When you speak of strength training,be it Pilates,Olympic type lifting,kettlebells or Gymnastic type movements,there is one common element;RESISTANCE..It may come in the form of weights,a kettlebell,an isometric contraction or ones body weight,but in the end,resistance is resistance,and to get stronger it MUST be progressive.
The strength training aspect of Pilates is no different than any other form of exercise.You must work against some type of resistance,and it must increase over time,other wise you will hit the proverbial wall and see diminishing increases(after 16 weeks or so).FYI,in the initial phase of any strength training regime,most of the strength gains are from neural adaption(motor unit recruitment,firing rates,synchronisation) followed by hypertrophy(greater cross section of muscle) of the muscle fibers.The nueral adaption phase typicaly last for 8 weeks.
Strength training as it relates to Pilates is very similar to Gymnastic training.I would make the analogy to weight training,but by and large the springs do not offer enough resistance(especially for strong men) on the concentric movement,and by the very definition of a tension spring,they can not offer sufficient eccentric resistance for superior strength gains.(Keep in mind I am talking strength training!)
With that said,the most effective way to build strength from Pilates,Gymnastics or any other bodyweight conditioning is to alter joint angles,moment arms,and decrease leverage.Altering a moment arm would be holding a weight close to the body vs extending the arms straight out with the same weight.An example of decreasing leverage would be doing straight arm leg lifts with the legs bent vs straightening the legs and then lifting.Same weight of the leg,but significantly different leverage.Last but not least,as one gets stronger,springs can be reduced or eliminated in addition to utilising one leg/arm vs 2.An example would be the pull up on 2 springs (1 top,1 bottom) vs zero springs.One may work up to one arm pushups as opposed to 2,or similarly one leg squats vs 2.
The point I am attempting to get across is if you want to get "strong" from Pilates,at some point you will have to make adjustments and train in the same manner/priciples as a gymnast.If you dont,you will have to look to another form of strength training/progressive resistance such as weight training or kettlebells.As much as we may hope,Pilates does not defy the laws of Physics:)
I have known Pilates as strength development through resistance training. Of course when one is on the reformer the persons weight plays a factor in the exercise (still i'm not considering the exercises as weight training exercise). From the outside looking in the concept of Pilates, it reminds me of Newtons law of gravity, " for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction". For me Pilates training sits on "....an opposite and equal reaction"
When a person lifts weight, the person is absorbing a downward force that needs to be countered by an equal or greater force going up to prevent the weight equipment falling to the body thus getting injury. And thats where i thought Pilates training is all about, as resistance training. Resistance training that prepares the body to counter
any oppositonal factor that defies law of gravity in human body. I consider weight training either in parallel or the second level training after resistance in strength development. To counter an oppositional force is learning
where the opposition is coming from, positioning body's alignment, center of gravity, establishing tripod of support, then the exertion. Of its the same concept as weight training. The extent of Pilates doesnt stop in supporting body during the oppositional exertion. It teaches exercises how to bring back body into its normal gravitational pull after the exertion.
In Pilates there are exercises that use light dumbells and weighted bar, but my the learning is they are not for weight training (this could constitute different discussion, pls open one if anyone wants to get more discussion on this topic to avoid getting off track)
The first sentence of Myth 1 just didnt sit right with me. I just need a peoples' opinion whether Pilates is considered weight training. I consider Pilates as Resistance training, am i the only one? Why did it came out to weight training thus a "myth"? Who/Where he got the idea or information leading the understanding of Pilates as weight training, does Pilates really has 2000 weight training exercises? Pls name one.
The second sentence is partly right and wrong too. There's also discussions about this topic so i wont dwell too much on that. If anyone interested to put more details, help me find it, either continue with that post or create a new one.
I have to go back to work, so grammatical edit is welcome!