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FITT Expanding the Understanding of Pilates Exercise



F: Frequency

I: Intensity

T: Time

T: Type

Expanding the Understanding of Pilates Fitness:

Basic Principles of Traditional Training Principles of Pilates

  • Principle of Adaptation
  • Principle of Specificity
  • Ceiling Principle/Principle of Diminishing Returns
  • Maintenance Principle
  • Principle of Reversibility
  • Principle of Overload
  • Progressive Load Principle
  • Contraction Control Principle
  • Principle of Symmetry
  • Stress-Rest Principle
  • Overtraining

  • Endurance
  • Stabilization
  • Flexibility
  • Muscular strength
  • Concentration
  • Breathing
  • Control
  • Flowing movement
  • Joint release

Principle of Adaptation

Bodies physically adapt to the demands put on them. This response can be short-term (acute) or long term (chronic). For long term adaptation, the physical demands must be regular and repeated. We could include the Principle of Initial Values and Principles of Inter Individual Variability. These individual responses to training are quite variable and depend on a number of factors, such as age, initial fitness level, health status. Their program should be designed to meet specific needs, interests and abilities.

Principle of Specificity

Physically bodies respond and adapt to specific demands that are imposed during training. For increasing muscle size and strength, demands of heavier resistance is used with fewer repetitions. Increasing muscular endurance demands lighter resistance with more repetition.

Demands also can be directed to specific muscle groups. For simple exercises that work a specific group, only that muscle group will be affected for the imposed demands.

The SAID principle states Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands on the body will change the physical condition.

S: Specific

A: Adaptation to

I: Imposed

D Demands

Cross training is a way of practicing SAID on a day to day basis. It challenges the body differently in different ways to achieve balance and overall fitness.

Ceiling Principle/Principle of Diminishing Returns

Individual fitness levels cannot increase indefinitely and at a point increased imposed demands for adaptation will not produce an increase in fitness level. Excessive fatigue, injury and regression may occur. Heredity is a factor in individual ceilings.

Maintenance Principle

Using the principle of adaptability to reach the desired level of fitness, exercise must be continued to maintain the level. This maintenance frequency of the exercise may be reduced by two thirds while keeping the achieved fitness level.

Simply, if you work out three times a week to achieve a certain fitness level you would need to work out two times a week to maintain.

Principle of Reversibility

If exercise is stopped, or the body is not stressed regularly, the training adaptations will be lost at about one third the rate at which they were gained. One month of training will be totally lost in three months. Cardiovascular fitness is lost at a faster rate.

Principle of Overload

When muscles perform at maximal strength and endurance capacities with workloads above those daily encountered improvements in strength and endurance occurs.

In the fitness program overload is imposed by different combinations of FITT activity.

F: Frequency

I: Intensity

T: Time

T: Type

Progressive Load Principle

The training effect occurs by gradually overloading and then allowing recovery to build to a greater strength level than before. It is important to apply the overload example carefully. Gradual increases of weight and intensity with adequate rest between sessions is crucial to avoid injury and tissue damage.

Contraction Control Principle

Movements need to be performed in a steady controlled manner. This ensures the speed of repetition does not exceed the muscles ability to contract.

Principle of Symmetry

Overall balanced development of the body is important and balanced muscles development increased joint stability. Starting with a good overall conditioned body will achieve greater results than with specific or uneven development. In working symmetrically, always work opposing muscle groups, i.e., biceps/triceps, chest/back, hip flexors/hamstrings and glutes.

Stress-Rest Principle

Resistance training requires the stress-rest principle. Optimal rest time may require 48 to 72 hours to recover. The muscles need time for rest in recovery and to become stronger.


Overtraining can lead to an inability to relax, muscles soreness and stiffness, and increased nervousness and depression. Exercise can be taken too far and lead to overtraining where more is not better. If the emotional and physically body warning signs are present it is advisable to decrease intensity or take several days off.

A person must listen to their body for fatigue through the exercises and also throughout the weekly/monthly set program, or overtraining may occur.

Move and Groove - Music & Fitness


Why We Love to Move & Groove

So, what is it about music and just about any exercise that feels so right? Scientists continue trying to understand our need to groove and move. Studies have tried to chase down the connection between our ears and our feet. Apparently there are four factors that contribute to a song's motivational qualities: rhythm response, musicality, cultural impact and association. With this in mind we have made changes in the diversity of music we have been playing at the studio.

