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Member Appreciation Post | Meet Hilary

This week is Member Appreciation Week at Elite Pilates and we are focusing on how lucky we are to have all of our wonderful, strong, determined members who are the heart of everything we do here at Elite Pilates. We would be nothing without our clients, and we want to share some of their pilates journeys with you! The lovely Hilary Walsh is a loyal barre and reformer client and here is her pilates journey.

 

Tell us a little but about yourself? 
I’m 33, I live in Ballincollig and I’m on a major health kick this year in preparation for my wedding in November! 
 
How long have you been coming to Elite?
I started at Elite last September and I haven’t looked back! 
 
How did you start coming to pilates?
A friend of mine wanted to try it as she heard reformer pilates was how Holly Willoughby lost a stone and toned up after her last baby! I came along to try it and I was hooked instantly! I’ve lost over a stone since I started so I’m living proof of the weight loss claims!
 
What would you say is your favourite thing about  Elite Pilates?
The instructors are all so friendly and knowledgeable but they all have their own style of teaching so no matter whose class you’re in, you know it’ll be a different workout each time. I also love the different range of classes – I started doing reformer but kept seeing people coming out of barre class looking like they’d had an exhausting workout so I tried it and now I’m doing that regularly as well!
 
Why would you recommend Elite Pilates?
I saw an improvement in my muscle tone very quickly (literally within the first couple of weeks!) and my flexibility has massively improved. My core is the strongest it has ever been and this has helped me with my running. I’m not the most athletic person in the world, I’ve always struggled to stick at exercise regimes but pilates has just given me so much confidence in what I’m capable of doing and in what I can achieve. 
 
What 3 words would you say describe you? 
Cheerful, enthusiastic, determined!
 
What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?
Friendly, challenging, rewarding.
 
What would you say are your top 3 passions and why?
– My family & friends – because no man (or woman) is an island! 
– My fiancé because he keeps me sane! 
– Staying fit and healthy – this may sound an unusual passion but I’m a firm believer that our health is our wealth and Pilates has definitely reaffirmed this for me. Pilates has benefitted my physical and mental health – I cannot recommend it enough. 
 
When you’re not in studio, how do you spend your time?
Working (like most people!), with my family, relaxing, spending time with friends and running the odd 5k!
 
What advice would you give to anyone looking to give pilates a go?
Stop thinking about it and do it! My only regret is that I didn’t take it up 10 years ago! 

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Pilates & Prosecco

There’s no denying that sometimes we all need a little coaxing when it comes to exercise, but we’ve found a way that you can have your cake (or pizza) and eat it too with our Pilates & Prosecco event!

After the roaring success of our very first Pilates & Prosecco party, we are delighted to be hosting Pilates & Prosecco Part 2 on May 11th in the heart of the city at Republic of Work. Weekends are for having fun and indulging a little, but we often end up with a good dose of guilt along with our Sunday night blues. To combat this, we decided to kickstart our weekend with a tough workout, a serious giggle, and a little fizz post work on a Friday night and it turns out you guys loved it just as much as we did!

 

So what’s all of the fuss about?

Grab your bestie or your work pals, come along to our gorgeous venue on the South Mall and work up a sweat with a 70 minute fusion class incorporating barre (yes, that one that your favourite Victorias Secret models do), Classical Mat Pilates, and of course finishing with a gorgeous stretch to get you nice an limber, ready to put on your dancing shoes for the weekend! We might even sprinkle in a few prizes (vampire facial anyone?) for our champion plank-ers or best teaser!After lots of pulsing and shaking, relax and enjoy a few laughs, a glass of fizz, and a slice of pizza while you catch your breath! With multiple instructors teaching and actively engaging in class to make sure that everyone is nice and safe, Pilates & Prosecco is accessible to absolutely every level of fitness, whether you’re a fitness newbie or a seasoned pro. 

 

Here’s what the original Pilates & Prosecco club had to say about our instructors:

“Tough cookies!”

“Friendly & fun”

“Motivational”

“Fabulous slave drivers!”

“Excellent, enthusiastic, very professional”

“Brilliant, not intimidating and engaging”

 

And what did they say about the class?

“Challenging but fun, it burned!”

“Fun, sweaty and accessible”

“Exhilarating, fun and tough”

‘Challenging but fun and diverse”

“Ask me tomorrow!”

