Dwynn learning some new techniques. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

I like my workouts as fast-paced and strenuous as possible, but for the first time in my life I attended a Pilates session. It was a welcome breather, albeit naturally a little awkward for me.

Stepping onto roads less travelled leads us to a more holistic approach. So, slowing the pace down should be embraced as they complement our high intensity regimen, and Pilates evokes balance.

Real Pilates is where I got introduced to the Cadillac, Reformer, and stability cushions, to name a few. They’re terminologies that I think everyone into fitness should get more accustomed to.

Founder and managing director Reza Alavi spoke to Staying Fit about his studio and the fitness system that was first developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates.

What qualities make Real Pilates unique?

What sets Real Pilates apart is our truly dedicated team of professionals.

All of our team are highly certified Stott Pilates instructors, with three in-house instructor trainers and one lead instructor trainer capable of teaching courses ranging from basic Matwork to the latest in injury prevention and fascial movement techniques. We are committed to continual learning and growth to ensure that we are always providing the highest quality of Pilates that truly meets the needs and goals of our clients. We adapt our teaching in accordance with the latest research in exercise and injury care and challenge ourselves to stay at the forefront of the industry.

Who comes here?

The clients include people of all ages and from all walks of life. Whether just starting to exercise, or an elite athlete or somewhere in between, Pilates will apply to everyone. It is whole body fitness and, when done correctly, offers major health benefits. It has long been the exercise of choice for dancers and gymnasts, and now footballers and Hollywood actors.

As to whether one should start with group classes or private sessions depends on each person. Ninety-nine per cent of our new clients do just fine attending a Pilates Core class. With less than 20 clients per class for mat and 10 for reformer classes, our trainers can easily modify exercises to suit various abilities. Although still quite intense, classes are broken down using simple exercises so all individuals get the most out of their workout. If you have chronic back pain, are coming back from an injury or are pregnant, a one-on-one session would be best to assess your situation.

Generally, how long does it take for clients to start seeing results?

This can vary widely from one individual to another. How often you train will depend on your fitness, how your body adapts to the training, how well your body can recover and most importantly on your discipline. It also depends on your goals and what you do outside. We recommend starting with two to three classes per week before increasing it to more like some of our most loyal and dedicated members who work out five to six times a week, sometimes twice a day.

How would you convince the average gym goer (mainly doing weight training) to try Pilates?

Fans of weight training and even bodybuilders may at first seem outside of what is considered the common Pilates demographic. Nothing could be farther from the truth. They need to create a sports-specific programme for strength, power, endurance and precision alongside muscle balance, core strength and stability, improved concentration and injury prevention. Now, Pilates ticks all of those boxes. So we could not recommend enough to fitness enthusiasts passionate about weight training, CrossFit or body building to complement their training regimen with Pilates.