Intro to Pilates: Sweaty Betty x ELLEFit

This Tuesday, Team ELLE and Sweaty Betty collaborated to host a Pilates class in every single one of their stores nationwide at 6.30pm on the dot. This was a ticketed event (£15), and I bought a ticket*. I'd wanted to try Pilates for a while and thought what was included looked like it was worth it. I was pretty excited in the run up, mainly from chatting to the lovely store manageress on Instagram.

Freebies! From SB Glasgow's FB
The Pilates session was a 60-minute mat-based one, suitable for beginners and intermediates. It was taught by the lovely, and beautiful, Colette Ward. Colette also teaches at Infinity Yoga and is SB Glasgow's ambassador too.

Colette- image from SB Glasgow's site
Firstly and foremostly, did you know there was actually a Joseph Pilates? I think I assumed it was a French word...

The class was so difficult. With some definite similarities to yoga (breathing is a key component), Pilates is all about slow movement and control. Precision in the small muscles. Now, my body is used to relying on the big powerhouse groups- quads and the like. It is not used to its tiny hip flexor muscles and other similar weak members being asked to work, and now they were. Pilates when done properly should also involve constant core engagement; reinforced by correct breathing.

This breathing was the first thing our excellent instructor covered- in through the nose and a deliberately noisy mouth exhale, forcing all air out of the lungs. When air is expelled the pelvis and core are contracted, straightening the back, then on the inhale the back posture returns to normal. All movements that follow must be based on this breathing pattern, with exertion on exhalations.

We then moved on to some abdominal work poses, mostly with legs extended into the air. Then later onto legs. The legs were very hard, some of the tiny muscles next to my butt were killing me. Colette was very hands on- it was a small class so she was making postural adjustments constantly to people and egging on the more experienced girls too! She was also great with a woman who had arthritic difficulties, giving lots of adjustments and options. She kept reminding us of the harsh breathing. I don't know why I always feel kind of... cynical about breathing? Once reminded it really helped me work out some of the harder leg work. I think its maybe because of yoga that it makes me raise an eyebrow, but it makes scientific sense- breathing deeply oxygenates muscles. Of course it will help.

I'm being adjusted at the back of this photo from SB Glasgow's FB
After the class, we chatted among ourselves and browsed the SS15 collection. I was deeply tempted by the Spin Training Tank, but decided to leave it after touching it 600 times. It has a gorgeous pattern. I'm saving myself for a gorgeous pair of shorts I saw in the press releases!

We also got a fair amount of goodies (included in the ticket price): Vita Coco water; a One-year subscription to ELLE magazine; 20% off Sweaty Betty voucher (which I will be keeping till those forest-y shorts appear in store...); and A Sweaty Betty Pilates tote bag. The tote bag was crammed with beauty and food goodies: Elemis Shower Gel (which smells really minty); two Benefit samples; Naturya Wheatgrass Powder 200g (yes! an excellent blender ingredient and also full-sized product); Nuun; Bounce Balls- which are a protein ball-; and two tea products from the 'Beauty’in' range, which I have never heard of. Given that an Elle subscription alone would be £27, I think it was a pretty decent deal. I ate some of these goodies quickly. I never am a fan of coconut water, but I loved the Bounce Ball I tried- it was coconut and macadamia and tasted like a healthy macaroon.

I am absolutely going to incorporate Pilates into my life. I was in a LOT of deep abdominal pain (muscles I mean, not appendicitis) on Wednesday so it definitely seems to have reached places other exercise has not. Whether or not I will actually attend a class I'm unsure. The local ones are not at convenient times for me and are pretty expensive. I would go to Colette's class, but its a lunchtime and far from work!


Have you ever been to Pilates? How did you find it?

What other new things would you recommend trying?

* To be clear; this was no blogger event, or sponsored event, or press thing, or anything. I bought a ticket and went cause' I wanted to. We weren't asked to post any social media about it or anything at all.


  1. Ooh sounds like a good night! I tried pilates for the first time this week and didn't like it at all, but my friend is a regular and she said our teacher was the worst she's had, so I'd like to try it again with someone else

    1. I feel like the teacher could make or break it.This teacher was fantastic- accurate, accessible and not too hippy (my own personal bugbear ha ha). Also clearly in phenomental shape.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. I was supposed to do this on Tuesday, but the class at my local SB was cancelled :-( I still get the goody bag, I just need to pop and collect it this weekend. All the goodies without the hard work! Sounds like a great class though- I usually do hot pilates which is pretty hardcore! Love that spin training tank!

    1. Aww no that's so sad! The goodies are good goodies though. Although the 20% off has already enticed me into a purchase... Wow, you would have been great with the hot pilates knowledge!

  3. Thanks Fiona! lovely blog :)

    Team SB Glasgow x

    1. You're welcome, it was a great evening :) x

  4. Gutted that I missed this! Only just discovered Sweaty Betty a couple of weeks ago and I'm in love with the shop already! Definitely going to be using their get fit for free classes :).

    1. Hi Emily, thanks for your comment. I am so in love, went and bought one of their sports bras after this- the wardrobe is growing!

      You should come to the FlyFlexFlow ones they are starting- a mix of weights, running and yoga!



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