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Goal Setting : Where do I start?

Setting goals can change your life.

In our busy and fast-paced lives, it’s has become essential that we set goals. Goals are important for any aspect -career, job, family, personal growth- and they can help us to succeed. Once a year would be enough to sit down and write all our goals for short, medium and long term. According to Mark Murphy’s research, people who write or picture their goals are more likely to accomplish them than people who don’t.

Experts explain that once we have decided what we want to achieve our brain will start to work to get that, because “the brain is a goal-seeking organism,” Jack Canfield points out in his blog.
But how you can choose your goals? It is widely recommended to have SMART goals. That means that your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bounded.

Specific: You should think about concrete targets, what exactly are you going to do? Generalizations are unhelpful, you should be precise and detailed. Firstly, it is important to begin with small steps and then, if you get those, you would be able to get your bigger goal.

Measurable: It is necessary to set dates or amounts. That will help you to know how much time do you have or how much money do you have to earn and then, you will be able to organize yourself.

Achievable: It is very important to understand that your goals are not going to become truth overnight. You have to set targets that could be completed with your skills, environment and other relevant factors. If you set almost impossible goals, that could be prejudicial for your success and you will be disappointed.

Relevant: You should think about goals that are going to help you and that could be beneficial for your purpose. Don’t waste time planning and working to get some goals that are not going to be important for your final target.

Time bounded: decide how much time do you need to set your goal and set a specific date to complete it. That will encourage you to keep working hard every day to get your goal.

Catherine Moore adds that “after you’ve formalized them by writing them down, rank them on a scale of 1-5 or 1-10, or whatever works for you”. That will allow you to decided what is the first goal that you need to get and work focus on it. Otherwise, you would be disorientated doing different things at the same time and it will be more difficult to achieve your goals.

But what happens if you cannot get your goal on time? Don’t panic. Sometimes we cannot plan everything and some situations are out of our control. The important thing is not to give up and make the necessary changes to continue to find your aim. Maybe you can extend the term to get your purpose or modify your plans.

“Goal-setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the costs you are willing to pay”, explains James Clear in his blog. Sometimes, while we are working to find our objectives we would have to do difficult actions but the important thing is to think about how we are going to feel when we finally will get our goals. That surely will provoke us huge happiness. Don’t worry if you don’t get your aims for the first time, good things take time.

“The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them”. -Michelle Obama.

-Diana Giambona

What you need to know before your first Barre class

So you’ve been wanting to try barre ever since you heard that that’s what keeps those Victoria’s Secret models in shape, but you aren’t exactly sure what it is and you’re kind of scared, correct? You’re not the only one! We got our lovely intern, Diana, to take her first barre class with us, and here’s what she had to say about her Elite Barre experience.

When I first heard about barre class I thought it would be similar to ballet, oh boy was I wrong! I used to attend ballet class when I was younger and I expected that the barre would be the same. My expectation was that we would stay at the barre focusing on legs, therefore being primarily a lower body workout. So, arriving to class I was very excited to see what it would be like.

The class started with the warm-up and then we took to the barre. We first worked our legs doing squats, lunges and standing on tiptoes. We also we used resistance bands over our knees and with them we raised the legs, at this point I think the muscles of my legs had really started to wake up (a.k.a burn) and I knew this was no regular fitness class. The instructor, Jenny, made sure to do lots of reps and next thing I knew my quads, bum and abductors were starting to shake, something that I had heard about amongst barre fanatics! It was difficult, but the instructor encouraged us to keep going and continued breathing. Jenny made it clear that it’s very important to control your breath so that the muscles will be able to oxygenate correctly.

After our legs were well and truly cooked, we moved on to arms, working our biceps and triceps among some other muscles that I didn’t even know existed. We worked hards doing pull-ups at the barre and also she introduced weights to increase the intensity.

Finally, we finished on the mat (a much welcomed chance to lye down, or so I thought!). I was expecting this was time to relax but not in a barre class! We did some grilling abdominal work and then we were rewarded with a lovely stretch.

So, at the end of the class I realised my predictions were wrong. The class was a full body workout, working muscles from top to toe and as I mentioned some I certainly hadn’t felt in a long time. It was not easy but I felt amazing.

The next day I definitely had the doms in my legs in a good way because I could really feel that I had worked hards and strengthened my body. I would definitely recommend giving barre a go and I’m already looking forward to my next class.

Is Pilates Safe for Osteoporosis?


Osteoporosis. A scary word for some, something unknown to others. So what is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis, is a very common systematic disease whereby the bones become weakened and fragile, making us more susceptible to breaks or fractures under even very mild stress. This is a condition that can affect both men and women, however it is most common in post-menopausal women. At Elite we work with several clients who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, so why do they choose pilates?

It has been scientifically proven that inactivity can cause a loss of bone mass, therefore its important to be physically active in order to improve bone health increase bone density, strength and muscle mass and improve balance, range of motion and posture. Bone is dynamic tissue, meaning that, just like muscle, it gets stronger in response to forces that it has to resit -enter weight bearing exercise and resistance exercise.

Pilates helps to prevent falls

Because it is so easy for those with osteoporosis to fracture the bone, it’s very important that we reduce our risk of falls.Because pilates focuses on posture, balance and alignment, it improves our mobility and increases our body awareness and can help to reduce our risk of falls.

Reformer pilates for osteoporosis

The reformer is a weight bearing machine that uses springs for resistance. This piece of equipment works on strengthening and aligning the body whilst offering incredible support and as such is a great option for those with osteoporosis.

Remember that if you do have osteoporosis and are looking to get started with pilates, it is always recommended that you start of with a 1:1 mobility assessment. A lot of the traditional pilates repertoire must be modified for our clients with osteoporosis and as such this is the safest and most beneficial way of getting started. To book your 1:1 just email info@elitepilates.ie

What should I eat after my pilates class? | Jessica Horgan Nutrition

After working hard during your Pilates session, it is important to refuel your muscles with a nutritious snack or meal. Focusing on lean protein sources to replenish your muscles and fill you up.

For lighter options and snacks:

o A handful of nuts and a piece of fruit
o A protein shake
o A yogurt (greek yogurts have a higher protein content)
o A smoothie (greek yogurt, fruit and anything else you fancy adding!)
o Hummus and veggie sticks/wholemeal pitta
o Hardboiled egg and spinach salad
o Homemade protein/energy balls
o Rice cakes with nut butter and banana

For a more filling option:

o Wholemeal wrap with chicken/turkey/tuna and salad
o Falafels and salad
o Chicken and vegetable pasta with a tomato sauce
o Vegetable omelette
o Poached eggs on granary toast
o Soup and brown bread
o Baked potato with beans

Plus, don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout your class and afterwards with plenty of water!

If you need any more guidance on changing your eating habits for good, visit www.jessgorgan.com

Why I Choose Elite Pilates | Eilish Ryan | Client Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Eilish Ryan and I’ve been coming to Elite Pilates for the last 2.5 years.

How did you start practicing pilates?

Over the last few years I’ve noticed my day job has become quite desk bound and sedentary given the fact I don’t move around as much, and found my lower back was giving me some discomfort. But I also knew my lack of mobility throughout the day wasn’t helping either, so I decided I wanted to improve my core. Friends and work colleagues were recommending pilates classes, and after some online research found Elite Pilates, Reformer offered introductory classes and different levels to suit all abilities.

What would you say is your favourite thing about Elite Pilates?

Since I’ve joined Elite Pilates, I’ve noticed my posture, strength and flexibility has greatly improved, so much so that the discomfort I had with my lower back no longer persists.

Why would you recommend Elite Pilates?

At Elite Pilates, there is a variety of classes with different instructors, at different levels, at various times and locations to choose from such that it caters for all your needs. For accessibility alone, I can easily recommend Elite Pilates.

