Some men can, some men do. Some will, some won’t. Everyone needs it. What, you ask? Practice. Practice for physical conditioning, refinement and perfection.
And it usually happens. Within the weeks preceding or following an elite athlete’s game, be it golf, basketball, football or tennis, a new name is mentioned for the work they are doing, with the practice of Pilates, to stretch, strengthen and lengthen their bodies as a regular part of their athletic training.
Studio Be is proud of all these individuals for their game, all the wins and accolades they achieve. I know Pilates teachers across the globe are equally proud of each of the studios and teachers that regularly work with this special client group, as they bring a lot of notoriety to the overall art, method and practice of Pilates.
The names of the individuals are familiar, NBA Champ Jason Kidd, Dallas Mavericks; Lebron James, Miami Heat; Tiger Woods, Rich Beem, Rocco Mediate, Pro Golf; R.W. McQuarters, 11-year NFL player; Curt Schilling, (Retiree) Boston Red Sox. The reasons these men have pursued the practice of Pilates is as varied and different as each of the sports they call their own.
Lebron James and the Miami Heat didn’t win the 2011 series, yet his rationale and appreciation for the use of the Method is spot on, “Pilates is all about the core. The extremities just hang on as our middle beautifully orchestrates every maneuver we make for each and every exercise.”
Some of the star athletes have, by their own admission, used the method for injury prevention, cross training, energy and explosive movement or plain old stretching. Each of these guys, however, has a cadre of sports trainers, coaches and resources at their fingertips and Pilates is likely only one of the tools in their fitness training arsenal.
It is for that reason that I am so much more proud of the work of men like Tom, Mark, Jakkris, Mike, and Keith, a few of the “regular guys” that have come to Studio Be Fairfax and made Pilates a fitness method of choice to help them with an array of life’s physical challenges that don’t involve a trophy, ring or championship title. These guys are practicing to refine their work with fused vertebra, diabetes, weight loss goals and seeking to re-claim and re-condition their bodies after surgery and cancer treatments.
And practice takes patience. To the “male gym rat” seeking a new cross training method or healing therapy workout, walking into any Pilates studio may seem like walking into a woman’s lingerie shop. A lot of interesting things are on display, yet a lot of help is required to navigate to the desired end.
Each of the individual exercises, series of exercises and the transitions between them, requires mental and physical centering, control and coordination.
And a new language is involved. One that doesn’t match anything previously used in the typical “gym experience.” All the Pilates exercises and equipment have specific names, order of use and progressions that rely on a great deal more cognitive processing despite the fact that the identical body parts/muscles are in use. Regular practice refines the work on the body.
“Usually guys think that Pilates is for girls,” Hirt said. “I had that same stigma. I thought it was really easy. It’s anything but easy.”
A jet engine mechanic for Delta Air Lines, Hirt injured his back at work and had to undergo two surgeries in two years.
“I started feeling the amazing effects about five or six weeks into it,” Hirt said. “My midsection almost feels reborn. Unless I have to really bend over, I don’t even feel like I’ve ever been operated on.”
Hirt encourages all men to try this “girlie” form of exercise.
“I used to work my core like everyone else did,” said Hirt, who often did crunches and decline bench sit-ups. “This is by far and away leagues better. It will rip your abs to shreds.”
At Studio Be Fairfax, we have to agree. There is simply no better workout for building deep internal core strength, developing long and lean muscles that are resilient under stress, preventing injury, and for fine tuning mental focus and deep core strength . This will allow the body to move from a center/anchor that enables ‘regular guys’ in this world , to seemingly defy gravity and continue playing long and strong.
We dare you to try to ‘hang with the girls.’
Come visit us at Studio Be in Fairfax. 4211 Fairfax Corner East Ave., Fairfax, VA 22030, Suite 215 703-222-0122, or to learn more, visit us on the web: http://studiobepilates.com/
Real Men Do Pilates.