Step 1: Show up to class and realize you don't even know what Pilates is.

By Lauren Mazzo
Updated: June 13, 2016

When you find your way into a Pilates class as a Reformer virgin, it can be scarier than first time at kickboxing or yoga (at least that equipment is self-explanatory). Determined to expand my fitness repetoire, I attempted an "advanced" class with Pilates by Sylvia, and here's what happened.

1. I'm skeptical from the beginning. Pilates always kind of sounded like a made-up word to me.

Who is this PIlate guy anyways? Is he like Plato?

2. What the hell is this medieval torture device and how the hell do I use it?

Workout or cruel and unusual punishment? Answer: both.

3. And, OMG, these grippy toes socks feel weird, but are super cute.

Can I get 10 pairs of these to wear instead of shoes? Is that socially acceptable?

4. Oh, wait, this is kind of nice...I get to lay down for the whole workout?

Anything hortizontal equals way less effort.

5. Just kidding, we're jumping.

I didn't even know is was possible to jump while laying down. My legs are burning. I think the left one might fall off.

6. Thank God, we're done; moving onto the upper body. Wait, which strap do I use? This one? No, this one?

Do I have the handle the right way? Is it supposed to be this hard? I think I'm stuck.

7. Wow, everyone else looks like a ballerina doing this stuff.

Their legs are so straight and their toes are so pointy. Why do I feel like an uncoordinated elephant?

8. My legs are shaky, my arms are on fire, and then the instructors says it's time to finish up with abs. A huge wave of relief washes over you (phew, almost done!)

Then you realize that the abs session is the hardest of them all.

9. The Hundreds? Single-leg stretch? Table top? How can these be so incredibly hard yet I've never heard of them before?

These things should have a terrible repuation because my abs just got slaughtered.

10. The instructor keeps me to keep going (and laughs at my face of agony) for an extra set or two.

Then she finally says the words I've been waiting for: It's done. Thank goodness. But damned if I don't feel toned right now.

11. But now I feel pretty comfortable on my reformer. It's like my personal workout palace.

You mean I can't stay and nap on this? It feels like my ~space~ now.

12. And I leave feeling the perfect amount of exhausted.

My muscles are fatigued, but my body doesn't feel like a sack of bricks (like after some higher-intensity classes). Wait-I might actually feel energized. I see you Pilates, and I'll be back.


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