What 3 words would you say describe you?

I’d consider myself a fairly active, outgoing, energetic person.

How would you describe Elite Pilates?

Elite Pilates offers me that calm and grounding stability I need during the week. Working full time your always trying to maintain that work life balance, and Elite Pilates helps with that while building your core at the same time.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?

Just give it a go …..and you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll see and reap the benefits! :o)

Tour De France 2019 | Pilates for Cyclists

Maybe you get on your bike as part of the daily commute, maybe you cycle competitively or maybe you hop on a bike once a year to pedal along the Waterford Greenway on a sunny bank holiday, but no matter what type of cyclist you are, if you want to improve efficiency as you cycle or if you want to achieve better results, you need reformer pilates.

With the Tour De France 2019 happening this weekend, we’ve been chatting about how reformer pilates can be used in a cyclists training programme to improve your game and to leave your body in good condition after a gruelling cycle! One thing we hear a lot from our cyclist clients in class is that they tend to neglect stretching (despite knowing better), which leaves them with tight hip-flexors, pectorals shoulders and a sore lower back (ouch!).

Here’s just a few ways that pilates works to helps cyclists bodies to feel their very best!

Posture

In today’s world, we regularly attribute postural issues to things like working long hours at a desk, overuse of phones, and too much lounging around watching Netflix, and all of this is very valid, however cycling can also be tough on the spine, and as such it’s so important for cyclists to consider posture and spinal alignment as part of their training. When we look at the position of the spine while cycling, the spine is rounded forwards and tension is often held in the shoulders and pectorals. In order to counteract this, it is important to work on opening the chest and to strengthen the muscles of the back and shoulders. In our classes we work all parts of the body both elongating and strengthening the muscle for optimal alignment.

Core

If you’ve ever been to a pilates class, you’ve undoubtedly heard your instructor harping on about your core. In pilates we work on strengthening the deep muscles of the core, but why is this important for cyclists? We know cycling is a very leg dominant sport, and its also a sport that requires a lot of longevity of the muscles for long tours on the bike. This means cyclists need to be aware of how they use their energy. The deep core muscles play a huge role in stabilising the body as we cycle, which means better balance on the bike, but even better, switching on deep core muscles while riding takes pressure off of the muscles of the legs allow you to ride for longer and with less risk of injury.

So there you have it! What cyclist doesn’t want better posture, stronger, longer muscle, more efficiancy on the bike and less risk of injury?!
If you haven’t yet, book your fist class today and reap the rewards.

Why I Choose Elite Pilates | Gayle Murray | Client Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a 42 year old mother of 3 from Cork City who works full time in an office based environment. Whilst I always tried to make time to keep fit and active, I realise that with age and injury, being cardio fit isn’t the only form of fitness and that building strength is essential.

How long have you been training with Elite?

Since August 2018.

How did you start practicing pilates?

I suffered from a few hip problems and as a result I had to endure months of physiotherapy. My physiotherapist started me on a reformer Pilates programme to help me strengthen my body in order to heal my hip issue and prevent further injury moving forward. It so turned out that my hip problem was a negative consequence of lazy glutes hence reformer Pilates was essential in order to strengthen them.

What would you say is your favourite thing about Elite Pilates?

All the instructors take an interest in your health and are dedicated to ensuring that any issues you have are taken into consideration. It’s like a tailor made workout but with the pleasure of being in a fun class environment. Elite Pilates has done wonders for my mental health as well as for my physical well being. Going to class gets me out of the house and I feel great after a workout.

Why would you recommend Elite Pilates?

Highly qualified teachers who take an interest in you and your health and who want to ensure that you get the very best out of your workout. Great flexibility in the timetable for changing your schedule. Teachers are fun and make the class fun and enjoyable.

What 3 words would you say describe you?

Energetic, outgoing, impatient.

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?

Highly Professional, fun, friendly

What would you say are your top 3 passions?

1)Reformer Pilates now that I have seen the positive results it has on my health.

2)Languages: I speak fluent French, Spanish and Italian. Being married to an Italian helps and doing a job in French and Spanish means I am constantly speaking different languages.

3)My family because I have an amazing husband and 3 great kids.

When you're not in studio, how do you spend your time?

Working in the office, taxi driving kids from A to B, doing housework, going for walks.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?

If you want to improve your physical and mental well being then Pilates is the way to go. I have never looked back since starting as I can see the benefits it has had on my mind and body. Building core strength is so important and I realised that too late hence I suffered an injury. Pilates is fun because there are literally millions of different exercises so it never gets boring. The instructors vary all the workouts so no class is ever the same. With Elite, you can swap around instructors meaning that you vary your workouts constantly. All parts of the body gets a workout.

Why I Choose Elite Pilates | Yvonne Finnerty | Client Interview

How long have you been training with Elite?

I began my Pilates journey with Elite Pilates around 4 years ago, (shortly after you opened), prior to that I had practiced mat Pilates and I needed a change.

How did you start practicing pilates?

I saw an ad in the cork independent about this new gym utilising reformer machines and I thought I’ll try that! From day one I have loved it, the Elite Pilates studios provide a challenge and diversity, you are never, ever bored.

What would you say is your favourite thing about Elite Pilates?

I enjoy the fact I can change classes and teachers as each teacher brings a different perspective. I would highly recommend Elite Pilates for a professional, safe and challenging high quality Pilates class.

What 3 words would you say describe you?

I would describe myself as open minded, determined and funny (some say!)

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?

Professional, creative instruction, efficient.

What would you say are your top 3 passions?

My top 3 passions are

1)Family.

2)Friends;

3)I love my work

When you're not in studio, how do you spend your time?

When I’m not in studio I love tv, reading and travel.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?

I continually recommend Pilates to family and friends! It builds strength flexibility and body confidence and awareness and it definitely keeps all aches and pains away if practiced regularly. Basically I love Elite Pilates, hate missing a week and when I do my body tells me!

Ironman 2019 | Pilates for Triathletes

How exciting is it that Ironman 2019 will be taking place in Youghal, County Cork this weekend? Ironman is a gruelling triathlon organised by by the World Triathlon Organization comprising of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile cycle, and a 26.22 mile run raced in that order, without a break (yikes!). Naturally, A LOT (and thats an understatement) of training is required to prepare for what is quite probably the toughest race of the competing athlete’s life.
Undertaking such a huge feat means curating training plan that can improve strength, stamina, balance, flexibility and injury recovery/prevention which is why we see so many triathletes incorporating pilates in their training plans.

Pilates, has become a popular method of cross-training for triathletes in recent years with triathlete.com quoting four-time Ironman finisher, Michele Landry as saying “I will never forget the day I was swimming and a lightbulb went off. I had finally found my core. My muscles were in synergy”. Because pilates focuses not only on strength and flexibility but also on body awareness and on balancing muscles, we focus on working smaller muscle groups that support the dominant muscles for a more balanced body and a more efficient workout. Here’s how Ironman 2019 triathletes are using pilates to get the best from their training.

Swimming

Pilates is a game changer when it comes to swimming as it works on body alignment which is so crucial to our efficiency in the water. Because pilates works the stabilising muscle system (those tiny supporting muscles again!) it aids the swimmer in correcting misalignments which can cause them to work against the water instead of with it, something that is crucial when it comes to timing. It also focuses on core strength, which is the foundation of all of the swimmers movement.

Cycling

Yep, you’re going to hear us talk about core again! Pilates teaches you to activate your deep abdominal muscles, and why is this important for cyclists? I think we can all agree that cycling is tough on the legs, and while the legs fatigue during a ride our bodies start to recruit other muscle groups to take he heat, enter core! Pilates helps to use muscle more efficiently instead of allowing one muscle group to take all of the flack which improves our stamina and also helps to reduce muscle imbalances.

