Monday, March 5, 2012

Pilates ProWorks Opens in NYC!

Pilates ProWorks is a popular San Francisco-based Pilates studio that recently opened its first New York city location. Its signature class, Pilates Pro, is taught on an updated, more versatile Pilates reformer called the FitFormer (think more pulleys and springs) and is designed to integrate both cardio and resistance training into a single one-hour session. I had tried a similar class at SLT (see my review here) and so I was excited to check this class out to see how it would differ.

The Studio: The space is bright, airy and has a cool down-town vibe. Its central location off Union square makes it easily accessible. There are two studios - one for Pilates and the other for barre classes. A wall of lockers with attached keys (always a nice touch) is present down the hall form the two main studios.

The Class: I took the Pilates Pro class a  few days after the studio's opening and so the class size was small. It suited me fine because that meant more personalized attention. My instructor and also the NYC studio's Head of Pilates, Jenn Seracuse, gave us a quick but thorough overview of the FitFormer. We then jumped straight in. The exercises were similar to the ones I had done at SLT, including lunges performed with with one leg on a moving platform (it may sound easy in principle but the core strength required for this is beyond what I expected!) and the plank-to-pike (holding onto the handlebars in a plank and rising upto a pike position-again, much harder to do with the added instability of the moving platform).

There were some differences to the class I took at SLT.  Firstly there was more actual cardio. The sets on the FitFormer were broken up by a set of jumping jacks and another set of jumping over the FitFormer's elevated platform. Also, there was some use of props including a Pilates magic circle, which we used for simultaneous inner thigh work while doing triceps dips, as well as light hand weights which we used concurrently while working our lower body. I am a big fan of compound exercises and loved how every exercise was working different parts of the body at the same time.

The Instructor: Instructors are always key to a great class and Jenn was no exception. She gave expert direction and this resulted in my seamlessly transitioning from one exercise to the next while dexterously manipulating the FitFormer accordingly. I recalled my frustration at my last encounter with this machine when  I couldn't even lift the handlebars correctly, and so I was struck by how easy Jenn made it appear. She was very hands-on with adjustments which is so important in classes with apparatus and their potential for injury.

Overall: I really enjoyed this class. It was fast-paced with fun and energetic music. The instructors (I also met Ella-who is heading up the studio's barre program) are friendly and enthusiastic. The studio has such a warm and inviting way about it. Currently the class schedule offers are Pilates Pro and Barre Pro but TRX is on the horizon also. Totally worth checking out. I know I'll be back to try the barre class! Thanks so much to Jenn for inviting me!

Disclaimer: I was invited to try a class free of charge but was not obligated to provide a review. I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed herein are my own.