How to Pick up your Pace in Pilates
To get cardio Pilates workout you need to move through at least 25+ movement sequences in 45-50 minutes with dynamic energy. Keep in mind that each sequence has 2-3 variations at each rep. Pilates can make you sweat and burn calories, but not until you master the Fundamental Reformer and Mat sequences AND know how to use the Reformer straps and settings for quick transitions.
1) Master the Fundamentals
The Pilates System is the Reformer and Mat, (for more info read blog post: What is the Pilates System?). The beginning and ending sequences are always the same, and a bunch of stuff in the middle that will change depending on your skill level and goals for the workout. The beginning and the ending are the Fundamentals, a learnable series of about 10 movement threads. For most people it takes at least 10-20 lessons before you will remember all this material and can do it well. This is why it is important to try to get to do the workout at least 4x weekly. If you can only make it to classes 2x weekly, plan to learn the Mat faster so you can practice at home.
To get a “Pilates Body” you need the challenges of the intermediate level exercises to hit more muscle groups. That is another 14 movement threads, which continues to grow as you learn more advanced material.
2) Personal Training in Privates
Personal training makes you more accountable to yourself. Do you tend to give a little less then your best and hide in the group, or perhaps you are too competitive and get hurt from overdoing it. If you seriously want to progress to Intermediate and Advanced work you definitely need Private lessons. How a person progresses depends on their body and needs. In a group you are going to build your foundation, but in Private lessons you are going to learn how to work deeper and which new exercises are going to take you further. Then back to the group to practice the better control, dynamic and form.
Pilates is brain building as well as physical conditioning. The sequences aren't too complicated, but you have to memorize them. The Reformer is arranged in a certain way, and put back that way for the next person. Know where everything belongs for quick changes. Each movement series has a name and goal. Learn the names and the goals, this makes it easier to remember each time. The more you repeat the correct order and dynamic, the faster you will remember them and do them.
4) Do it, do it right, do it often
The more you do it, the better your form. The cleaner your transitions, the better workout.