Running

Posture is critical when it comes to running and to have good posture you’ve got to have (you guessed it!) a strong core. Pilates works on developing strong core as well as the muscles of the hips, shoulders and pelvis to provide the stability needed for a more efficient performance. Also, with running being quite high impact on the joints, pilates is her perfect method of rehab/rehab fir long distance runners.

Will you be adding pilates to your fitness regime (or maybe giving ironman a go? !)

Why I Choose Elite Pilates | Catherine Wiley | Client Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m almost 60 and committed to investing in my health and building strength and fitness. I work very long hours and do not have a lot of natural flexibility.

How long have you been training with Elite?

Over 2 years

How did you start practicing pilates?

I saw how great my friend was looking so she told me about Elite Pilates.

What would you say is your favourite thing about Elite Pilates?

The reformer has given me a physical confidence that I didn’t previously possess and I now understand the importance of a strong core but my very favorite thing is the fantastic instructors!

What 3 words would you say describe you?

I would describe myself as focused, empathetic and adventurous!

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?

Flexible, fun & fabulous!

What would you say are your top 3 passions?

My top 3 passions are

1)Family. Having lost my parents I cherish our family get togethers.

2)Friends; There in the good times and the bad times.

3)Travel; Seeing new places every year with my lovely husband makes my long working hours worthwhile.

When you're not in studio, how do you spend your time?

Working, walking, cooking, gardening, movies, concerts..,

What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?

You will be made very welcome and you can dictate the pace.

Why I Choose Elite Pilates | Tracey Mulkerrins |Client Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Tracey I’m a full time mum to 3 kids and a part time nurse.

How long have you been training with Elite?

I first came to elite about 6/7 months ago on the recommendation of a physical therapist I was attending.

How did you start practicing pilates?

I have been dealing with chronic back pain for about 6 /7 years and having tried every type of treatment and therapy the Physio Therapist advised me that the only thing that would help would be reformer pilates and she gave me a card for elite pilates.

What would you say is your favourite thing about working at Elite Pilates?

From the very beginning I found the instructors really welcoming and supportive but they also push you and challenge you in every class.

What 3 words would you say describe you?

I would describe myself as friendly enthusiastic, relaxed.

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?

I would describe elite as warm, professional, challenging. The staff are fantastic and there’s great variety in the classes with all the different instructors.

What would you say are your top 3 passions?

My top 3 passions are

1) My family, I live with my husband and our 3 children who are 12, 10, 7 and keep me really busy and are great fun to be around.

2) My job I love what I do and because it’s only part time I never get sick of it, I never dread going into work,

3) Exercise I used to run and do spinning a lot but my back would flare up afterwards so it was important to me to find an exercise I could do without causing pain and that strengthened my back.

When you're not in studio, how do you spend your time?

When I’m not in studio I’m usually working or running around after the children ….or standing on the sideline of a GAA or Soccer pitch.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?

I would say to anyone thinking of starting pilates stop thinking about it and just do it! I started with a few one-to-one sessions as I was nervous about getting used to the machine and it was the best thing I did. By the time I went into a class I understood the terminology and I was familiar with the machine.
In the few months that I’m doing reformer my back pain is hugely improved I haven’t taken a pain killer since the second class and as for my poor muscles- I feel so much stronger! It’s great and I really enjoy the classes.

Meet Sally O’Connell

If you’ve been with Elite Pilates from the start then you’ll definitely recognise our lovely Sally! Sally has been a client with us since day one and as her passion for pilates grew and grew, she eventually made the decision to train to become a mat reformer and barre pilates instructor. You’ll find Sally in Carrigtwohill and Donnybrook but in the meantime why not find out a little more about her below!

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Sally, I’m from Blackrock and I’m married and I’m a mum to 2 little boys.

How long have you been working with Elite?

I’ve been a client with Elite since the very beginning and have been teaching for about 6 months now.

How did you start teaching pilates?

I have been doing pilates for 15 years and fell in love with reformer 6 years ago. Ever since taking my first reformer class I think I knew I wanted to transition into a career in pilates and after thinking about it since then, I finally decided to go for it!

What would you say is your favourite thing about working at Elite Pilates?

My favourite thing about Elite is that no two classes are the same. all of us as instructors have different styles of teaching which gives the clients a really well rounded experience.

Why did you choose pilates as a career?

I love pilates and I love teaching, so I suppose I fell into it more through passion rather than making a conscious decision.

What 3 words would you say describe you?

I would describe myself as indecisive, happy and patient (to a point! ask my family)!

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?

Elite is professional, friendly and has a nice range of classes

What would you say are your top 3 passions?

1. my husband and kids.
2. friends and family.
3. exercise

When you're not in studio, how do you spend your time?

In my free time I am either with my kids or exercising! Maybe the occasional night out but thats rare these days!

What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?

Just do it. you won’t regret it.

Pilates & Pregnancy: Pre and Post-Natal Care

With Mother’s day coming up this weekend, we’ve been thinking about all of the lovely mums we train with every day here at Elite and, in particular, all of the expectant and new mums that we work with. As an instructor, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to be a part of the journey of pregnancy and postpartum care, and to see the results achieved by our clients for a happy pregnancy and postpartum experience. Everyday we get questions from mums and expectant mums about how to stay fit during pregnancy or how to re-gain fitness safely post pregnancy, and there are so many reasons why pilates is the perfect practice for this. At Elite, we offer both pre-natal and post-natal care and here’s why you should consider looking in to it if you’re expecting a little one or if your baby has already arrived.

Why should I practice pre-natal Pilates?

During pregnancy, your body is undergoing big changes (to say the least) and along with that comes certain stresses from back pain, pelvic pain, tight muscles and incontinence. Our pre-natal pilates classes are designed for pregnancies of 12+ weeks and focus on maintaining fitness, mobility and relieving pain.

-Reduce Pain
During pregnancy, our centre of gravity changes as our baby grows and as a result we can experience back and pelvic pain. Our pre-natal course has been designed to incorporate exercises which work to stabilise the pelvis and lower back as well as strengthening the deep abdominals which provide support for the spine and thereby reduce pain.

-Keep the pelvic floor strong
It’s no secret that laughing care-free in pregnancy is not easily done, especially as your baby grows and seems to enjoy cosying up to your bladder! Pilates focuses on strengthening the pelvic floor to avoid incontinence and to have a healthy pelvic floor in preparation for childbirth.

-Speed up the post-natal recovery process
Staying active during pregnancy not only leads to an easier delivery, but it also helps new mums to recover more quickly once their bundle of joy has arrived. At Elite, all of our classes focus on posture, pelvic floor and core. To enquire about our pre-natal course email membership@elitepilates.ie

Why choose Pilates for post-natal care?

Naturally, the first few weeks after having your baby are all about cuddles, changing, feeding, winding and (occasionally) sleeping, but after the blur of the first few weeks of new-parenthood its time to start thinking about taking care of yourself. The recommended time to get started is 6 weeks after giving birth vaginally or 8-12 weeks after a c-section, however you should always check with your GP before getting back into fitness. After having a baby, often we see clients who are eager to throw themselves back into gruelling fitness regimes and feel under pressure to “get their body back” (it didn’t evaporate, its just a little different). Our biggest piece of advice when getting back to fitness after giving birth is to start gently. Your body has gone through whole lot of change in producing a whole other human being, so cut it some slack! Here’s why pilates is a great option for post-natal fitness.

