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Lean Machine: Week 2

InStyle’s Beauty Editor, Malena Harbers, gets a lesson in power pilates, bootcamp-style…

Week number two of my six week pilates challenge arrives (You can read about my first week here: and I’m feeling good about my progress so far. After only three sessions my stomach already feels leaner, my bingo wings seem to have tightened up and I’m not avoiding my jeans anymore in favour of more-forgiving loose dresses and skirts. Who knows, this sudden feeling of body elation could all be psycho-somatic but I’m hoping it’s not. After all, I’ve worked harder than the average 5km run (my go-to workout) in all three of my classes so I should be seeing at least some physical results. Here’s how I get through week two:

Fourth Class: Instructor Gemma Stephens leads the class with a series of flowing movements – we start lying on the reformer on our backs doing many sets of varying leg exercises while pushing off of the foot bar. We end up on our fronts by the end of the class, with a black box beneath us for height, so we can work our back muscles and triceps using the arm pulleys. I’m elated that I can do all the exercises without feeling strained. I feel that I’ve had a breakthrough. That is until I wake up the next day in a world of back and chest muscle pain. The second day after the class the stiffness is even worse. Will I ever not feel this day-after (and second day-after) pain?

Fifth Class: I have Ivor Ducros again and instantly start to sweat. His classes are tough. This time around he spends a good chunk of the 55 minute-workout focusing on inner thighs. It’s my biggest problem area so I give it my all when he starts the series: Lying on our backs with our legs in a ‘V’ shape we start circling forwards, then backwards, then pulse forwards and upwards. By the time he tells us to simply hold our legs still I’m over being an eager beaver. It’s the hardest inner thigh workout I’ve done and, frankly, it burns! I walk home praying that I’ll be able to manage the tube stairs the next day without wincing.

Sixth Class: I don’t manage to fit a third class into my schedule this week. I rationalize that as I’m still super sore from my last class’s killer leg workout it’s probably better for my body to have some time out. I vow to make it up the following week by trying a morning class (I’m NOT a morning person).

Stay tuned for next week’s update from Bootcamp…

New to bootcamp pilates? Get two classes for £12. If you’re keen to keep going, get an additional 20% off all pilates packages. Simply quote InStyle when calling the studio.

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