Frequently Asked Questions


Why choose Reform Pilates?

Unlike typical big box store fitness studios that teach a general class to a large number of participants, our classes are designed small so you receive maximum attention every visit. We offer Pilates training in a safe, inclusive and supportive environment and we are committed to offering the highest level of Pilates training. We believe that is best achieved with individualized or semi-individual attention.

Why Classical Pilates?

Classical Pilates AKA: Contrology was created by Joseph Pilates over the course of his lifetime (1883-1967). Classical Pilates stays true to its traditional roots and is as orthodox as it gets in Pilates culture. Joe Pilates was decades ahead of his time with his idea on how effective breathing is for stress reduction, how focusing on specific movement ‘awakens the brain’ and stimulates the organs. He believed in his work and his philosophy of intentional movement so much that he created the Matwork repertoire so that anyone could access the practice from anywhere, anytime, eliminating the need to rely on a specific equipment or an Instructor for direction. A Classical instructor receives a minimum of 900 hours of training in anatomy, theory, and practical experience. Instructors at Reform Pilates are expected to continue their learning through acquisition of CEC’s on a yearly basis, further augmenting their knowledge base and experience.

What is the difference between Classical Pilates and Clinical Pilates?

Classical Pilates has its origins in the mid 19th century and is best explained as a System of Movement. This system focuses on core strengthening with simultaneous spinal and limb stretching. Also known as ‘Contrology’, Classical Pilates was originally invented as an illness prevention tool, to counteract the harmful effects of an unbalanced, sedentary lifestyle. Clinical Pilates is similar to Contemporary Pilates in that exercises are greatly modified and “created” to suit a specific rehabilitation protocol. Clinical Pilates has gained popularity as a rehabilitation treatment and is covered in British Columbia by health care insurance providers under the direct guidance of licensed physiotherapists. Unlike Classical Pilates, however, it is not taught as an exercise system in the same way and is not delivered as an entire workout protocol.

What is the difference between Classical Pilates and Clinical Pilates?

Classical Pilates began in the mid 19th century by Joe Pilates’ as a specific exercise system that focuses on core strengthening with simultaneous spinal and limb stretching.  Also known as ‘Contrology’, Classical Pilates was originally invented to counteract the harmful effects of an unbalanced, sedentary lifestyle. Unlike other forms of exercise, Pilates exercises are particularly adept at exposing imbalances and alignment issues that inhibit or affect functional movement.  Clinical Pilates is similar to Contemporary Pilates insofar as use and specification/ design of equipment, exercises are greatly modified and  “created” to suit a specific treatment protocol. Clinical Pilates has gained popularity as a rehabilitation treatment and is covered in British Columbia by health care insurance providers under the direct guidance of licensed physiotherapists.

I am new, where do I start?

All new students are encouraged to take advantage of the Fundamentals Series or the Introductory 5. The Fundamentals Series is an 8 week course that prepares students for our Instructor-led Program. The Introductory 5 is a set of 5 Private sessions that prepares students for our Open Gym or self-led Program. Both Introductory 5 and Fundamentals Series cover orientation, Pilates principles, equipment safety and set up as well as essential movement skills-the foundation for Pilates exercises. 

Where is the Group schedule?

You can view our schedule online here. If you do not see times that work for you, please contact us to let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

What can I expect on my first visit?

Please plan to arrive a few minutes prior to the start of your first session to get acquainted with our space. We do not allow footwear in the studio, however, we do encourage socks or bare feet. Please leave valuables at home whenever possible. We have a washrooms on the premises, however we cannot always guarantee a dedicated changeroom. Please wear comfortable clothing that you can move and sweat in, preferably natural fibres, without dyes. Occasionally, during early morning or after 6 pm the main entrance to the building may be locked for safety. Please wait outside until the instructor comes to unlock the premises. Out of consideration for our teachers and other students, sessions start promptly, late arrivals are discouraged.

I have osteoporosis / scoliosis / special considerations–is Classical Pilates safe for me?

Marlene has clinical experience with scoliosis, spinal herniation, adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder), shoulder separation, spondylolisthesis, osteoporosis, osteopenia and osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis as well as hip and knee replacements. Private sessions are strongly encouraged if you are currently experiencing any of the above conditions and especially if you are new to the studio. Please contact the studio for more information or to join these specialized classes.

How many Pilates sessions should I take each week?

