Winsor Pilates.... any good?

My girl really wants to lose some weight… she’s thinking of picking up the winsor pilates tapes next month.

Has anyone done these? How effective are they for toning or weight loss?

Thanks folks!

I’m only a beginner, having taken just one session with a dance instructor, but it could very well work if she sticks to it. The instructor said he weighed 208 pounds when he started Pilates and now his weight has gone down to 176. He has no idea how it happened, but what the heck–it worked!
At the very least, she will have more flexibility and less pain in her life. Nothing wrong with that.

Like with any exercise program, the results are 75% diet. But there are definitely worse ways to attempt to get into shape.

Small hijack,
Does Pilates involve some sort of exersice machine or other special equiptment, or is it like yoga or something?

I’ve always avoided it because it seems like every single video I pick up requires some sort of ball or band or some extra cost. The videos sort of seem like a scam, especially since I’ve heard you don’t really get the full benefits of Pilates doing it outside a classroom area (you might be doing the excercises wrong, etc.)

YMMV, of course.

Winsor Pilates does not require any machine, equipment, ball or band as it’s all mat work. The instructor explains a modified version of almost every excercise and is constantly asking you to check if your body is in the correct position so you can avoid muscle strain or back injury. Pilates focuses a lot of attention on strengthening the power house (abs) so be prepared for a sore tummy even after a 20 min workout. I like Pilates because I feel more like I’m doing yoga than excercising. I come away from it feeling lighter and limber and even though a bit sore I feel full of energy. I wouldn’t say it’s the best program for losing lots of weight, but it does increase ab strength and flexibilty which can’t be bad.

I love Pilates and find them an excellent way to tone muscle. That said, I can’t see it being much help in the way of losing a lot of fat, as it’s not really a cardio workout, however you are building on muscle, so that would help somewhat.

I would suggest to your SO that she use Pilates as sort of the toning part of her workout and combine it with a good, brisk walk to get the added benefit.

My two cents.

You can just get an old tennis ball or racketball, or skip 'em. There’s even a Pilates movement that can be done while you’re lying in bed! (I’d tell you but I can’t remember the details.)

I’m starting my Pilates tomorrow…instead of the 60 bucks for three tapes, I went to KMart and spent 7 on the area I need to work on- and the store had all the different body parts to work on.
To give you an idea…I was in the shower, and felt this really big lump behind my kneecap. I looked around and- it was my butt.

The Pilates is very similar to a program that was quite popular when I was a kid- and yes, I had to work out, due to severe physical trauma when I was very young…anybody here remember isometric exercise? I think Jack LaLainne[sic] had a similar approach.

I changed my diet last month and dropped 10 pounds [thank you, thank you very much] which is all I needed to lose- now I want to tone and stretch. I already walk and play badminton- yes, it can be strenuous exercise [I belong to the oldest ongoing badminton club in the USofA].

In short, Pilates is a very good program, IMHO- but you don’t need to spend a fortune getting into it. All you need is to have a mat or floor to lay on.

And stick with it- usually results are not visible till after eight weeks or so.

Good luck and have Fun!

Pilates is wonderful but I wouldn’t consider it a weight loss plan, especially if you’re only doing mat work.

I strongly recommend investing in, at minimum, a short beginner course. If you’re unwilling to do so, Ana Caban is a great video instructor and remember to keep your shoulders down!

Pilates is okay for toning, (although I’ve found it doesn’t involve much upper body work) but it’ll do squat for weight loss. Remember, it was developed as a strengthening exercise for (ballet?) dancers, who aren’t supposed to bulge everywhere and are already fairly thin.

I can’t look at the name “Winsor Pilates” without think that this must’ve been Pontius’ brother or something…

i do a pilates/calanetics class for an hour once a week.
originally because i can’t do high impact work as i have a back injury.

it REALLY doesn’t feel like a work out, so i do 20 minutes each of cardio (2 km jogging on the treadmill, 1km on the rower), crunches and weights before the class.
it’s a nice easy workout, somewhere between yoga and standard aerobic mat work.

i’m horribly unfit and even i can manage that!

it has certainly helped my back and stomach tone, and my posture is much better than it was 6 months ago.

and i leave all nice and relaxed.

Thanks for your responses irishgirl and viva


The first pilates mat class I took (in a Pilates only studio before it was incredibly popular) nearly killed me.
It was a drop in class, but it was just me and one other person, so there was plenty of time to correct my form, and make sure I was doing everything properly, and it was hard.

A few years later, I started taking them (mat classes) from time to time at the gym. Much easier - until I started getting better at it. The moves seem easy enough, and I did benefit from them. But as I got better, I would find that I’d been cheating, not tensing the right muscles, not holding the proper alignment, etc. and the better I got, the tougher every exercise got. They were doable, but it took more out of me to do them (even though I was obviously stronger).

From what I understand, if you’re doing the full Pilates thing (the mat and the machines) you don’t need to do other exercises, but if you’re just doing the mat classes (which is what Windsor Pilates seems to be), you need to do some strength bearing exercise and some cardio work too.

All fine and well, but what I would love to know is. How is
that word pronounced???

Pa LOTT ies?
PILL its?

thank you so much…
I still obviously know “nuthinboutnuthin”

I believe it’s PI (long I) LAT (like “Sat”) EEZ.

Cool… I will give her the feedback from you guys, as she’s pretty dead set on it.

I’ll talk her into the walks as well, once it stops raining out here, and between those hopefully we’ll see some weight-loss going on.