-Improve the pelvic floor
As mentioned above, pilates places a huge focus on the pelvic floor, and for good reason. Our pelvic floor as a band of muscle that runs from the pubic bone to the coccyx and from sit-bone to sit-bone and it holds our bowel, bladder and uterus in place, and so before birth its important to strengthen this band of muscle, but after going through labour, these can be weakened and need our attention post-baby. Your midwife did tell you about your pelvic floor exercises too but in the newborn haze maybe you forgot about them? Pilates helps you to re-engage the pelvic floor to manage post-natal pelvic issues.

-Strengthen the lower back
Because of the weakening of the abdominals during pregnancy and the added weight of bump as well as changed centre of gravity, new mums can end up with some residual back pain after giving birth which it is important to address (especially as you’re carrying around a new baby!) For post natal care, we gently start to strengthen the abdominals, helping them to knit back together and starting to improve conditions such as diastasis rectis. Our classes target the weakened abdominals which have been stretched during pregnancy to start to re-build the deep muscles of the core steadily and safely before advancing.

-Loosens out shoulder stiffness
For all of our breast-feeding mammas, you’ll probably relate to this one! Feeding a hungry baby can cause tightness in the upper neck and shoulder area. In pilates, we work on opening the chest and stretching the shoulders to give you some much needed relief.

At Elite Pilates, we do not run a specific post-natal class, however we do teach many post-natal clients in our Level 1 reformer classes. The reformer is an incredibly supportive piece of equipment which is perfect for post natal care. Sign up for our trial pack today and get 2 classes for €30!

Guess what? Your 6 Nations favourites favour pilates!

Now that the most anticipated tournament in European rugby is well underway and we are all embracing that 6 Nations buzz, many of us wait with bated breath while some of the worlds greatest players are going head to head to win the title, and the question arises once again as it does every year – which players are in the best physical shape and just how are they doing it?!

As an infamously high-contact sport, the resilience of players must be almost bionic as enduring broken bones and torn ligaments, amongst a whole host of other ailments comes with the territory of being a professional player. Between tackles, mauls, rucks and line-outs over the course of a season, rugby is demanding on the body, to put it mildly.

So how are some of the worlds most respected players working to stay injury free and match fit? You guessed it – reformer pilates! When we think of the biggest names in rugby, I think that its fair to say that most will imagine training sessions to include gruelling sessions lifting enormous weight, however how many of us have ever pictured Johnny Sexton trotting off to reformer pilates?

It isn’t just the man of the moment who has made reformer pilates a staple in his fitness program, but teams like Leinster, The London Irish and Warwickshire are all incorporating pilates into their training schedules and reaping the rewards.

So why are our favourite rugby stars fawning over reformer?

Pilates is the most effective way to promote spinal health and to develop the inner muscles of the core and neutral alignment of the spine while also developing strength and flexibility of the shoulder girdle and hips to provide extra support for the spine and therefore to decrease the risk of injury. Practicing pilates lengthens the muscles and as such prevents shortened muscles which are far more susceptible to pulls and tears and works to prevent injury before it occurs.

The reformer uses the resistance of springs to give the whole body a full workout and retrains the smaller (local) muscle groups to provide better support and stability to take pressure off of larger muscle groups (global muscle) and improves performance by training the body to work uniformly for better speed and focus on the pitch and less time spent off as a result of injury.

So if you’ve made it your resolution to up your game on the pitch this year and want to develop strength, co-ordination, flexibility and mobility, you might just want to make like a pro player and get on a reformer!

Why I Joined Elite Pilates-Sinéad Griffin

Hi my names Sinéad Griffin and I joined Elite Pilates last summer and have been absolutely loving it ever since.  I’ve been doing ballet since I was small but started seriously taking classes when I was fourteen. My favourite part of ballet has always been the barre work. I loved how you could really focus and work on your core to control all your body’s movements. I also loved the burn you felt after the tough exercises and how you could really push yourself with a little support from the barre to keep you steady!

My Mom had tried out Reformer in Elite Pilates after reading great reviews online and once she heard about barre pilates she knew I would love it. She signed us both up for a class one morning during summer and we immediately fell in love. I instantly loved how both alike and unlike barre pilates was to ballet.  A lot of the moves and techniques behind barre pilates were similar to ballet which was comforting but the music of course was much more upbeat and modern which I found really enjoyable.

As I kept coming to Elite Pilates it really struck me how each class and teacher was so different making each class really exciting and interesting. I also really enjoyed trying out all the equipment like the resistance bands and balls and sliders. My favourite part about barre pilates was how I could just try my best and not worry about making mistakes as all the teachers were so supportive when correcting you and the atmosphere was so calm and relaxed. This was quite different compared to ballet which can be a lot more strict and disciplined in nature.

Elite Pilates really gives you no excuse not to go to class when some days the couch looks a lot more appealing! The app is so easy and accessible to book your classes with and with the amount of classes and their three venues there is always a time and day that can suit you. Don’t worry the couch will wait and will understand I’ve found !

I would absolutely recommend Elite Pilates to anyone it really does wonders for your body whether your just looking to find a fun way of exercising, become more flexible or tone up after the winter season. I’d also recommend trying out all the other classes Elite Pilates offer like matt and reformer pilates which are also so much fun. Whether you decide you want to mix and match classes or just stick to one it’s really great to try them all out. If you’re the competitive type like me I’d also recommend bringing along a family member or friend with you. It always gives me motivation during the class when were doing a particularly hard exercise to look next to me and see my mom killing it no bother to her.

 Well I hope if you’re reading this now you feel inspired to book yourself another class or try out Elite Pilates for the first time, I’m so glad I did !

This Valentines Day, Love Your Body

Like it or loath it, Valentines Day comes but once a year and with it, lots of cheesy cards, candle lit dinners, chocolates and all of the rest. Loved up or not, we thought 2019 should be the year to shake things things up and embrace V-day in a new *cough* far superior *cough* way. Why not keep cupid on his toes, eh?
This year, we’ve decided to make Valentines all about loving your body.

Have a think about it, how often do you compare yourself to others? How often do you beat yourself up about being to much of one thing, not enough of another? How often do you actually take the time to be nice to yourself, mind and body? I think it’s fair to say that pretty much all of us have fallen into this trap on occasion, so why don’t we dedicate this next week to just loving our own bodies for all they do for us? After all, it’s out body that allows us to go out and dance our socks off with our friends on a Saturday night, travel to all of the far away places we have on our ever growing bucket lists, take a stroll on the beach on a sunny day, play with our kids and so much more, isn’t it time we learned to appreciate it?

At the end of the day, the longest relationship we will ever have is with our body. What says Valentine’s Day more than that?! Here are a few ways that you can love your body this week.

Move It

Simple as that. Whether you’re a complete fitness newbie or a seasoned pro moving your body every day and getting a bit of a sweat on is not only boosts our confidence and clears the mind, but it gives us a huge dose of those feel good hormones that are so important in improving our mood and our self esteem. Obviously, pilates is our one true love, as it really is accessible to everyone and provides a challenge at every fitness level, but choose whatever form of movement you love and get out and do it. Strength looks different on every body, so do what makes you feel good.

The Great Outdoors

The oldest trick in the book! A quick jog, a long walk whatever you fancy just get outdoors and breath in that fresh air! Yes, its February in Ireland, yes, its cold and mostly raining, but hey, thats what coats are for! According to medicaldaily.com “In a 2014 study at the University of Michigan, researchers found that group nature walks were associated with significantly lower depression, less perceived stress and enhanced mental well-being.” Need we say more?

Eat what makes you FEEL good

You heard us. So maybe you have some fancy dinner plans, go out and enjoy them! We all know when we’re eating things that aren’t great, we usually don’t feel great, but instead of getting caught up with calories and ‘bad’ or ‘good’ foods, think about providing your body with the nutrition that it needs to thrive. Eat to feel energised and satisfied and not as a punishment for the guilt you feel after a little indulgence on the 14th.