Need more convincing? Check out the feed back from some of our attendees:

So grab your tickets here now! Tickets are €30 per person and get ready for the best workout ever!

Get an extra peek into Pilates & Prosecco part 1 here!

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Meet the Brilliant Jacqui O’Keeffe

If you’ve been in any of our studios, you will already know that we have the best team ever! How lucky are we? You might have met the brilliant Jacqui at our studio in Carrigtwohill or at The Kingsley, and if you have we’re sure you’ll agree that her classes are fun, effective, and just all around amazing!

Thanks for being such an important part of #TeamEliteCork Jacqui. 

Get to know Jacqui a little better below!

 

 

Tell us a little but about yourself?

I’ve always been interested in health and fitness so have pursued my passions qualifying as a Chartered Physiotherapist in 2010 and have used pilates in my rehab and prehab programmes ever since.

I love to travel, family is everything to me, I’m passionate about my job. I hate not being able to give something 100%. 

I have a gold all-ireland minor camogie medal – I started every game except for the final ☹️ ( I did come on though) 

I have a gold secondary school provincial camogie all-stars medal 

I have international caps in soccer u17 and inter-varsity gold medals

I’ve broken my nose and ankle playing soccer – different occasions 

I love sleeping 

 

How long have you been working with Elite?

For over a year now.

 

How did you start teaching pilates?

I began when working in the NHS – I wanted to use mat pilates as a rehab tool so went and trained with APPI & and am a qualified mat instructor. I became a reformer instructor in 2016 and have pre-natal mat and reformer qualifications too.

 

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

Freedom to be creative in that if I wanted to move in a certain direction – work with antenatals for example, i would be supported and guided.

 

Why did you choose pilates as a career?

It’s the basis of all movement – you’re core/pelvic floor is so central to all activities of daily living and exercise. I see the limbs as levers that move around a centre which needs to be strong and conditioned. If it’s not then a persons spine or limbs will carry the load and dysfunction will likely follow.It’s called your core for a reason! As a Physiotherapist I use it as a rehab tool for treating clients and as a pilates instructor I’m continually ensuring clients move safely and learn the key elements they need to progress and get stronger – while having fun!!

 

What 3 words would you say describe you?

Passionate, caring, approachable/open. And for balance my husbands 3 words about me: 

kind, fun, personable.

 

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates

Accessible, fun, professional.

 

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

Husband/family, exercise and travel. I’m a people person, I’m one of 10 children and need to be around people or I’m not my happiest, I’m very lucky to have 6 sisters (6 best friends). Exercise is my therapy, I always played lots of sports so when I stopped playing I found running and gym replaced the gap that competitive sport had left. I love experiencing new cultures – I would travel the world if I could – on a bike with my husband, staying in 5 star hotels preferably.

 

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

Not doing anything special to be honest! Relaxing, seeing friends and family. I do love coffee and chocolate, a whiskey in a cosy pub and a long walk on a dry day (rarely happens!!) Netflix and chill of course – I should read more.

 

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

Be patient, learn how to engage core and pelvic floor properly and you will find that you’re body is able for any move. Also, never compare yourself to others, we’re all too different, a good instructor will see what your normal is and allow you move and progress within your scope.

 

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Meet the gorgeous Annett Brown & Happy Anniversary!

Tomorrow, March 15th, marks the lovely Annett’s 2 year anniversary with us here at Elite Pilates. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we are so lucky to have such an incredible and talented team here at Elite and we would like to thank Annett for being such an important part of it. Many of you will already know Annett Brown from her killer classes at The Kingsley and Donnybrook but we thought you might like to know a little more about Annett’s personal pilates journey. 

Happy Anniversary Annett and thank you for everything that you do. 

 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I have a German Passport but have lived in Russia, Syria, Turkey and the UAE before moving to Ireland in 2014. I have two kids, two pets and one husband. The weather in Ireland is something I struggle with as I love sun, beach and warmth.

 

How long have you been working with Elite?

I started teaching at Elite two years ago, time flies. 

 

How did you start teaching pilates?

I had to have back surgery for a slipped disc in my lumbar and was advised to start Pilates, that was 11 years ago. I got hooked on it and always wanted to start teaching, seeing others get better, stronger and aware of their bodies is so rewarding. A few years later, I did various Teacher Training courses with Balanced Body to qualify and upskill.

