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Lean Machine: Week 6 (The Final Week)

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

The final week of my six week challenge arrives (Read about my experience with Bootcamp Pilates over the last five weeks here: I’m feeling strong, toned and much more comfortable when it comes to experimenting on the reformer. I haven’t managed to completely cut out sweets and treats but I can feel the change in my body regardless. This week, thanks to our InStyle Christmas party and loads of other festive invites I only just manage to squeeze in three final sessions. Frankly, I’m feeling smug that I’ve counteracted my calorie-laden soirees with two bouts of body-blasting workouts. Here’s how I got on:

Sixteenth class: I sign up for Ivor Ducros’s class – they are always a challenge but I’m ready to test myself to the max. Somehow it’s the exercises that look impossible to pull off that end up being somewhat easy (an exercise in Ivor’s class can never be classified as 100% ‘easy’!) and the ones that look do-able turn out to be the killers. Case in point: With the box prop sat over the end of the reformer machine (at the opposite end of the foot bar), we get onto all fours, with our knees up against the shoulder pads and our elbows on the box. Using our upper arm and back strength we pull our knees towards the box so that the shoulder pads make contact with the box. Essentially, it seems simple – on all fours sliding our knees in and out. But it’s not. It’s insanely difficult. As tough as these exercises can be, I secretly love the challenge and the results I get from them.

Seventeenth class: For my second-to-final session I opt for a Jump Board class. As strong as I feel I still find it really tough to get through the hour. I’m thinking my holiday partying has caught up with me and my muscles are feeling the brunt of this time of year. Regardless, I power through the final six minutes of cardio as we jump through various positions. My thighs and calves are burning at the end of the class but I enjoy the feeling now.

Eighteenth class: On my day off I try a lunch hour class. There are only two of us – a departure from the full classes I normally attend either before or after work. It’s great to have a semi one-to-one experience with our instructor, Sam Village, but it also means any pauses or cheeky breaks mid-plank will be noticed (note to self)! This class flows without breaks and it’s tough but once the clock hits :55 I’m ecstatic that I’ve managed to get through a tough and challenging class without pausing, cheating or opting for a beginner spring setting. I vow to keep up my pilates training post-Christmas holidays. It’s honestly taken my fitness to a whole other level and changed my physique and my determination for good.

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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