Pamper Yourself

Netflix? Check
Cosy PJs? Check
Facemasque? Check
Whatever way you prefer to relax, (although we highly recommend the above), block out a few hours for ‘me’ time. This is something we should probably practice more. With work, study, kids, parents and everything in between, we can often forget to tend to our own needs. It’s not selfish to take time to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing, and checking in with yourself is such an important part of this. If there’s one thing you do this week, make time for you.

Technology Ban

Yep. We’re all sick of hearing this one, but how many of us are actually taking heed? I could go one about blue light, sleep, attention span and all of the rest of it that you already know but I won’t. I will say, make even the smallest step towards reducing screen time, even if its just 30 minutes, and your body and mind will thank you for it.

Lots of love(ing yourself)!

Finish 2018 Feeling Fabulous! | Silly Season Prep

 
 
Now thats its November and we can finally mention the “C” word, a lot of our clients have been asking us how to get the most out of their training so that they can feel their best in time for the silly season. With party season fast approaching and colder weather tempting us to stay snuggled up inside, it’s all too easy to fall off the wagon, so we’ve come up with some of our favourite tips for staying on track while still having fun during the festivities. 
 
 
Book your classes in advance
Set your goals for the week by scheduling time for you to move your body. We get it, its cold, your tired but committing to an appointment at a time you know you can make it in advance makes it a little easier to get up and go. 
 
 
Pack your bag the night before
Coming straight from work or working out right before work? Pack what you need for class the night before. The go-getter, night-before version of you will hold sleepy, next morning you accountable. 
 
 
Don’t feel guilty
At the end of the day, we call it the silly season because it is a time for fun and silliness, so enjoy it! We know all too well how overindulgence and lack of routine can leave us feeling worse for wear once the fun is over. Why not have your cake and eat it too? Go out and enjoy the festivities, but try to keep just a few hours a week for you and your body so that getting back into your normal routine isn’t as difficult in the aftermath (plus you’ll feel even better heading into 2019!)
 
 
Its never too late!
Maybe the year ran away on you and you had intended on making this year your year to focus on health and fitness but it didn’t quite happen? Instead of waiting until January and then facing burnout by February, make the change now and finish 2018 on a high note. We’re currently offering 7 reformer classes to use over 30 days for €99. Why not grab it and start your pilates journey now? 
 
 
 
At Elite Pilates, we believe that pilates is for every Body and we’re on a mission to spread our passion for pilates across cork with our award winning studios in Carrigtwohill, Donnybrook & The Kingsley Hotel. Elite Pilates is Cork’s premier pilates brand specialising in reformer, barre and mat pilates. We understand that time is precious, which is why we operate a flexible timetable 7 days per week so that you can keep up your training at a time that suits you.

Back-to-School Lunchbox Ideas | Back-to-School Routine – by Jessica Horgan Nutrition

 

 

We’re back with another of the Back-to-School series today talking all things lunch boxes. There is a plethora of options when it comes to school lunches and what to give your little one to take with them. As with the breakfast ideas, these can also be adapted to your own lunches, all contributing to your balanced diet. So, let’s get started!

 

Sandwich Ideas

 

Slow-releasing energy carbohydrate:

These include wholegrain, whole meal and brown options such as bread, wraps, pitta breads, pasta, rice etc. All of which contribute to your energy and as they’re slow-releasing, you avoid the sugar-high as with quick-release carbohydrates found in white or refined options. 

 

Meat/fish/protein:

Next, your sandwich filling. Ideally a lean protein source is best, and the less processed, the better. Boiled chicken breasts, torn when cooled work perfectly for sandwich fillers, along with turkey breast and tuna. Processed meats such as packet ham are not recommended as frequently, due to the high salt level and preservatives, but for some picky-eaters who love ham, ham works too. For meatless options, a hard-boiled egg mixed with some light mayonnaise does the trick and is super tasty.

 

Salads:

Try adding one green leafy salad such as spinach, rocket, lettuce etc. Adding extra salads such as tomato, onion, cucumber, peppers is also a bonus.

 

Snacks

For lunch boxes, chopped fruit is a great snacking option. If the fruit tends to brown over time, drizzle some lemon over it to help prevent this.

Cheese is also a good idea, and plenty of mini servings are available in string format, blocks and even shapes.

Mini yogurts can also add to the calcium intake, but again just be aware of the sugar content in these.

Hummus and veggie sticks. Chopped celery sticks/bell peppers/cucumber/carrot sticks all work well with hummus and are handy to take anywhere.

Leftovers

Last night’s dinner leftovers can be a very handy lunchbox filler. A small serving of rice or pasta with some veg, meat and a tomato base sauce is great hot or cold. Cold stir fry or cous cous are also healthy options that can lighten your morning preparation of lunch boxes.

 
 
 
 

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Meet the the newest member of #TeamEliteCork Bruno Honorio

Meet Bruno, #TeamEliteCork’s newest member. Bruno has come to us all the way from Brazil and we are so delighted to welcome him to the team! Bruno is a qualified physiotherapist and you can find him in our Donnybrook studio teaching Mat (and soon reformer!). Here’s the story of Bruno’s pilates journey.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
 
I’m Bruno, I am 26 years old. I got my physiotherapy degree when I was 21. I am communicative. I like learning about people.  I’ve been teaching pilates since 2014 and where I worked I could fill my class up with clients so much so that the owner had to enlarge the timetable. I like new challenges, finding new solutions for clients and always motivating my clients. I like to explain what’s going on in their body during pilates class because the physiology is fascinating.  
 
 
How long Have you been working with Elite?

I’ve been working with Elite for about 1 month.

 
How did you start teaching Pilates?

I got my university degree in December 2013 and I started my Pilates course in January 2014. (I was a little excited, I could wait to study pilates!). During the last week of my course, a friend of mine from university invited me to work in the same company where she was teaching Pilates. I didn’t think twice in accepting that!

 
What would you say is your favourite thing about working at Elite Pilates?

The good mood. I feel comfortable at the studio working. The energy is great.

 
Why did you choose Pilates as a career?

At that time in my university, my teachers were always asking how we could serve our clients before they get injured or create any prevention program of exercise. At the same time they were talking about pilates or functional training. I decided to follow Pilates because it was growing and growing. And the idea about prevention would be beneficial, because only a few people were teaching it that at that time.

 
What 3 words would you say describe you?

Observant, meticulous and curious.

 
What 3 words would you use to describe Elite Pilates?

Helpful, open-minded, energetic

 
What are your top 3 passions and why?

Family; my supporters

Physiotherapy; I love helping people

Pilates: the way that I can help people

 
How do you spend your time when you arn’t teaching pilates?

Reading books,  going to the cinema and playing soccer or basketball.

 
 
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to give pilates a go?

Don’t compare yourself with others, you are unique. You body is your temple. Take care of your temple. Listen to your instructor.

 
 
 

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Back-to-School Breakfast ideas | Back-to-School Routine – by Jessica Horgan Nutrition

 
 
 
We’re settling into September, the days are getting shorter, the coats are coming out and the school term has crept up on us all of a sudden.

For many of us, September is almost like a mini “new year, new me” start… a fresh start to get back to reality and routine after the Summer madness. 

This is the beginning of a series focussing on nutrition for back to school.. suitable for the school-goers and also the grown-ups. Today’s topic is talking all things breakfast, and what a healthy breakfast is.

 

The most important meal of the day.

Breakfast is essentially, breaking the fast. The first meal of the day which sets us up for the day, kick-starting our metabolism and giving our first dose of fuel. Think of your body like a car, you wouldn’t go for a drive without some fuel in the tank, would you? The same thing for the body. We all need a good breakfast to get us going.

