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Why Pilates is Not Just for Girls

Posted Jul 11 2011 9:32am

Continuing my imagined discussion regarding arguments against Pilates, let’s address one of the ones I get the most.

I’m sorry, Mariska. I’m a dude. My body is pumping full of testosterone. I don’t man-scape. I don’t wear pink. I’m a MAN. And, Pilates is for girls.

Let me start with the most basic argument here. Pilates is named after a man. A big, German, rather burly man who drank and smoked cigars. Joseph Pilates was, at one point, a professional boxer. He taught self-defense to the Scotland Yard police force. The inspiration for what Pilates would become came from his work with soldiers. In 1926, the Kaiser of Germany even invited him to train the German secret police. (That’s when he left Germany. Although he loved training manly men, he was not so much a fan of Kaisers).

Pilates before doctors realized smoking is bad for you (and smoking while skiing is a choking hazard).

When he was young, he was obsessed with working out, and by age 14, he had such a Adonis-like body that he posed as a model for anatomy charts. He even did a stint in the circus where he performed a “living Greek statue” act.

A Pilates body. Literally.

That’s hardly girly. (And speaking of, you clearly underestimate the strength of the Fuse girl.)

If that’s not enough of an argument for you, let’s talk briefly about some of the equipment. The first ladder barrel was made from a beer keg. BEER. And the metal hoops from the keg were used to make his first magic circle.

We can only assume the former content of this keg was a fine German Weizenbier..

Magic circle. Why magic? Try a Toys class to find out.

If you don’t still don’t think Pilates can build a buff physique, check out Stott Pilates Master Trainer John Garey. I can’t think of a guy who wouldn’t want guns like those!

Nice arms, John Garey!

In terms of the men I’ve taught: I’ve had a man who has run 100 marathons struggle through one of my mat classes. I have made Navy SEALS and Marines’ muscles shake with effort on the reformer, saying afterwards how “shocked” they were at how hard it was. I once made a male student cry (or so he says – I think he might be exaggerating… a little). I have also seen my male clients’ bodies transform and get absolutely ripped from Fuse classes.

Although, yes, Pilates is popular among ladies, here are some famous men who count themselves as fans of the work - Pitcher Curt Shilling, Golfer Tiger Woods, and Basketball Players Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant. Check out this article from USA Today about athletes who do Pilates and what’s bringing them to class.

And if you’re a man reading this blog, and you haven’t tried a Fuse class yet, why ever not? Are you worried that we can’t give you a good workout? Or are you scared that you won’t be able to keep up with the ladies?

Come try a Pilates class. I dare you.

Stay hardcore,


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