info about Cassie: She’s 25 years old, 5’8” tall, 145 pounds. She’s in the process of losing weight, down 30 pounds since Luca was born in May and eyeing 135 if her body will let her. She joined a gym when Luca was 3 months old and works out there when she can, usually 4 or 5 times a week. If the kids are well behaved at the gym daycare, she can get her cardio and strength training done in 45 minutes to an hour. Cassie also likes to use fitness DVDs at home (Claire “helps”) and that’s why I’ve asked her to review this and future workouts. I’ll throw my two cents in as well. Just not this time.

Here’s Cassie’s review.

“Element Slim and Tone Pilates with Kara Wily” (approx. 40 minutes long)

Rating: ***** of ***** stars. LOVED IT!
Difficulty: **** of ***** stars.
Presentation: **** of ***** stars. Unless you’re familiar with Pilates, you will need to be able to see the screen to follow, which can be difficult since this is a very fast moving exercise. I recommend watching it first prior to actually performing it.
Benefit: *****of ***** stars. I felt it working with every exercise. This is going to be a DVD I’ll keep around for the long haul.

I think of Pilates as Yoga on speed. While it still requires using your breath and centering, it is more fast-paced and has a cardio benefit.

“Slim and Tone Pilates” is wonderful for intermediate to experienced Pilates users. I felt every exercise and got a full body workout without feeling completely winded and exhausted at the end. It was also nice and short so I could get it in during the kids’ naps.

“Slim and Tone” uses a voice-over format, with the instructor performing just the movements. This allowed for much more fluidity with the exercise as a whole. This format works well for me since I’m familiar with Pilates and don’t require extra explanation of the movements. That’s why I recommend beginners watch it and perform the moves a few times to get familiar with the flow.

Each movement is performed only a few times, enough to feel it working, but not enough to exhaust the muscles. The rowing series is a very nice yet different exercise that uses both core and arm strength and flexibility. When preformed correctly, and you use your own resistance, it works the arms in such a unique way – I felt it working my deltoids, triceps, forearms and the muscles of the upper back (especially those along the bra line.) It’s a very refreshing movement.

I’m not as flexible as I once was, but by the end of the video I had much more movement because of the constant stretching throughout the workout. Also, the breathing instruction was great for extending my flexibility.

The jumps and leg lifts at the end really completed the exercise. It felt like all my stretched out muscles got a good shake out.

One downside, if you have weak knees or wrists, this will be a little more difficult for you. I found the six pushups required at the end were next to impossible since my muscles were surprisingly weak.

Overall, though, the workout was so fun that I hardly realized I was working hard. I didn’t once look at the clock or wonder when it would be done. I felt relaxed, rejuvenated and ready for my day after completing this exercise.

I know I’ve implied that “Shape and Tone Pilates” is probably not for beginners, but I’m afraid that by saying that, you might be timid to try it. I think if you’re new to Pilates, I’d just recommend watching it a few times and taking your time to stop and watch while going through the movements the first few times. Please don’t be intimidated or frustrated by the movements. This isn’t an exercise that will be mastered after a few times, it will take months of practice. This requires a lot of flexibility and for some people that doesn’t come naturally.

I also feel that if done often, this will show quick results. I have since done this DVD three times and already notice a difference in my flexibility and strength in my back and spine.

Now for the giveaway part: To enter the drawing to win this DVD, leave a comment or send an email to lynnbering@verizon.net and let us know if you’ve ever tried Pilates before. We’ll draw a random name and announce a winner on Thursday, Feb. 25!

30 thoughts on “Who Loves Pilates? Cassie Does! (Giveaway Inside!)

  1. I love Pilates (have been doing it for over a year) and will be moving away from my beloved instructor soon. I would love to be entered in the contest…the DVD sounds awesome!

  2. I've never tried pilates – I will admit to being kind of (ok, a lot) intimidated by it. I love Cassie's suggestion of just watching it for the first time or two. Had no idea that it was so strenuous, though!

  3. I've taken pilates and was surprised at how much difference it made. I'd like to do it at home because of the convenience and the potential that I'd do it more often!

  4. Thanks for the review, Cassie! I like your comment that Pilates is essentially yoga on speed–I definitely agree with that assessment. I love Pilates' focus on core strength–my abs have never been so sore as after a good Pilates class.

  5. I've never tried Pilates but most folks I know that do it enjoy the workout.

    I'm a lot older than your daughter and have old lady metabolism issues that she does not have. 🙂 I also am 5' 8″ and have tried to get down to 139 lb. I've gotten there twice in 5 years, but my body wouldn't let me stay there. Currently I am 145 to 147 lbs. and seem to have an easier time staying there. Just don't want Cassie to get discouraged if she cannot achieve her dream weight.

    P.S. She and your grandchild are beautiful!

    Margie M. writes at:

  6. I have just discovered exercising again… I have to say I probably wouldn't have done it had I not stumbled across Melonie Dodaro's health and fitness book, “The MindBody FX Lifestyle.” I had gone 10 years without exercising but now can't figure out why I ever stopped.

    Since starting my exercise routine, I do notice that if I don't switch my routines it does get stale. I like to do step aerobics, dance, and water aerobics. Can't say I have ever tried Pilates, but would love to give it a try. I would love to be entered in the contest!

  7. I like Pilates because I think developing a strong core is something that needs to be done before or at least in tandem with cardio. I wish I had access to a real, live instructor but Ana Caban's DVDs aren't bad.

  8. I have a variety of fitness DVD's checked out from the library right now. I am in the process of going through and trying them. Cheap and easy way to try a wide variety before investing. Mine can be checked out for 21 days at a time and then renewed (on line) 4 times. So really, there is NO reason to buy. By the time they have to go back to the libary, I will be ready for a change anyway. Also, in my area there are resale DVD stores. And I have a friend that is a die hard garage sale shopper. So, she can pick DVD's up for me, if I give her an idea of what interests me. Two other inexpensive ways to try a wide variety on a budget.

  9. I too love pilates. I started at my high weights and have consistently stuck with it all the way down to goal. Pilates and yoga were both very helpful to me in figuring out how to use all my body parts, posture, flexibility, range of motion, balance, tone, and the biggie – finding/developing my tummy muscles.

  10. I have never done Pilates before. But I broke my back in 09 and my surgeon said this would be good to build the strength back up.

    I would love the DVD!!

  11. Lynn, I take a gentle yoga class that adds some very basic moves from pilates. With my stage of weight loss and developing fitness pilates is tough, but the gentle yoga is wonderful. There is a site, http://www.heartfeltyoga.com/
    that has beginning yoga for heavy people…..the exercise video she sells is great.

  12. I have to get in on the chance to win a free workout DVD! I own one pilates DVD and used to use it on a fairly regular basis, but since I've been married, I haven't spent as much time exercising. So I'd love something new and exciting to get into. And if Cassie loves it, it must be great. 🙂

  13. I have never done Pilates before but I am very interested in finding ways to allow my body to become more flexible and build my core strength. Thank you for the review, I look forward to your “spice of life” campaign!

  14. Having played competitive sports most of my life, I found repetitive training boring, so I really relate to you saying:
    “I start getting bored with my fitness regimen” and “Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to try a new fitness video every week or two.”

    Like you, I find that variety keeps interest and so fitness is easier to maintain.

    Pilates forms part of the training regime for many of our local football clubs now because of how it helps core strength.

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