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What to Expect at Your First Session

  • Posted: Friday, March 03, 2017

Starting any workout regimen can be intimidating, and some people find Pilates especially confounding because they haven’t worked with the apparatus before. Plus, working in a studio environment can be different than a traditional gym. But I promise you … Pilates is not as daunting as it looks! You're going to love it.

To make your first visits more comfortable, here are answers to some common questions. I hope this helps you feel ready and eager to begin.

Should I eat before my session?

Each person is different. You’ll get the hang of what your body requires. But we recommend eating a moderate meal (nothing heavy) about an hour before your session. That should provide you with enough fuel to stay energized during the workout, but not weigh you down or make you sleepy.

Should I bring a water bottle?

You are welcome to bring your own water bottle. However, water is provided at the studio. Remember also to drink plenty of water at home as well. It’s important to stay hydrated to help muscles recover (as well as for the overall function of your body).

When do I arrive?

Please endeavor to arrive 10 minutes before your appointment, so that you can be ready to go at your appointment time. Being late only cheats you of valuable studio time. Instructors cannot run overtime out of respect for their next clients.

What do I do once I get to the studio?

To keep the studio free from the dirt and dust from the street, you must take off your shoes at the front door. There are cubbyholes and boxes to store them in at the front of the studio. Also, please silence your mobile phone, and keep conversations at a quiet level — out of respect for those who are working out before you.

What do I wear?

Tight fitting clothes are best so that your instructor can see the details of your body mechanics as you work out. For women, tank tops and yoga pants are perfect. For men, t-shirts and shorts or sweat pants are fine. However, compression shorts underneath your shorts are highly recommended, as you will be moving your legs in elevated and wide-spread positions.

What about my feet?

When you are in your session, some clients prefer to wear skid-resistant socks rather than just being barefoot. Feel free to bring your own. If you don’t have any, we sell these socks at the studio, in both men and women’s sizes. (For barre classes, skid-resistant socks are required.)

What if I have specific aches and pains?

If you are under a doctor’s or physical therapist’s care, please get clearance from them first — before beginning Pilates.

Before your first appointment, you will be given a questionnaire to fill out. Please be honest! Our instructors are trained in working with specific issues to avoid further injuries and help strengthen those areas safely (so that hopefully, they will become less problematic over time). We are only as good as the information you give us!

Also, please tell your instructor before each appointment if any specific area is currently tight or painful. However, if you have injured yourself since we last saw you, wait for the inflammation to subside. You can call and discuss it with us before your session if you are unsure.

How do I use the various apparatus?

Your instructor is well-trained in the use of all the equipment. You won’t be expected to understand them as you begin, but if you’d like to get familiar with them we have explained a few of them here in our blog section: the Reformer, the Ladder Barrel, and the Cadillac/Trap Table.

Do I need a towel?

No. Towels are provided at the studio, should you find that you need one.

Do I need to bring a mat, like in yoga class?

No. If a mat is required in your workout, one will be provided for you.

What is the cancellation policy?

If you are unable to make your appointment we kindly ask you to give us a minimum of 24 hours’ notice by calling 813-253-3161 or click here to email us. If you miss your appointment, change or cancel your appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice, you will be charged the equivalent of your appointment’s full rate.

This policy is in place out of respect to both our instructors and our clients. (Cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice are difficult to fill and often will prevent someone else from being able to schedule that time slot that has been reserved for you.)

Should I ask questions and give feedback during my session?

Of course! We observe your body carefully as we train you, but we cannot get inside your head to know how any exercise feels to your body. If you feel an exercise is causing undue strain, please speak up and let us know. We want to help you connect your mind and your body, so any questions you have are welcomed.

How will I feel afterward?

It’s not uncommon to feel new muscles speaking to you for 24-48 hours after your session (depending on your fitness level). That’s what you want. That means it’s working. Even our most advanced clients will feel new muscles when we introduce a new exercise or change of positioning. Remember, as advised above, drink plenty of water at home to stay hydrated. And remember to do any homework that your instructor may give you.

I’m still nervous!

Okay, that's not a question. But don't worry about anything. You’re about to have fun in a safe environment. Our instructors love working with all levels of clients. We currently teach men and women; teens, adults and seniors; folks in peak condition and those just coming out of physical therapy; professional athletes and newly motivated couch potatoes; we even teach prenatal clients. In Pilates, we will tailor YOUR workout to YOU. And you will love the results!

We look forward to seeing you at the studio!

We have New Client Welcome Specials available for Tampa Bay area residents. Please check out our current specials here.

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