Pilates and a weight-loss plateau

How much muscle can pilates build? I’ve been doing pilates for about a month now, and while I was steadily losing weight while dieting and exercising before then, I haven’t lost any since. I do seem to be getting smaller, my waist in particular, but it seems odd that I haven’t lost anything in so long. I didn’t think pilates could build enough muscle to do that.

Pilates does build muscle. The difference is you are not bulking up your muscles but you are most definitely increasing your strength. I’ve always loved that about Pilates, the muscles are more like what I think of as dancer muscles–long and lean rather than bulkier.

Dunnow about Pilates, but when I was 15 and after two weeks in the school’s summer camp, walking 28km on “rest” days, I gained 5kg and lost two jeans sizes. The experience taught me that what’s important is what the tape measure and the look of my skin say, rather than what the scale says.

If you see that you’re thinner, that’s what counts.

I see this a lot with regards to Pilates. It’s bunk–it’s just not grounded in the physiological reality of muscles. Muscles grow by increasing in bulk, not length.

Unless you’re doing something very different from what’s normally billed as Pilates, it’s not the sort of workout that’s going to put much muscle on you unless you’re starting out underweight. There are forms of bodyweight training that can generate a lot of muscle mass and strength (think the training routines of male gymnasts), but you won’t find them taught at your local gym.

It’s purely my experience, but my arms disagree with you, as do my thighs and most especially my abs.

The type of Pilates I’m doing includes various ab exercises along with push-ups and other arm/chest exercises and leg lifts, so it gives you a total body workout. I just wonder how much muscle it’s building.

I suppose I could be wrong that Pilates is causing a big increase in muscle mass that’s slowing down the needle on the scale, it could be biking and jogging too.

I assume you are a woman?

Just doing Pilates is unlikely to cause you to gain muscle mass so quickly. Hell, I’ve been doing Pilates for a year and a half pretty regularly, and while I’ve become stronger, and perhaps a little more toned, I don’t fool myself that I built up pounds of muscle in just 30 days. Women aren’t really geared to build muscle that quickly. (maybe guys aren’t either, I don’t know)

So it’s cool you’re noticing difference in your shape, but it’s also probably not the primary culprit - you’ll want to really take a look at what you’re eating and see if anything has actually changed without you realizing it.

Totally agree. You won’t have built up any huge amount of muscle in just 30 days. Maybe 0.5 lbs if you’re lucky.

I also agree that you should go by measurements, not weight.

Go over and join these fine folks. My wife join a while back and now she is a team leader helping others. She’s been at it for a year now, totally on her own, and lost more than ## pounds. Plateauing is normal. However, not everyone gets past it.

The real point in all of this is diets don’t work. Period. If you want to lose weight and have a healthy body, you have to make a life change. My wife has totally changed our diet with everything we eat. She started out with exercising more than two hours a day, seven days a week for the first six months. She’s now down to five days a week. No gyms, no fancy equipment. She has probably 50 different DVD exercise programs she rotates all the time.

My wife reads lots of blogs on the above site and she is amazed at the number of people who continue to delude themselves about their diet and exercise, yet complain they still can’t lose weight. I’m not saying you are in the category, but from the comments from my wife, it appears to be a high number.