 

Breakfast Ideas:

Firstly, there is no such thing as the perfect breakfast, but there are numerous options we can choose from, whether you or your child is a nibbler or a bottomless pit in the mornings!

 

The base 

A wholegrain breakfast base is a good idea for slow-releasing energy. These can include brown/wholemeal toast, porridge or a breakfast cereal that’s low in sugar (weetabix/bran flakes/muesli etc.) 

 

The colours 

Next, your colourful addition, which is generally fruit or berries in the morning, but equally any vegetables too. Chopping banana, heating some frozen berries, slicing some avocado are all options to add to your base to get some extra nutrients.

 

The protein 

Depending on your tastes, there are plenty of options to add to your breakfast for some added protein. Why not add some poached eggs with your toast, or a yogurt with your cereal? A glass of milk is also a good option, especially for the little ones who need plenty of calcium.

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Meet the Lovely Vivienne O’Grady

Today we’re showing our appreciation for one of the very first members of #TeamEliteCork, the fabulous Vivienne O’Grady. If you’ve been training in any of our studio’s for a while, you’ve probably met the lovely Viv, and we bet you’re dying to know more so we asked her! 
 
 
 
 
If you haven’t been to one of Viv’s classes yet, we suggest booking ASAP!
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Vivienne. I am from Limerick but I have been living in Cork for 7 years now.
 
 
How long have you been working with Elite?
I started working with Elite over 3 years ago.
 
 
How did you start teaching pilates?
I started working with Elite over 3 years ago. I initially started going to classes in Elite, I had been training for the Limerick marathon and I had picked up a few nigles so I started pilates to help with these. I was soon spending every evening in Elite and I then started the Elite mentorship programme.
 
 
What would you say is your favourite thing about working at Elite Pilates?
I enjoy working in Elite for a variety of reasons, the staff are great, the courses we get to do are fun but the clients are the most fun. Each class is different because of the clients which is great. 
 
 
Why did you choose pilates as a career?
I didnt set out to choose Pilates as a career, it was quite organic. From attending classes, doing courses, starting the mentorship programme it was all quite a natural process. Three years later and I am still here!! 
 
 
What 3 words would you say describe you?
The three words that best describe me are competitive, independent and stubborn.
 
 
What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates
The three words that best describe Elite Pilates are innovative, positive and reliable.
 
 
What would you say are your top 3 passions and why?
My top three passions would be leading an active lifestyle, planning holidays and the sea.
 
 
When you’re not in studio, how do you spend your time?
When I am not in the studio or teaching Physical Education I spend my time studying! You can call me Van WIlder!
 
 
What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?
The same advice I would give to anybody who was looking to start something new. Try it. If you enjoy it great, if you didn’t at least you tried.  
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Making the Most of the Last Month of Summer

And just like that, it was august. We can’t believe we’ve entered the final month of summer already! We’ve been so lucky to enjoy the amazing sunshine we’ve been having on our little island recently and maybe while we were making the most of it we relaxed a little bit with our training, so sue us! During summer, we tend to fall out of our regular routines a little more which means that maybe we arn’t being as diligent with our health and wellness as we would typically be and thats fine. Of course it’s important to take the time to enjoy yourself. If you’ve been taking a little break recently, August is the perfect time to get back on track. Here’s why you should challenge yourself this August and finish the summer season on a high. 
 
 
Get the Jump on the September Start
We’re all guilty of it, come the 1st of September we vow to hit the ground running with our food and workout schedule but by the second week of the month we burn out. To make real change, it’s important to build habits that you can stick to by setting achievable goals. Instead of falling into the September fever this year, take advantage of the last month of summer and start September feeling great! With only a few months until the silly season, you won’t regret getting a 4 week start on shedding the summer pounds. There’s just 1 month left on our 30 day summer packs, what better way to start?
 
 
Shake Things Up
Maybe you’ve never tried pilates before? Maybe you’ve never quite gotten that consistency with your training? Whatever the case may be, our 30 day Summer Packs force you to change things up. With an 8 class or 10 class pack you will begin to build a routine getting into class 2/3 time per week and build that all important muscle memory by pushing yourself a little harder. They say that a change is as good as a rest, so whether you’re a complete newby to pilates or you’re changing up your training schedule, your body will thank you later if you shake things up now. 
 
 
Create a Routine
Some of us love the fresh start that September brings, others of us not so much, but for most September is generally associated with getting back into our routine. After 3 months of enjoying holidays, sunshine and lots of barbecues, it can be difficult to settle back into a routine. Getting your workout schedule in check now will make your September blues just a little easier to deal with.
 
Get you pack  now or contact membership@elitepilates.ie for details. 

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A Match Made in Heaven | Tennis & Pilates

If you’re anything like us here at #TeamEliteCork, you’ve been absolutely glued to Wimbledon 2018  recently and wondering how they hell these incredibly talented athletes seem to keep getting better and better! Well, we know how! Serena and Venus Williams, Marina Navratilova, and Rodger Federer (to name a few), have all taken to practicing pilates to improve their game in the lead up to one of the biggest tournaments in tennis with tennis star, Andy Murray even being quoted as saying “I started doing Pilates a few weeks ago, which I think has already helped. I did three or four Pilates sessions and my body feels good compared to the last few years when I’ve come here. So hopefully I’ll be good to go for the next two weeks.”
Tennis is a power-based sport which requires a lot of spinal rotation, upper body strength, and with sprinting and side-to-side movements, players need strong stabilising muscles to facilitate and create power behind each move, not to mention the injury prevention benefits that pilates has for athletes competing in any sport at any level. 

If you’re partial to a game of tennis and want to improve on the court, here’s what all the racquet is about!

Spinal Rotation

A lot of the movement and power in tennis is comes from the rotation and extension of the spine. Joseph Pilates was famously quoted as saying “A man is as young as his spinal column” and in tennis, a strong and flexible spine is essential. Pilates puts a huge focus on creating length and movement through the spine whilst strengthening the muscles supporting it which lends heightened precision and control to your game on the court. 

 

Core Strength

If you’ve ever been to a pilates class, you’ll have heard your instructor continually reminding you to engage your core, and with good reason! Having a strong core is fundamental to improving the mobility of the entire body from hip rotation, to shoulders, to spinal stability and as a result can lead to more power and accuracy in your practice as well as improving overall balance, making it easier to sprint and to reach down low for drop shots. 

 

Flexibility

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times, increased flexibility reduces your risk of injury and can increase your range of mobility. Whether it’s individual or team sports, increased flexibility only serves to improve performance in any field and most importantly can keep you from sustaining injuries that can keep you off the court. 

 

Shoulders

Developing strong rotator cuff muscles greatly impacts the tennis players game as they help to mobilise the shoulder. Having this strength and mobility in the shoulders produces stronger, more accurate shots. 

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Satisfying Your Summer Sweet Tooth by Jessica Horgan Nutrition

 
The weather is warmer and in order to help us cool down and stay hydrated, obviously water is my go-to recommendation. I know water can be the last thing on your mind sometimes, especially if you have a sweet tooth like me, so I’ve compiled a few ideas for you to try this summer to get you feeling refreshed and also satisfying your sweet cravings! 

 

FLAVOURED WATER

The good ole’ H2O can be made a bit more appealing, by using various fruit or even some vegetables to give it some flavour. My favourite is adding some fresh sliced lemon and lime with some mint leaves. Alternatively, you can try berries, mint alone or even cucumber! Nowadays you can even buy infuser bottles which keep your flavour foods separate to the water itself, but still giving you the fresh delicious taste.

