Bottles full of well, mostly water, while workin’ on my 50 Cent-esque abs ALL NIGHT LONG. That’s right shawty— you can find me in da club along with thousands of other Club Pilates groupies from coast to coast as the relatively new fitness company continues to infiltrate a hood near you.
Focusing on modern Pilates for every body, the company is spreading like wildfire in its mission to inspire people to DO LIFE in a healthy way—the Club Pilates (CP) way. Hold up, Pilates for the masses? Ahhh, yeah! Full disclosure, I was skeptical at first blush as well. Pilates is a specialized exercise where technique and instruction are everything. Boutique size studios are pretty much where it’s at so franchising the experience didn’t seem possible to me. But I stand (Pilates stance of course) corrected. Without comprising quality, the fitness company is making the somewhat exclusive exercise attainable for most. How? By multiplying like wildfire and offering group reformer Pilates at prices that aren’t for trust fund babes only. With worldwide domination on its mind, CP is a corporation however, the feel is anything but.
The organization’s brand centers around community, incorporating charitable outreach as much as possible and overall, building strong bodies. Think: Pilates party (like it’s your birthday) in a studio-like setting for all levels of practitioners. Word.
If you’re not familiar, Pilates is an exercise originally termed, Contrology. It was developed by Joe Pilates around 1915. Mr. Pilates created exercises known as ‘matwork’ to aid in rehabilitating injured people and recognized he was on to something good. Joe soon incorporated tools like pulley systems and straps to enhance his concept and through the years Contrology evolved to Pilates (nod to Joe) as the exercise grew in popularity across the globe. Utilizing various apparatuses, props and breathing techniques, Pilates strengthens and lengthens the body, improves mobility and flexibility, and minimally impacts joints. Fabulous? Of course, however I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the exercise makes for a finely sculpted specimens like nobody’s biz. Almost anyone can do Pilates and many athletes supplement their fitness regime with the exercise to enhance their sport like no other method can. Pilates does a body good!
So, what’s CP’s magic (circle) formula? Let’s take it back to da club, y’all. Because of its reach the company is able to keep costs relatively low, comparatively speaking. Studio group reformer prices can average $20-$30 (more or less depending on packages and location) per class. Keeping class size to a minimum is ideal so instructors can correct technique throughout a typical 50-minute class while encouraging progressions and regressions according to ability. Club Pilates group classes max out at twelve students per session while incorporating the springboard, mat, Bosu and other torturous devices depending on level of class. Packages range from $200-$230 for the unlimited membership equating to $17 for a group reformer class. Unlimited membership provides access to any CP club in your community and beyond, thus allowing for ease of scheduling. According to Inc. 5000′s 2017 ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America Club Pilates ranks in at number four, projecting more than 900 locations across the U.S. by early 2018.
The company is solid, but at its core, how is the Pilates? All this mixing of Pilates and franchising didn’t (sitz bones) well with me. McPilates isn’t exactly my style as I’ve been a small group Pilates practicioner for several years now. I wondered would the franchise satisfy my taste? There was only one way to find out so alas, I decided to give CP a try. With my ego shining bright, I strutted into my first class like King of Da Club. My ego went dark however within the first 10 minutes of my Level 2 class. I eventually wobbled out of Da Club 50 minutes later with my (articulated) tailbone between my legs thinking, this joint is for realz! Humbled? YES. Pilates Pro? Hardly.
A little (strong) back story on why Pilates, and sometimes hybrids, are my go-to when it comes to my bod and building strength. Quite simply, there’s nothing like it in my opinion. It has taken me a decade or so into my fitness journey to find Pilates and fall in deep (abdominal crunching) love with the powerful exercise. For mamas in particular resetting back to pre-pregnancy alignment is golden. I feel strong, long, and lean because of my practice I maintain good form while tackling other types of exercise or activities.
Similarly smitten with the exercise, CP was founded by a Pilates instructor, Allison Beardsley in 2005. Beardsley expanded from one studio to many in California in 2013 and was soon after acquired by a company specializing in health and wellness. And the rest is hip-hoppin’, community focused, healthy living history.
If you haven’t tried my exercise obsession, it’s time. Your first CP class is free (most locations) as in no cover, yo! So, go, go, go shawty. Turn up some 50 Cent and get up in your neighborhood CP club day or night. DO PILATES. DO LIFE.