Some people start practicing to feel better and live a healthy lifestyle, while others want to look better or lose some weight.
Or maybe you just want to try something new …
Whatever the reason is, you probably want to see the results that come after hard work. So, …
How long does it take to see results from Pilates?
According to a Pilates founder, you will start feeling the results after 10 classes, and after 20, it will be possible to see them. Of course, this is just an estimate, and it depends on a lot of factors. Some average time you will have to wait to notice a difference is about 6-8 weeks.
I will tell you more about this time frame and results in the following chapters:
How Long does it Take to See Results from Pilates?
According to Joseph Pilates, who is the founder of Pilates, you will start noticing results after 10 classes.
You won’t be able to see them, but you will feel better. Your body will start getting used to a physical activity, there is a chance you are going to sleep better, and after every practice your body will feel more energized. If you had any back pain problems, they will start declining. Of course, Pilates is not magical, and after 10 classes your problems will not disappear, but you will feel the difference.
Another important step usually happens after 20 classes, and at that time, you will be able to see the results too.
Your posture will start improving as your core muscles start to get stronger. You will notice that you are walking upright. Those who are healthy and can do some more demanding exercises may notice that their muscles are getting toned, or may lose a bit of weight.
After about 30 classes, your body will start to change for the better.
All those results that started before are going to become your permanent state, of course, if you continue practicing. You are going to feel great even on days when you are not exercising. Your muscles will be stronger, and you will be able to see various positive changes.
So, that is according to a Joseph Pilates. But …
In reality, it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for those practicing three times a week.
The older you are the slower it will go. Those who were physically active before can see the results sooner. This is very individual, and numerous factors, such as some health conditions, diet, and the effort you put into practice can influence the end result.
How Often do I Need to do Pilates to See Results?
How long does it take to see results from Pilates may seem like a simple question, but the answer is influenced by your commitment. Some people prefer to exercise almost every day, while others like to engage in a physical activity during weekends only.
So, let’s assume that you are healthy, and that you were not very active before you decided to practice Pilates. Going to one-hour class three times a week will bring you results in a previously described timeframe.
Frequently, people want to rush the results and start practicing too much. Someone who is very active can do 5, or even 6 classes a week, but that is not something I would recommend to an average person, at least not in the beginning.
Practicing too much will result in sore muscles and most probably, an injury.
Your body needs time to get used to any physical activity and it is important to give yourself time to rest between practices. As you gain some strength with time, you can add a fourth class in a week if you would like.
But, what about less than three times a week?
You can practice once or twice a week, and that is definitely better than not practicing at all, but if you have too many days between practices, your muscles will not develop as well, and it will take longer to see the results. Also, those results are not going to be as good as for those who are practicing more often.
Is 20 or 30 minutes of Pilates a Day Enough?
This is a very common question among people who want to start practicing. Many of us do not have a lot of time in a day to exercise, but we still want to be healthy and feel good.
Doing Pilates for 20 or 30 minutes a day can have good effects. You will activate your muscles, stretch a bit, and feel better. This is definitely something I would recommend to people who are sitting in the office 8+ hours a day.
But, to be honest, 20 minutes is simply not enough to develop a lot of muscle strength. When you practice in a studio, classes last about one hour for a reason. In 20 minutes, you will not have enough time to focus on every muscle group you should focus on. It will give you some results, but not the same as if you practiced longer.
Those who are doing these shorter workout sessions should focus on different muscle groups daily, and do everything is slow and controlled motion, instead of rushing different exercises. That is a much better way to benefit from it in the long run.
What Kind of Results does Pilates Give You?
Now when you know how long does it take to see results from Pilates, you probably want to know what exactly are those results.
I will mention them in the order in which they usually appear.
Firstly, you will notice that you feel better after a practice (after sweating). You will feel like you did something good for yourself. And after a while, you will feel like that even on days between practices. Quality of your sleep will improve and you will have more energy. Everyday tasks will become easier with time.
BACK AND POSTURE
If you felt any discomfort caused by a lot of sitting, it will reduce a bit because of the muscle strengthening and stretching in practice. You will also start standing more upright as your muscles start to gain strength.
Your muscles will start to get stronger after a few practices, but you will be able to see them after about 20-30 practices. Of course, they will not immediately be extremely developed, but they are going to seem a bit toned.
MOBILITY AND FLEXIBILITY
Practicing Pilates will increase your flexibility and range of motion within joints. This will make any kind of movements easier and reduce the possibility of injury like knee pain.
LONG TERM HEALTH EFFECTS
Pilates can lower your blood pressure and that can lower the possibility of cardiovascular diseases in the future. This is a long-term effect that occurs only if you practice continuously and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.
Do I Need a Private Pilates Instructor for Better Results?
Pilates is so wonderful because it can be done at home or in a studio, and you can choose weather you will use all the props and machines or not. Even if you do it at home (just make sure that you know how to perform certain exercises in order to avoid injuries), you will see some results after a while.
Unfortunately, the truth is that a certified instructor will recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and motivate you to work harder, while monitoring your moves and correcting them if necessary. Instructors will choose the best exercises for you in accordance with your wishes and the result you are trying to get.
So YES, attending private classes, especially if Pilates machines are involved, will give better and faster results.
The problem is that private classes are expensive, and Pilates in general can cost more than other activities (aerobic, yoga, or similar). Because of this, many people practice at home, or in a group class. I would recommend anyone who is able to do so, to have at least a few private classes and get as many advices as possible from the instructor, to make your future at-home practice more efficient.
It is impossible to give a definite answer when someone asks how long does it take to see results from Pilates.
It depends on your fitness level from before, your age, health and a lot more factors. But the most important thing is not to give up. Even a short workout is better than doing nothing, and if you are persistent, the results will show up.
First you are going to feel better, then you will look better and, in the end, you are going to become a lot healthier!