 

HOMEMADE ICE LOLS

The little ice pop moulds that seem to pop everywhere over the summer months can come in really handy to have around to help you make your own delicious ice lollies. If you’re looking for a low-calorie alternative to the regular ice lollies, try making a diluted drink with mostly water and a little squash of your choice and freeze until ready to enjoy. Just be careful to read the label first, and maybe choosing a sugar-free or no added sugar brand. You can also freeze leftover smoothie in the moulds which is higher calorie but if made with yogurt and fruit, can give you plenty of micronutrients and protein.

 

MINI ICE-CREAMS

If you’re out and about, or even just want a nice treat to help you cool down, there are plenty of ice-creams and ice pops available in shops that are under 100 calories. My favourite are mini ‘Twister’ ice creams, which are available in a box of 8 and each approx. 50 calories. The full size ones are only approx. 80 calories too! For a chocolate-lover, mini ice-cream cones are fab too.. I generally purchase a box of mini chocolate cones in Aldi, again under the 100 calorie mark and give you a nice refreshing treat. Lastly, back to basics and an ice-cream sandwich can’t be beaten. Pick yourself up a packet of wafers and a block of raspberry ripple for a good old fashioned creamy treat! There are plenty of other options which I haven’t mentioned, just have a look at the labels before making your choice and you would be surprised by the difference in calories alone, many of the well-known brands consist of.

 

HOMEMADE “NICE-CREAM”

This one is for the adventurous ones and even the vegans too… homemade nice-cream. As an ice-cream alternative, freezing sliced banana and then blending it with whichever flavours you enjoy, can lead to a yummy yet healthy dessert. Try adding berries, nuts, cacao, chocolate etc. and enjoy!

 

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Meet Team Elite’s Newest Member, Emma Cronin

 
 
Say hello to the newest member of Team Elite, the lovely Emma Cronin! You’ll find Emma at The Kingsley studio every Sunday with her killer class plans ready to shake up your weekend! Thanks Emma for bringing so much to #TeamEliteCork. 
Check out Emma’s pilates journey below! 
 
 
 
 
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Emma,I’m a digital marketeer by day and based in Dublin during the week and pilates teacher at the weekend!
 
How long have you been working with Elite?
For about 4 months now.
 
How did you start teaching pilates?
I started by going to mat classes in 2013 then joined Reformer in 2016 and began the mentorship program/training with Elite in September 2017.
 
What would you say is your favourite thing about working at Elite Pilates?
The team and the clients.I always leave my classes smiling 
 
Why did you choose pilates as a career?
I just fell in love with Reformer and how strong it made me feel in both mind and body-why wouldn’t I want to pass that on to other people!
 
What 3 words would you say describe you?
Positive, enthusiastic and determined.
 
What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?
Supportive,fun, caring
 
What would you say are your top 3 passions and why?
Art,travel,Pilates(of course)  
 
When you’re not in studio, how do you spend your time?
I live in Dublin Monday to Friday so when I’m not in the office I like to keep myself busy. I do yoga Pilates,boxing,running,cooking and some art gallery wandering.Partial to a G+T too!
 
What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?
Do it now, be patient and commit to it. You will be amazed at the difference in your body from attending classes consistently 2-3 times a week.

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Kick-starting Your Healthy lifestyle For Summer by Jessica Horgan Nutrition

Summer’s here and that means we’re hoping to brave the shorts and tank tops for the next few months, (I know we’re in Ireland but I’m being optimistic!). Whether you’ve a holiday planned or just staying local, we all want to feel confident in our skin, especially as the weather gets that bit nicer. Here, I have compiled some tips which you can implement to get your healthy lifestyle kick-started!

 

Hydration is key.

We all know that water is important, but it is even more necessary to hydrate properly when it’s warm outside and especially when you’re sweating. Try aiming for 1-2L of water a day, more if you’re active or sweating. This can be easily achieved by carrying a reusable water bottle with you, or if you’re not a fan of the ole H2O, try mix in some fresh fruit or even mint or cucumber to mix it up! By drinking enough water, not only will your skin be massively grateful, but sometimes thirst can be mistaken for hunger, which leads to unnecessary snacking.

 

Eat the rainbow.

When it comes to your nutrition, a great way to make sure you’re eating healthily and on your way to feeling more confident, is fuelling with plenty of fruit and vegetables, all various colours. By bulking your meals with more vegetables or salad, you fill up on less calories and more nutrients. This can also be adapted for snacking, a piece of fruit or maybe some veggies paired with hummus is a great way of getting your extra colours in!

 

Sweat it out.

Exercise can be great fun, and the key is to find something you enjoy so that it becomes a hobby rather than a chore to workout. Try aiming for 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day, be it barre, Pilates, spinning, walking etc. whatever you like. Exercising helps release endorphins, which improves your mood and even boosts your energy levels.

 

Step up your game.

Aside from exercising, there is a term, NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), which is basically everything we do that isn’t eating, sleeping or sports-like exercise. I’m sure the majority of you have heard that we should be aiming for 10,000 steps a day, which is something we can include in our NEAT. Whether you use a pedometer, or your smartphone is doing it automatically, it makes you more aware of how much you’re walking. This can easily be upped by parking further away than usual, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, walking to the shop etc. It all adds up and is great for helping create that healthy lifestyle.

 

Hit the hay.

Don’t forget about that sleep time. I know it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, but don’t sacrifice your sleep. We should generally be aiming for 7-9 hours a night, which depends on each person. Getting enough good quality sleep is essential for your body to recover, especially if you’re exercising.

Follow Jess for more nutrition tips and tricks on Facebook @JessHorganNutrition and on Instagram @jesshorgannutrition.

 

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Member Appreciation Post! | Meet Grainne

Today we are appreciating another pilates warrior, one of our amazing, loyal clients Grainne. Thank you so much Grainne for choosing Elite. Read about Grainne’s pilates journey below. 

 

 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m originally from Omagh, Co Tyrone and living in Cork around 14
years now. I work in supply chain for a pharmaceutical company, so I’m
sitting at a desk, all day! I have two wee boys, aged 7 and 3.
I’m great at JOINING the gym….and never going! So discovering reformer
and barre pilates has just been brilliant for me! I’ve never enjoyed
something as much as this!

How long have you been coming to Elite?
I joined Elite in January, so I’m still very new to it all. I could
barely touch my toes when I started!

How did you start coming to pilates?
A good friend of mine had been trying to convince me try it for a
while, as I kept complaining about wanting to tone up and exercising
more. I saw a facebook advert for Elite over the Christmas, and after
the indulgence of the holidays, I thought it was perfect timing!

What would you say is your favourite thing about  Elite Pilates?
How brilliant you feel after the class, and even for the days
following.  Both reformer and Barre. The instructors are so
encouraging and continue to help you push yourself and your body.  I
love watching the instructors demonstrations! They are very inspiring.

Why would you recommend Elite Pilates?
The instructors are just fantastic, everyone is so different and have
different routines and exercises.  No class is ever the same.  The
flexibility of changing locations is also a great advantage.

What 3 words would you say describe you?
Fun, helpful and drama-queen! (I’ve been told!)

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?
Supportive, encouraging and fun!

What would you say are your top 3 passions and why?
Wine, wine and wine! Just kidding…kind of…
Travel – I love to travel and always thinking of my next trip away!
Music – you will often see me with my headphones in or singing away to
myself.  I love that my kids are enjoying music now also… always great
to lift your spirits!
My family and friends – I love to get home as often as I can! I have
great friends in Cork and love nothing more than a good laugh with
them!

When you’re not in studio, how do you spend your time?
Running after my two crazy boys…they are great fun!
I love listening to music and reading… and I’m partial to a good box
set with a glass (or 3) of wine!


What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?
Oh I couldn’t recommend it enough…. I look forward to every class and
always leave with a smile on my face! I would go every day if I could!
Definitely try it! You couldn’t regret it!

