Because regular Pilates practice is so beneficial to various aspects of health and wellness, a common question is what Pilates “counts” as, when it comes to type of exercise. To   answer the age old question of whether Pilates is considered cardio or strength training, the answer is: yes, to both, but it depends! While Pilates is traditionally a strength conditioning practice using bodyweight and resistance, through varied Pilates approaches such as challenging fusion classes, Reformer Pilates, and strength-targeted Pilates, it is possible to reap the benefits of both cardio and strength training with the magic of Pilates.

There are so many methods and approaches to Pilates, you can gain cardiovascular and/or strength training benefits depending on the type of class you select. At Sheppard Method Pilates in Westwood, we offer a number of classes to help you reach your cardio and strength training targets. Continue to challenge your practice through your wellness and fitness journey with the amazing benefits of Pilates at Sheppard Method Pilates in Los Angeles!

Want to learn more about how Pilates can help you accomplish your cardio and strength training goals? Contact Sheppard Method Pilates in Westwood to get started!

Does Pilates Qualify as Cardio?

For optimal fitness and wellness, cardiovascular exercise and strength training is necessary. If you do Pilates regularly, you might be wondering if you’re getting cardio in with your practice. The truth is, traditional Pilates is designed as strength conditioning, and while can be challenging enough to get your heart rate up, does not technically normally qualify as aerobic exercise. However, with modern interpretations of classical Pilates routines such as in fusion and Reformer classes, it is possible to gain the benefits of a cardio workout with Pilates. With specific classes, you can build your cardiovascular endurance by increasing your heart and metabolic rate through faster movement than in traditional Pilates, resulting in a challenging, sweaty workout.

At Sheppard Method Pilates, we offer various options for Pilates classes that allow anaerobic and aerobic exercise to be worked into your regular Pilates practice. Group Reformer classes offer a total body, high-intensity workout that is still accessible for beginners of Pilates. Fusion classes vary week-to-week, so be sure to look for one that specifically fuses cardio into a hybrid style of Pilates group classes that we offer.

Los Angeles Pilates and Strength Training at Sheppard Method Pilates

At its core, Pilates has always been about strength conditioning through the use of bodyweight and resistance. Because hypertrophy is necessary to build muscle mass, you may not bulk up as you build strength with Pilates, but you will increase mobility, range of motion, and appear more sculpted and toned as you get stronger. Especially if you are practicing Pilates while cross training, you can facilitate longer, more effective workouts such as with weightlifting with these added benefits:

  • Higher endurance
  • Increase in muscle strength
  • Improved flexibility
  • Enhanced mobility (especially important to prevent injury for hybrid athletes)
  • Better posture
  • Improved stability and balance
  • Full body awareness and synchronicity

While all types of Pilates help you gain strength—especially core strength—you can level up your gains by selecting Pilates classes that use additional props or tools to add more challenging resistance to the Pilates movements. Great options to incorporate results-based strength training into your Pilates practice include:

  1. Reformer Pilates: With the use of a padded carriage on a wooden frame that is connected with springs, the Reformer spring system is adjustable to enable different levels of resistance in your exercise. Straps are also incorporated into the Pilates Reformer to allow more diverse movement and exercise. Body weight, springs and pulleys, provide opportunity for challenging resistance.
  2. Cadillac Pilates: This method is similar to Reformer Pilates in that it uses specifically designed equipment to add resistance and make your practice more challenging. With the body suspended in a variety of positions using the various loops and pulleys, you can add exercises that cannot be performed on the mat or the Reformer.
  3. Fusion Pilates: Fusion classes vary greatly, and generally incorporate various techniques and add props such as blocks, balls, and resistance bands to mat Pilates. Look for classes that are designed to target specific areas for strength building.

Benefits of Cardio and Strength Training with Pilates in Westwood

You truly can have it all when it comes to maintaining full-body wellness through a regular Pilates practice at Sheppard Method Pilates! Through various options such as Reformer Pilates classes, cardio fusion classes, and even private studio and at-home practice options, you can incorporate cardio exercise and targeted, challenging strength training into your fitness regimen with Pilates.

Call the Westwood Pilates instructors at Sheppard Method Pilates to sign up for Pilates classes, today!