Pilates Reformer Class Review

Pilates Reformer Class Review

Sure, I run marathons and hit the gym 5-6 times a week, but knowing my way around a gym didn’t make it any less intimidating to try a Pilates Reformer, a device I learned was originally invented by Joseph Pilates in the 1900s to help hospital patients strengthen their muscles.

Janis Luby, a veteran fitness trainer who has worked with triathletes and other serious competitors offered me a one-on-one Reformer class I couldn’t turn down. Janis owns the Sculpt & Reform studio in Evanston, IL where you can go and rejuvenate your mind and body through Pilates, yoga, and massage or spa services.


Janis and I met for our session last week where she coached me through the basic sequence on the reformer. We did each move only a few times – the emphasis in Pilates is quality, not quantity, Janis explained – and with exacting attention paid to my form. I was reminded to squeeze my ribs in and scoop my abdominals (I had no idea what it feels like to actually sit up so straight so this was a real eye-opener) and we did leg swirls that immediately helped open up my very tight hips.

The workout allowed me to really pinpoint the areas of my body that were stronger than others. For instance, since I’m a runner my leg muscles are very tight and it can be hard to open up my hips. I felt more comfortable when the focus was on my abs and oblique’s rather than my hamstrings or abductors.  However, Janis’s positive tone was infectious: instead of feeling weak and frustrated, I found myself setting personal goals to get stronger.

The great thing about the classes offered at Sculpt & Reform is you don’t have to be athletic or flexible to begin. No matter how young or old, strong or weak, anyone can participate. The instructors specialize in customizing each workout, depending on your body size and fitness level, while keeping your safety their top priority.

So what did I think about the class? I absolutely loved it and I’ll definitely be back for more. I most appreciated Janis’s feedback and instructions during the class. She reminded me to tuck my tailbone, elongate my torso and I felt my body’s bones stack up in a totally novel way I had never experienced before. Leaving the studio I felt pliable, energized and wanting to learn more.

I highly recommend the Pilates Reformer class. If you’re interested in learning more about Janis and the studio, you can check out her website, Sculpt & Reform and try out one the classes offered.

Have you ever tried a Pilates Reformer Class? What did you think?

About Sara


  1. I have not. The machine intimidates me. 🙂
    Zenaida Arroyo recently posted..Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

    • Zenaida, it intimidated me too. I recommend taking a private class where the instructor can walk through the moves slowly. It was very helpful.

  2. The machine and class look interesting. I’ll have to check it out.

  3. I LOVE REFORMER CLASSES!!! I’ve taken a few at Body R+D in Lakeview and I love it so much. Only wish it wasn’t so expensive, otherwise I would try to go at least 1-2 times/week.
    Maggie recently posted..The Do-It-Yourself Messiah in Chicago

    • Maggie – I’m so glad you to hear you love it! It is a little pricey, but totally worth it. I’m going to start looking for deals on Groupon.

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  5. Sue-Check with my Aunt Dolores to see if she wants to rent her downstairs aatrpment she is usually out at Beth’s, so she might want someone at the house to watch over things, or she might not want to bother. You could also contact Beth directly and ask her if she and her mom might want to rent it. Close by and cheap!!!On a completely different topic checked out all the local watering holes on Roscoe this past Friday night and they are all wheelchair accessible and can handle large groups, so a pub crawl on Roscoe is very doable (meaning we can crawl back to the aatrpment)!!!Also, unrelated I haven’t been on the site in a while but wanted to give everyone an update on Dan’s status. He is over the halfway mark in his radiation treatments started week 5 this AM. He’s doing very well even with a bad cold. He gets up at 4 AM to do his daily constitutionals and has to drink 24 ozs. of water before heading to Glenview for his treatment at 6 AM. Next, it is off to work in Hoffman Estates he has worked from home a few days but for the most part is in the office 5 days a week. The drive alone would do me in, but he is remarkably positive. He should be done in mid November and then his hip surgery is scheduled for December 3rd! After all the insurance cost for the prostate cancer, the hip is free!!! He probably can’t join us the weekend of December 14th, but you never know beers are involved so he will probably hobble over!!! Thanks for all the prayer and positive thoughts you guys are the best!!!!

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