“You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.”
I don’t know if this is a genuine quotation from Joseph Pilates but it’s often attributed to him. It sounds like something he might say because in his book, Return to Life, he wrote that if you perform his exercises “four times a week for just three months … you will find your body development approaching the ideal”. That means approaching the ideal in 50 sessions.
I’ve been doing Athletic Pilates UK twice a week, occasionally three times a week, for more than three years. I reckon I must have done about 350 sessions, well above the 30 to get my completely new body or the 50 to approach my ideal body development. Ideal wasn’t the first word that came to mind this morning when I looked in the mirror but who am I to argue with the great Joseph P?
I’ve never done Athletic Pilates four times per week as Joseph P suggested (which would in any case be completely exhausting) but I have stuck at and I suspect Athletic Pilates works us harder than Joseph could get away with. I confess the lack of the new, ideal body is much more about the time I spend not doing Athletic Pilates.
What is true is I did feel better after ten sessions and I did look better after twenty. I can do more challenging exercises now than I could at the start or even a year ago. Mastery in 30 or 50 sessions was never my ambition and neither was having a new body. It is surprisingly satisfying to successfully do an exercise with precision.
As Joseph P predicted I am approaching the ideal, just at my pace. It might take me 30 years not 30 sessions. That’s fine.