Since some of our classes have become more self-directed we are free to combine more popular forms of music - more rock and pop. In the past, classes
that were totally cued required music that was free of lyrics; they pretty much had to be instrumental background music.

We have found the change most welcome. We've been playing the music you love: Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, ABBA, Sheryl Crow, Eagles, McCartney, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Beatles in addition to a lot of nice classical, new world and Latin.

Also, we are proud to own much of the music we play at the studio. Purchasing CD's ensures that the artists and composers are reimbursed for their efforts.

We have always paid attention to your needs in fitness and music. If you have a favorite album you would like played during your
fitness let us know.

We have had several requests for more information on one of the artists we have been playing lately. His name is Sylvain Cossette.

Sylvain Cossette (born May 8, 1963) is a French-Canadian singer-songwriter from Grand-Mère, Quebec. Sylvain was a founding member of the Quebec-based English language band Paradox in 1984, before becoming a French language solo artist by 1994.

During his career he has sold over one million albums (12 Gold and Platinum), recorded twenty-seven #1 hit songs and six #1 albums, earned 7 Silver, Gold and Platinum Tickets, won 10
Quebec Felix Music Awards, 6 Socan awards and four Juno nominations, and performed in Canada and Europe in the hit stage musicals Notre Dame De Paris and Dracula.

Cossette's 2001 album Rendez-vous was certified Platinum by the CRIA in November 2002.[1]

His 2007 album 70s (#1 Quebec, #2 Canada) is his first all English release and produced four #1 hit singles and two #1 hit videos. The album went Gold (50,000 CDs sold) in 27 days and Platinum (100,000 CDs sold) in 15 weeks. The 70s concert tour went Silver Ticket (25,000 tickets sold) in 3 months and Gold Ticket (50,000 tickets sold) within a year.

On October 21 2008, he released the album 70s Volume 2 and produced three #1 hit singles and one #1 hit video. The album went Gold (50,000 CDs sold) in 19 days and Platinum (100,000 CDs sold) in 11 weeks. On October 25th, 2010, the album 70s Volume 3 was released and quickly went Gold. The 70s project has so far sold almost 400,000 albums, 150,000 concert tickets and been seen by over a 600,000 people at outdoor festivals.

In September 2011 he launched his new one year tour «The Best of the 70s». In October 2011, two compilation albums were released of his greatest French language hits. On October 1st, 2012, he release his first original French language album in 12 years called «Le jour d'après» which he wrote, co-arranged and co-produced.

A new tour is planned for 2013-14.

Be Fit to Sit! Office Posture


Office Posture - "Be Fit to Sit"

We don't think of it too often but we have to be fairly fit to be able to sit all day. Without suffering from the usual backaches, neck aches and so on. We have become a society of "sitters". Not too many of us make our living on our feet or in an active, mobile setting. Being aware of posture and ergonomics at work, at home, and at play is a vital step towards instilling good posture and ergonomic techniques.

Regular exercise such as walking, swimming, or bicycling will help the body stay aerobically conditioned, while Pilates specific strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding the back to stay strong.

Following are some tips for good office posture: Have your computer screen positioned so that your head, neck and back can remain in a nice, relaxed neutral position; not having your head tilted forward or backward. A good idea is to see if you can do a nice chin-tuck and still see your computer monitor.

Try to sit mainly on the edge of your seat. Once in awhile you can rest your whole back against your office chair, but not too long or too often. As muscles tire, slouching, slumping, and other poor postures become more likely; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back. Also be aware of and avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward or tilting the head.

Change positions often. If you have to stand up to go to the copier, fax or other office area do it sporadically instead of sitting for a long period and getting your copies all at once.

Pilates Offers Everyday Fitness Solutions


Pilates is general fitness and athletic conditioning. The strengthening you receive from your Pilates workout with the movement exercises (especially using the equipment in the beginning) is what people try to achieve in their gym workouts with the resistance (weight training) and flexibility (stretching) exercises. Pilates is true functional training. You take how you move in Pilates into your everyday movements. And it feels wonderful! This is why everyone should and can do Pilates to their appropriate level.

Offering small group reformer & equipment classes daily and open GYMTIME where you can come in and work on the reformers and equipment at your own pace for your individualized workout. Core control and strengthening will be part of every exercise as you work your way through a different sequence of exercises for the entire body each week. Living Well Pilates takes the mystery out of Pilates.

