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I Survived the Pilates Reformer!

I feel like I should get t-shirts made with the title of this article, right? “I survived the Pilates Reformer!” In case you haven’t noticed, I recently started blogging for the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club in Cherry Hill, NJ. While I haven’t gotten to go as much as I would like recently (ew, sickness!), it’s my goal to go at least 2 times a week starting this month! Yay for making goals and (hopefully) crushing them! Since I started following the keto way of eating again, I have more energy and would love to use that energy to tone my body and build muscle strength because, honestly…my mom bod has seen better days and I want to change that. Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club to the rescue! I recently survived/enjoyed (what the what?!) two sessions of Pilates Reformer training with Personal Trainer Heather Overholt. Let me tell you, if you are anything like me (read: somewhat lazy, but determined to kick butt and succeed at whatever I attempt), Heather would be a great Personal Trainer for you. She recognizes just how far to push you and let’s you take the reins at the same time with an end result of feeling totally empowered in your abilities at the gym. Combined with her energetic and bubbly personality, it’s all magical, really. Anyways, let’s move on. I want to tell you a bit about my experience with the Pilates Reformer!


The “machine” is overwhelming and confusing to say the least. Honestly, it looks like it came straight out of the red room in the Fifty Shades series (oh – I got your attention now, huh?!). I’d describe it as a wooden “bed” with cushions, contraptions, and fur. See what I mean? But, I digress, the Pilates Reformer is actually a pretty powerful machine that can help to tone and strengthen bodies when used properly. It can be overwhelming to learn all of the different exercises and ways to adjust the reformer, but Heather was absolutely amazing throughout the entire experience.


When you walk into the Pilates Reformer room, not only will you notice the machines, but you’ll also notice a pretty awesome wave of calm come over you. The lights are dimmed and there is such a zen feeling inside. Being that I’m a busy mom of two boys, I happily welcome any feelings of calm, you know? You’ll have to take off your shoes and socks so, if the condition of your toes/feet is of concern to you, be aware of that.


Heather explained the different parts of the reformer, showed me how to adjust the springs to for various tensions, and got me started right away with doing different exercises. To be absolutely honest, I thought Pilates was going to be super easy. I mean, sitting down while moving my arms back and forth?! Easy peasy. Um. No. Not so much. Never again will I look at a Pilates Reformer and think “easy.” Adjusting those springs, ever so slightly, can result in a huge difference. While I thought it would be harder to complete exercises with a lot of resistance on the springs and easier to complete exercises with little resistance, I was completely wrong.


I was guided through a variety of exercises, both standing up and sitting down and was amazed at the focus they took. When you take a Pilates Reformer class, you’ll have to make sure you’re focusing and balancing correctly because, otherwise, all this “work” will be for nothing. Honestly, since I spend pretty much my entire day in front of a computer, it was nice to unplug from the distractions of electronics and just focus on myself and my body for an entire hour.


After my hour-long session with Heather, my body hurt, but in a good way. Parts of my legs, core, and arms were stretched and strengthened in ways I didn’t even realize were possible. I apparently had muscles I didn’t even know were there! This wasn’t a bad thing, though! If anything, having a session with Heather left me wanting more. It’s such a new feeling for me to want to exercise more, but I’m just going to go with it. My arms hurt, my legs hurt, my stomach hurt, but it made me so proud of myself and I was so excited that I had “survived” a Pilates Reformer session!


If you are looking for a workout that challenges your body in ways you didn’t even think were possible (in a good way!), definitely check out the Pilates Reformer classes at the Cherry Hill Health and Racquet Club. You could even sign up to take a free 30-minute pilates session! There are various options that can fit with your schedule and budget – there are different time lengths for classes as well as options for both personal and group training. Definitely check it out at least once. You may be surprised like I was!


Elizabeth Dukart is a proud born and raised Jersey Girl, wife, and mom of 2 boys.


Created in 2018, Elizabeth owns and publishes South Jersey Family: a free resource allowing local families can enjoy quality time together with the help of a local events & activities calendar, local reviews & recommendations, and more. In addition, Elizabeth helps to empower local women by co-leading the Cherry Hill Believe Inspire Grow Pod through monthly meetings and a Facebook Group


When she’s not busy taking over the world, Elizabeth can be found listening to The Beatles, being silly with her boys, watching movies with family, or searching for deals in the aisles of Target.