So you figured out what to wear and what to bring to class, and are now ready to or perhaps already have taken your first Mat Pilates class! Congrats 🥳 Hopefully you’re feeling a little stronger, more limber and maybe a little sore! If you’ve fallen in love with Pilates just like we have, you’ll already want to be back for more, which begs the question; how often should you be taking class?
Now the short answer to this question is that there is no one, simple answer. How often you attend class really depends on your fitness goals and your reasoning behind getting into Pilates. Are you simply seeking a little me-time during the week to decompress and have some mental rejuvenation? Then really, you can attend as much or as little as you like on a need-to basis, especially if you don’t have much time to squeeze in a class more than once a week. One class a week is all it takes to achieve psychological benefits, including significant improvements in body awareness! (i)
However, if you have goals to improve your strength, flexibility and overall cardiovascular fitness, studies have shown that attending at least 2-3 times per week yields the best results. In a recent blog, we covered the science that proves just 2 or 3 classes every week have been shown to improve core and back strength, flexibility, posture, balance, coordination, breathing and circulation! That’s some powerful Pilates! (ii)
As to how long you need to keep up this weekly routine, most studies show that you will begin to notice these results after 5 weeks of consistent Pilates, with some researchers using programs of up to 12 weeks. In a recent interview with some Aleenta Health Club members, results were seen anywhere from 1 month (increased recovery time) to 1 year (increased strength).
If you are wanting to see a variety of results as quickly as possible, it is best to mix up your fitness routine with a variety of styles and classes. Pilates is great for strength training, which does provide cardiovascular benefits, however, you will likely see faster improvements in your cardiovascular health by incorporating some more cardio into your routine with a Barre.Blast or Reformer.Blast class. Additionally, the more resistance you use, the more you train your musculoskeletal health, so classes such as Barre.Strong which use heavier weights than your typical Pilates session can be a great addition if you are seeking to increase muscle mass, bone health and overall strength.
No matter what your goals are, the only person who can answer this question… is you! We can only provide guidance and suggestions based on our experience as fitness instructors and the ongoing research and scientific literature into sports science. At the end of the day, you are the only one who can make the best choice for your fitness based on your personal goals, time and commitments. Whatever you choose, we at Aleenta Health Club will be waiting to support you both in and out of the studio!
(i) Tolnai, Nóra, et al. "Physical and psychological benefits of once-a-week Pilates exercises in young sedentary women: A 10-week longitudinal study." Physiology & Behavior 163 (2016): 211-18.
(ii) Czuchwicki, Sascha. “How Pilates Can Change Your Body, Inside and Out!” Aleenta Health Club, 25 June 2023, https://aleentabarre.com/blogs/barre-blog/how-pilates-can-change-your-body-inside-and-out. Accessed 23 July 2023.