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Pilates Training Methodology On Reformer


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#1 aroundInCircles

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Posted 28 July 2015 - 10:55 PM

Brief history on me:
Mid 30's male with ACDF about 2 years ago. I had 2 discs removed at cervical level c3-c5. Unfortunately, there is still an issue at c5-c6, however the neuro decided against fusing 3 levels, due to potentail fusion and long term potential issues.
Untill my condition that required surgery, I was fit and active and healthy.

Today:
My recovery was rough and loooooong. About 18 months long. Slowly My symptoms went away, verrrrrry slowly. However, I am not 100%, nor will i ever be. I did perform about 11 months of physical therapy, immediately after my surgery, however I personnally feel that I benefitted extremely little from the PT. They were trained PT professionals, however by body just didn''t seem to take to the PT. I did it anyway.

I am limited in some excercises that I can do. My PT therapist recommended that I not try running for a while. I probably could try it today, but I am kind of scared the impact may be too much for me. I have tryied eliptical cardio, however that has got to be the most boring excercise on the planet. So many people wheel away on those things, and I swear I am a blink away from falling asleep on those things. Also it isn't recommended that I lift heavy objects, especially with my arms over my head or with arms fully extended period. So that kind of nixes be doing any moderate weight lifting. However, I hate the way my body feels anymore. I am quite weak, and i have some muscular endurance issues. I am basically really out of shape, however, due to my slimish build, most people are absolutely none the wiser.

I met someone willing to train me on the reformer and it sounds like this equipment is exactly what I need to try to rebuild my body. However, my potential trainer is not a physical therapist, and is used to dealing with dancers and professional entertainers that are pretty much in peak physical condition. I have seen some of the motions on the reformer, and I know I may never be capable of doing some of those excersices. To give an example, I should never do the elephant. I can never put all of my weight on my hands and support myself in that manner. Think in this way; just because I may not be physically engaging my arms over my head similar to a military press, I can never ask my body to support significant weight that would put a heavy load to my fully extended arms, regardless of my body orientation during the excercise. (Sorry for run-on sentence).

This thread is going longer than i planned, but my basic question is the following:
Using the reformer, is it standard practice to perform excercises to muscle failure? I dont mean collapse to the ground failure. But is the reformer utilized in a manner in which the trainer is pushing the client to perform to fatigue? Or can there be benefits from using the reformer at lower resistance at a level of perhaps 10-15 reps that do not take the client to muscle fatige/failure ? 10-15 reps with perhaps burning, but also the feeling that I could do more reps, but I don't.
I am concerned that going to failure could wind up hurting me, as I don't think I can ever really max-out (in bar bell/dumbbell weight lifting world speak) nor should I be forcing my muscles to fatigue, as the strain on my cervical spine may be too much and I could accidentally worsen my existing condition even though I am actually trying to re-strengthen my body and hopefully gain long term physical well being through strength training.

Sorry for the length here, thanks for reading, and I would appreciate any input from people that are pilates trainers utilizing the reformer or people that train on the reformer.

#2 Tom Floyd

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Posted 30 July 2015 - 10:27 AM

I'm sorry to hear these issues you have to deal with!

 

First, the concept of "training to failure" is antithetical to the practice of Pilates, at least insofar as Joseph Pilates taught the method. In his book "Return to Life through Contrology," he says that muscular fatigue creates "poison" in the body and states, "There is really no need for tired muscles," (p. 20, "The Millennium Edition" for Kindle). 

 

Except for Footwork, all exercises are performed with less than 10 reps. Usually more like five reps. Though once you know the exercises, you will be coached into making seamless transitions without rest between exercises. In most cases, the load is borne by the core muscles, not the limbs. So, you should never feel a burn in the arms. Legs, maybe, when doing Footwork, if there is significant atrophy, but for most people, no burn. 

 

Just be sure your trainer knows exactly what can kind moves are contraindicated for you. 

 

Hope this helps...


Tom Floyd


#3 aroundInCircles

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 12:40 AM

I'm sorry to hear these issues you have to deal with!
 
First, the concept of "training to failure" is antithetical to the practice of Pilates, at least insofar as Joseph Pilates taught the method. In his book "Return to Life through Contrology," he says that muscular fatigue creates "poison" in the body and states, "There is really no need for tired muscles," (p. 20, "The Millennium Edition" for Kindle). 
 
Except for Footwork, all exercises are performed with less than 10 reps. Usually more like five reps. Though once you know the exercises, you will be coached into making seamless transitions without rest between exercises. In most cases, the load is borne by the core muscles, not the limbs. So, you should never feel a burn in the arms. Legs, maybe, when doing Footwork, if there is significant atrophy, but for most people, no burn. 
 
Just be sure your trainer knows exactly what can kind moves are contraindicated for you. 
 
Hope this helps...


Excellent info! Thanks!




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