Is it deeply ingrained in your workout psyche that unless you wake up before sunrise and sweat buckets before breakfast, you weren’t really committed? Even when you dreaded the sound of your alarm and the exercise queued to follow. If so, I absolutely know how you feel.
I spent almost 15 years hauling out of bed for boot camps, soft sand runs, spin classes and hot yoga – and most of the time I loved it. But I’m at a point in my life now (perhaps a brief one, perhaps permanent now I’ve got two tiny kids who don’t let me sleep anywhere near enough) where the idea of a full-on sweat sesh at daybreak doesn’t always fill me with joy. But then a light workout or walk feels like a fitness cop out sometimes too. Same for Hatha yoga – I love it on relaxed weekends, but it doesn’t tick my body blitz box.
Then I was invited to join a 6am weekday session at a new KX Pilates studio near my home in Sydney last week.
Sure, I’ve tried Pilates before (although never KX variety) and yes, I knew it was great for all-over toning (which is why such a raft of svelt-bodied stars like Cameron Diaz, Reece Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Megan Fox are so evangelical about it). Still, what really struck me as petite Balmain studio owner and instructor Jolene took the class through our daybreak paces was how perfectly a reformer class sits in the middle of the ‘hard core’ versus ‘minimal pain’ exercise spectrum, but still does the job (evidence: my aching frame for the following two days).
TIP: What was the class like? The reformer session, set to up-tempo music in a pleasantly temperate room (no 40 degree heat, thank heavens) worked every part of my body, with a little cardio element at the end, without feeling like terribly hard work. But work it certainly did – my quads, obliques and triceps in particular told me exactly what they thought of me the next day. Tone-up tick! (Thanks Jolene.)
But don’t take my word for it. Try it for yourself and you’ll see. Even if you’re wedded to your sunrise Cross Fit or running group, Pilates can still offer you a welcome break from time to time. You won’t regret waking up in the dark for it. Promise.
Trivia: KX is named after the Japanese term Kaizen eXperience, meaning ‘change for the better’, which is a philosophy that focuses on small and ongoing improvement.
Rachel road tested KX Pilates for Sporteluxe in Balmain, Sydney. There are now 17 studio locations across Victoria and Sydney, Australia, and offer KX Beginner, KX Intermediate, as well as private 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 classes.