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Lenox MA 01240
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Quote: “In order to be wealthy, you must be healthy”


Two of the most common myths:

   Muscle weighs more than fat and Pilates lengthens a muscle and that is why you do not get bulky!

First, you hear it all the time whether from trainers or trainees but the fact is, a pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of rocks, period!  What is true is muscle is 25/30% more dense (circumference area) than fat, so one could still weigh the same and have a smaller size with more muscle.  Ok, next one on the MYTH list.  Pilates. Some Pilates background:  First, this is not in any way shape or form an attempt or insinuation to discredit the exercise form of Pilates.  I feel Pilates has some great exercise foundational principles and can be very beneficial for people.  This is to clarify the common misconceptions of this exercise with scientific facts. Joseph Pilates born in Germany 1880 grew up in England, he participated in bodybuilding, skiing, diving, boxing and was a gymnast.  Gymnasts are the pioneers to a lot of the foundational equipment and movements of pilates.

The following is the correlation from gymnast apparatus or exercises to pilates:

   High chair= modified gymnastics pommel, reformer= modified rowing trainer with pulleys, mat= a mat, the Pedi pull= a pulley machine, magic circle= sprung steel ring with cushions, Cadillac= modified parallel and horizontal bars, low chair= modified gymnastics staking pommel, spine corrector barrel= a low level type of pommel horse.

It is very common to take one approach to exercising with weights such as bodybuilding and apply that to anybody who works out with weights assuming they are, or will become big and "bulky".  This is the farthest thing from the truth; first one must use a specified bodybuilding approach to their training, combined with proper nutrition, high loads and high volume. People who think in terms of weight training regarding only the narrow approach of bodybuilding forget to account for many other forms of weight training/ resistance training.  Any form of resistance training can be called weight training.  Using ones bodyweight can be weight training. Pilates exercise is weight training, body weight push-ups is weight training, any exercises where one is fighting gravity with their bodyweight.   Where as in pilates one is doing the exact same thing whether on the mat, Reformer or Cadillac.

My favorite advertising or promo claim by infomercials, pilates insturcutors or users: Pilates machines have "special springs" they help lengthen a muscle. 

Well any type of muscular contraction spring or weight results in a muscle shortening, physiologically this is just how muscular contraction happens, period! 

The infomercials or pilate instructors must of forgot or probably did not study Newton's Laws or take anatomy and physiology of the human body.  Both sciences are black and white and came out way before pilates.  Movement at any joint involves muscle shortening, period!   A common marketing ploy is to take a slender shape female/male and because they started exercising with Pilates and combined a better nutrition program, they as the consumer swear by its effectiveness.  However, little do they know they were shortening their muscles during their workouts, using weights (body weight) and burning more calories through exercise, which in turn helps them burn more calories and lose body weight/fat.  Maybe if they started any exercise with a better nutrition program they could have seen the same results by burning more calories and firming up a little.  Or they tried weight training before but they were instructed improperly, maybe their training or trainer was bodybuilding them because that is all they were aware of.  Or maybe their nutrition was not under control and subconsciously they ate better or less and saw a change, or variable after variables.  There are plenty of people who have tried all forms of exercise with success or no success.  People defining success as losing weight and looking lean and slender because of certain pilates or certain moves or machines is VERY PHYSIOLOGICALLY, SCIENTIFICALLY UNSOUND, PERIOD!  There are plenty of male/female resistance/weight training trainees' that have had long lean slender success from proper resistance training and nutrition.

Remember, you can have the physique you desire with stringent discipline, proper training, excellent nutrition, and your god given genetic potential just like some are 5 feet tall and some are 6 feet tall. 


By: J. D. Reber M.S. & B.S. Exercise Science, CSCS & NASM- CFT


Reference: Siff M C. Facts andFallacies of Fitness. 2003


Remember, eat healthy and live wealthy!

Personal training in Lenox, MA