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Meet Jenny Stack

This week, we’re showing our appreciation for the lovely Jenny who is our Marketing & Corporate Memberships manager as well as reformer, barre and mat teacher here at Elite. You’ll find Jenny in any of our studios in Carrigtwohill, Donnybrook and The Kingsley Hotel. 

Thanks for being such an important part of #TeamEliteCork Jenny!

Read about Jenny’s Pilates journey below.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m Jenny, I’m the Marketing & Corporate Memberships Manager here at Elite and I teach reformer, mat and barre. I’m from Youghal and I’m a massive foodie and pilates obsessive. 
 
 
How long have you been working with Elite?
I’ve been teaching since about November 2017 and working as Marketing & Corporate Memberships manager since January 2018.
 
 
How did you start teaching pilates?
I grew up practicing gymnastics competitively from the ages of 4-17 and I used to teach a little bit to kids in my local club. When I went to college, UCC didn’t have a gymnastics club and I noticed a massive difference in my strength once I stopped training. I ended up taking up pilates as a means of keeping fit and I fell in love with it. I eventually decided to do my Mat exams, then reformer, then barre and I did the mentorship programme here at Elite. 
 
 
What would you say is your favourite thing about working at Elite Pilates?
I love seeing our clients progress and get stronger every class. We have so many clients who do pilates so that they can be pain free and its amazing to see how pilates can improve their quality of life. Being a part of such a great team #TeamEliteCork is also a huge bonus!
 
 
Why did you choose pilates as a career?
It just happened really! I studied French & Italian at UCC thinking I would go on to work in translation. I loved my undergrad and still love speaking and reading in French and Italian, but at the end of my degree I realised that a career in translation just wasn’t for me. I wanted a more social, client-facing role. I always had an interest in business so I decided to do a Masters in Marketing & Management. Once I graduated from this I worked in marketing for a year and during this time I started my education as a pilates instructor. Once I started teaching I was working my 9-5 and then teaching in the evenings. Once the opportunity to up my teaching hours and work as marketing manager for Elite Pilates came up I couldn’t say no!
 
What 3 words would you say describe you?
Creative, Social, Hard-working
 
 
What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?
Professional, accommodating, forward-thinking. 
 
What would you say are your top 3 passions and why?
Pilates for obvious reasons! When I’m not teaching I love jumping on the reformer and getting my own practice in. 
Food. I’m a huge foodie, I have to cook everyday! I love cooking healthy versions of favourites. If I’m not cooking I like to be out and about wining and dining!
Travel. I’m a huge italo/francophile and I love immersing myself in new cultures. I try to travel as often as I can.
 
When you’re not in studio, how do you spend your time?
I’m hugely family oriented and I’m lucky enough to have the best bunch of friends, so when I’m not in studio I try to spend as much time with them as possible. I’ll usually be found in the kitchen trying some weird and wonderful recipe and I love to travel as much as I can whether it’s in Ireland or further afield. 
 
What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?
I really don’t think that there is any body that couldn’t benefit from pilates. Whether you’re a complete new comer to fitness or if you train 6 days a week, pilates offers something for everybody. Give it a go, you won’t regret it!

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May Summer Body Challenge

If you’ve ever even googled the term ‘pilates’ you’ve probably come across one of Joseph Pilates’ most famous quotes, “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”. Sounds good to us! Of course, the above requires consistent training and dedication. With summer fast approaching, we’ve decided to up the ante on our training and we hope that you join us! We’re preparing for summer by dedicating more time to ourselves and to our bodies here at Elite. Take your training up a notch and we’ll give you classes back for FREE!

So here’s the deal, you take 12 classes during the month of May and we give you back 2 free classes to use in June, or for the Ultimate Challenge, take 16 classes during the month of May and get 4 free classes to use in June! Take reformer classes, barre classes or mix it up between the two and get your body in the best shape possible this summer. 

So why pilates? Here are just some of the amazing benefits of practicing reformer, or barre pilates for a leaner, longer and stronger body this summer. 

 

First Things First

At Elite Pilates, we are big believers in the ethos that pilates is for everyBody. Whether you’re a fitness newbie or a gym junkie, there is no body that can’t benefit from practicing pilates. The pilates repertoire is modifiable for all body types and all fitness levels and takes into account that every body is different. Consistently training, no matter what your fitness background is like, will allow you to feel better in your own body and to see your own progression. What’s not to love?!

 

It’s a full body workout

Be it barre or reformer (or even better, a mix of both!) pilates is all about improving muscle tone for the entire body. While it is true that pilates has a strong focus on core strength, our classes are designed to help develop and improve muscle tone of the entire body, lengthening, strengthening and conditioning the different muscle groups. 

 

Pain Relief

For us, a summer body is a pain free body! For most people summer will be a more physically active time whether you’re chasing after little ones, going on hikes, taking adventurous trips or simply making the most of festival season and giving it socks on the dance floor (or field as the case may be). Unfortunately for anyone suffering from pains and aches whether it be back pain or an old injury that rears it’s head now and again, you know all too well how much a niggle can cramp your style. Pilates concentrates on getting the body to function to the very best of its ability and give you the mobility that you need to go about everything else you love in your life. By concentrating on strengthening the core and back muscles while simultaneously woking on flexibility, pilates brings a greater support for the spine as well as aiding in injury prevention and pain management. 

 

Sculpt

If you goal is to strengthen and define your body this summer then this challenge is for you! Particularly mixing up your training between barre and reformer is a fun and effective way to get incredible sculpting results, so it’s no wonder that the Victoria’s Secret Angels are all rushing off to barre class! If you haven’t tried barre before, firstly, you’re missing out! Barre is a blend of pilates and ballet inspired moves that work to define the muscle whilst also getting the heart rate up a little. Barre involves isometric contraction of the muscle, meaning you tighten and contract the muscle without changing its length (queue burning and shaking)! Barre targets inner and outer thighs, glutes and hamstrings, arms abs and back, so you’ve got it all covered! Mix barre up with reformer and you’ve got a match made in heaven. 

So who’s joining us in creating their best summer body yet?

 

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Member Appreciation Post | Meet Rachel

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we are the luckiest to have such amazing, passionate and strong members who make our jobs so much fun! Meet the lovely Rachel Crowley and read about her pilates journey here. 

Thanks Rachel for being a loyal member of #TeamEliteCork

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself? 

The thing that popped straight into my head when asked this question: Chocolate lover!! I am also very family orientated and love to go for a walk in the long summer evenings.

 

How long have you been coming to Elite? 

1 year

 

How did you start coming to pilates? 

I suffered with back pain for a few years and I was sick of taking medication to ease it. My doctor recommended to try Pilates and I haven’t taken any medication since I started with Elite.

 

What would you say is your favourite thing about  Elite Pilates?

Each exercise can be tailored to the persons ability and moves are always done to ensure safety in the body.

 

Why would you recommend Elite Pilates? 

It’s a fun way to increase muscle strength! And the instructors are always lovely and helpful.

 

What 3 words would you say describe you?

Friendly, creative, hardworking.

 

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?

Professional, fun, refreshing.

 

What would you say are your top 3 passions and why?

My job as a pharmacy technician- I am always looking for ways up skill and to learn more.

My family- having lived in Dublin for a few years, I really missed visiting at weekends but now that I’m back in Cork I always try to make the effort to stay in touch

Pilates of course!

 

When you’re not in studio, how do you spend your time?

As I recently just got a new puppy, Bailey, my time is filled by walking her and training her to sit and stay! She hasn’t quite mastered them yet but knows how to get to the top of the stairs in a flash if my back is turned for a second! 

 

What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?

It’s for men and women of every age who all want to take that first step! After the intro class you will definitely want to come back for more! They offer great class packages so you’re always getting a good deal! 

 

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