“We strongly encourage you to do your Pilates not only at the studio but at home too, as often as every day for best results. We provide written homework handouts for Pilates exercises which I highly encourage. We teach in small group classes of equipment and mat settings. ”Living Well Pilates, which Mary German founded ten years ago, is a Pilates Studio and Only a Pilates Studio. The reason she made the decision to offer only Pilates? “Pilates is all we offer because Pilates has so much to offer you.” People learn in different ways. If you are a
visual learner, you will benefit from our visual support materials.

Private Pilates sessions are also very popular. Here is why:

Scheduling commitments – Your schedule may make it difficult to attend regular class times consistently. You purchase a pack of private training sessions and use them when it is most
convenient for you and your instructor.

Personalized program – Exercises are chosen to meet the individual’s specific needs for strength, balance and building body awareness. Your Pilates One-on-One sessions provide you with proper execution, precision and maximum efficiency. As well, you may be looking to get better results from your group classes.

Pilates equipment - You enjoy the benefits of working with your one-on-one instructor on all of the Pilates equipment - the reformer, the Cadillac, the Chair and Wall Tower Stations.

Sports Injury - You may be recovering from an injury or you may be a sports enthusiast and you want to remain injury free. Recovering from overuse issues, conditioning for golf, skiing running, swimming, horseback riding.

Specialized conditions - You need specialized knowledge for a chronic condition you have. You may be recovering from injury, operation or accident. Addressing foot, ankle and arches issues, increasing flexibility, toning the whole body, regaining balance.

Pilates conditions your whole body, engages your brain in full concentration, uplifts and renews your spirit. It is precise body movement for your health of mind and body. Pilates,
as simple body movement, is therapeutic. It is pre-rehabilitative and post-rehabilitative. Pilates, as compound and complex body movement, is strengthening.

Mary German is a Physiologist, Personal Trainer and Master Pilates Instructor. Book your FREE tryout now. Contact Living Well Pilates. 2251 Westoak Trails Boulevard Oakville ON L6M 3P7 (905) 847-0707

Power Up with Pilates Equipment

Eliminate lower back pain, condition for sports, recondition from hours of sitting; just a few of the reasons the proper use of Pilates Equipment and Pilates Equipment classes are so effective. In the past decade, the general public has flocked to Pilates Equipment workouts because it is a challenging yet gentle workout for the whole body. The Pilates Equipment Class offers a refreshing change from more traditional types of exercise. You become stronger, more flexible, and rejuvenated WITHOUT jarring or straining your body in the process.

The Pilates Equipment Class proves to be one of the most effective and challenging ways of developing core strength and stability. A strong core, which generally refers to the muscles of the abdomen, back and glutes, enhances overall athletic ability and daily function. A strong core makes you less vulnerable to injury and improves your posture. Living Well Pilates in Oakville offers equipment/reformer classes for mornings, afternoons and evenings.

Regular usage of the Pilates equipment, with their many attachments increase the range of modifications that can be made to the
exercises, and allow additional exercises beyond what can be done on a mat. This capability, combined with the support afforded by the resistance the machine provides, allows people with limited range of movement or injuries to safely do modified exercises.

Maybe you have had a less than great experience with a Pilates class? Were the classes held in a school or church basement? In the
same room as the day care is held earlier in the day? Perhaps it was held in a gym that smelled like a locker room after a racquetball tournament? These types of atmosphere are not the best for you to focus on your mind-body awareness. Choose a clean, spotless studio where you are provided clean mats and machines and a clean white towel for each class. It is advisable to work with a Pilates instructor who has in-depth knowledge of body movement and anatomy.

Two comments we hear when we speak with people about Pilates are 1) I have never felt better and 2) Pilates are some of the hardest
exercise I have ever done! The statement that Pilates is hard is heard from all fitness levels. Our comment is always a
return question, “What do YOU mean Pilates is hard?” The reasons people find Pilates hard are diverse and need to be assessed to ensure they are benefitting from and progressing in their movements.

Everyone needs to have strong specific neurological signals between the muscles and brain for accurate movement. The patterning, or how the muscles interact in timing with each other, needs to be in the proper firing order. The soft connective tissues of the body need to be
balanced in the “rest position” (neutral).

Take advantage of Living Well Pilates Free Introductory Session on all of the Pilates Equipment Now. There are over twelve million people doing Pilates in North America. Come join the fun!


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