Intermediate Mat Pilates class at The Pilates Center, 3127 28th St., Boulder, 303-494-3400 or thepilatescenter.com.
Instructor: Kaile Ziemba has a bachelor's degree in dance from the University of Colorado Boulder. When an owner of The Pilates Center taught a mat class, Ziemba said she fell in love and began to take classes at the studio. Then 15 years ago, she got her Pilates teacher training certification
"I love seeing people have moments of awareness, when they realize they can do something that was hard for them," said Ziemba.
What is the workout? A challenging Pilates class for more experienced students.
Mat Pilates relies on body weight exercises and classic Pilates moves.
"It's a system that balances your strength and flexibility for optimal health," said Ziemba.
While we did the exercises on the reformer, the majority of the class didn't use the equipment. Students were familiar with the exercises, so Ziemba didn't have to break down the technique or demonstrate all of the moves. She described the moves and made corrections, but it took less time to get people in the right positions.
"It moves a little swifter than some of our other intermediate classes," said Ziemba. "I go through the material quicker, so we can get to other equipment."
The fast pace of the class left time at the end to include spring resistance moves using the reformer. It was a blended class that packed a punch.
What's different? Pilates is core-focused and doesn't rely on endless repetitions. We did the exercises a few times before moving on to the next one. It touched on every body part, building on itself without excessive lifting.
"It's a great way to stay physically active without a lot of stress and strain," said Ziemba.
"Concentration is a big part of it and more self-awareness," said Ziemba.
The absence of weights and its explosive moves makes this class an ideal workout for anyone with prior injuries, joint pain or physical limitations. It's all about functional gains in muscles that provide stability, so people are less likely get injured and more successful in their day-to-day activities.
Cost: Students can drop in to their first mat class for a free trial class. A single mat class runs $20, five-packs are $94 and 10-packs are $170. There are multitudinous class options. Check online for more pricing and new client specials.
Level: The intermediate class requires previous Pilates experience. Familiarity with mat exercises and technique is important. The moves are not complex, but the fast pace might leave less experienced students in the lurch.
When: It's an hour-long class at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. Thursdays and Saturdays.
What to prepare: Water and workout clothes. Shoes aren't worn during class.
Muscles worked: It's a little of everything, but not too much of anything. Core muscles get the most attention, since they are providing stability in all the moves. My abdominal muscles and back were the most sore in the following days.
What I loved: Beginner Pilates classes aren't challenging enough for me. I'm left feeling like I could have accomplished more with my time. I loved the speed of the class and how resistance exercises were incorporated at the end. It was the right amount of effort to feel a little sore the next day, but not wrecked.
What I didn't like: The studio is small and classes fill up fast. You might find yourself on a waitlist for this class if you don't sign up soon enough.
How I felt after the class: The hour went by fast and my abs were fatigued. It was the right amount of effort to get the most bang for my buck.