The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends physical exercise everyday and recommends targeting your muscles and bones two times per week. The answer really depends on the goals that you set for yourself and the level of fitness you would like to attain. Classical Pilates is a system of exercise and exercise repertoire that works the whole body and mind. Students will feel immediate results after one class and can expect visible or more lasting results with more frequent attendance.

What is the difference between Matwork and Apparatus?

Matwork refers to the original 34 mat exercises devised by Joseph Pilates. It is an integral modality in Pilates and provides one of the most effective and challenging workouts around. At Reform Pilates, ‘Apparatus’ classes, refers to the Mat, Reformer, Chair and Barrels, however we also have Electric Chair, Cadillac, Ped-o-Pull and High Barrel. With the exception of the High Barrel, all have springs which help to generate resistance so you can develop greater muscular awareness. Apparatus work provides your muscles with feedback through resistance and is an excellent compliment to Matwork. The entire Pilates System, including Matwork, will accelerate awareness, strength, alignment and coordination.

What can I expect in Level 1-2?

Level 1-2 is the first level after a student completes an orientation series such as Introductory 5 or the Fundamentals Series. We cover essential, foundational skills requiring breathing techniques as well as concentration and centering. Expect to already know Classical Equipment set up and safety.

What can I expect in Level 3?

Students who have demonstrated essential breathing and concentration in Level 1-2 are given a new challenge of staying centered while covering the intermediate repertoire.

What can I expect in Level 4-5?

Students who are able to concentrate and feel like they have control in their movements can expect to be challenged by the tempo and precision that’s required of the advanced repertoire. Due to the advanced nature of this class please have experience with Classical Pilates equipment set up.

What is Open Gym?

Open Gym is the original Pilates Method format. After taking a series of Private sessions such as our Introductory 5, you will be ready to follow a customized workout plan with moderate supervision. Pacing and structure is set by the student which means if your body needs to spend more time on the Cadillac or learning backbends on the Ladder Barrell or working on Roll up using our classical mats, you have the freedom to do so! Please note that an Instructor is available to help answer questions, for spotting and exercise guidance at all times.

What should I do if the class I want to take is full?

When possible, please sign up in advance for the classes you want to secure your place. If you see classes that are full, please place yourself on the waitlist. This not only provides us with information about what class times are popular, it is likely you may be called as reservations open up. Get on our lists! By doing this you increase your odds of getting the classes you want.

What should I do if the small group class I want to take has been cancelled?

Our studio strives to offer exceptional programming and flexibility. We have adopted a first come, first served approach, allowing you to book your classes online at your convenience or until your package or set of classes “expire”. However, we rely on pre-bookings and reservations done in a timely manner to create and structure our programming. We also require a minimum of three students to run a class. Waiting until the last minute to reserve your spot in a specific class will, unfortunately, result in interruptions to programming and cancelled classes.

Is Pilates effective for weight loss?

No form of weight training or exercise alone will help you lose weight without making necessary dietary changes. Reducing your sugar intake–including alcohol–will drastically improve your results regardless of which form of training you decide upon. Classical Pilates is not your average workout. It is a combination of anaerobic (resistance training), stretching and aerobic training-an incredibly effective way to achieve results because you work all major muscle groups synergistically, building overall strength and working overall posture uniformly. Also consider that with anaerobic training like Pilates, your metabolism stays elevated for a longer period than cardio because muscles burn more calories at rest compared to some other tissues in the body.

Are group classes suitable for beginners?

We highly recommend all new students take advantage of the Fundamentals Series. However, if you prefer the freedom of having your own workout on equipment of your choice, please choose Introductory 5 as a starting point towards signing up for our Open Gym Program.

When and what should I eat before a Pilates class?

We recommend you eat a complete meal which includes carbs, protein and fat 2-3 hours before Pilates. Consuming protein pre-workout can help increase muscle protein synthesis–the building blocks for growth. We understand that it is not always possible to incorporate complex carbohydrates and proteins such as nuts or a protein smoothie in advance. If all else fails, grab a banana for energy which is a simple carbohydrate that contains potassium. Potassium supports blood pressure, cardiovascular strength, bone and muscle strength. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water before and after!

Is Pilates like Yoga?

No, Pilates is not like yoga.

I can’t find a class that works with my schedule.

Please contact the studio if you do not see class times that suit your availability. We would love to hear from you!


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