 

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

The clients are amazingly fun, passionate and driven. The team is pretty special as well. 

 

Why did you choose pilates as a career?

Same as number 3 really, I just got hooked!

 

What 3 words would you say describe you?

Strong, efficient, controlled

 

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates?

Passion, Dedication, Fun

 

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

Travelling – always loved to discover new locations

Languages  – I like learning languages, I can converse in German, English, Turkish and Russian and have studied Arabic, Persian and Ottoman. 

Staying strong and healthy – more important with age, so I try to pay attention to it but still indulge 

 

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

My background is in HR consultancy and this is still what I am doing during the daytime. I support professionals with their job applications, write CVs, provide career guidance and assess people. Additionally, I like spending time with my family. We all love animals, so horse riding is quite a big part of my kids’ lives and I run the Social Media for the Kinsale Equestrian Centres, do all the photography as well. 

 

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

Miracles don’t happen overnight, so stick with it and you will see the results. Also, see it as chance to get some ‘Me-time’ as you have to concentrate so much on the movements that you cannot think about shopping, etc. 

 

 

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Meet the lovely Jess Horgan!

 

At Elite Pilates, we are so lucky to get to work with not only our amazing clients, but also with our incredible team of instructors. All of our instructors here at Elite are talented, dedicated and play a huge part in creating such a special atmosphere in all of our studios. Because we appreciate all of the hard work and passion that our teachers put in to each and every class, we want you to get to know them a little better too! You may already know our lovely Jess Horgan from class, but if you, like us, are a little nosey, you’ll love hearing all about Jess’ own pilates journey here!

 

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m Jess, a foodie, nutrition nerd and Pilates instructor. I love all things wellness-related, be it sports, mindfulness or healthy treats. My love for keeping busy has led me to completing a BSc in Nutritional Sciences, diploma in nutritional therapy, national qualification in exercise and health studies.. alongside all of my Pilates qualifications! You could say that I like to take on new challenges quite often!

How long have you been working with Elite?

I’ve been teaching Pilates for years but I am working with Elite for just over 2 years now.. and still love it as much as I did back then.

How did you start teaching pilates?

Having suffered with a back injury for quite a while, I was after discovering how Pilates could help me improve my posture, core strength and flexibility. When I qualified as a personal trainer, I had fallen in love with Pilates so much that I decided to specialise in mat Pilates teaching. One thing led to another and I kept adding more qualifications, now being certified in mat, reformer, barre and prenatal.

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

It’s true when they say “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. Teaching at Elite Pilates never feels like work, it’s a hobby that I love, which also happens to be my job. The whole of Team Elite make working here a great experience as everyone is passionate about what they do, and that is something thats definitely required in the job. Getting to meet so many people who I can help form their love of Pilates is a huge benefit also, after teaching a class, it’s as if I have absorbed all of their energy and I leave on a high.

Why did you choose pilates as a career?

I didn’t really choose Pilates as a career, it just sort of found me instead. I have also been into exercise and healthy eating, so having studied about the human body for four years in university, gave me a great foundation to start my Pilates career. I am still a passionate nutritionist, which luckily for me works hand in hand with my Pilates journey.

What 3 words would you say describe you?

Motivated, energetic and caring.

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates

Dedicated, professional and friendly.

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

Firstly, I think Pilates has to be mentioned, my passion for that has just multiplied for the past number of years. The benefits of Pilates are amazing and I will always be grateful for how it improved my body and also gave me a career that I love. Secondly, nutrition and healthy eating. I’m all about balance, you’ll find me with a pizza one night and at the farmers market with a salad and raw treats the next day. I believe that everything you eat should be enjoyed, and for that reason, I’m all for the 80:20 rule and no diets. Lastly, I’m passionate about learning and I’m a huge advocate for continued education and professional development. I believe that the more you learn, the less you know.. and therefore I’m constantly looking to better myself and learn from others.

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

When I’m not at the studio teaching or doing my own workout, I’m still practicing what I preach. I go to the gym for a resistance session or a spin class, out walking or as I previously mentioned.. at the farmers market. I still continue to have at least one course on the go at a time, be it online or in the evening, I love keeping my mind active and progressing my skills. It’s important for me that I keep on top of the latest research in nutrition, and to discover new Pilates moves and techniques. I also love to bake, mainly substituting healthy ingredients into my favourite recipes, especially something sweet to have with a mid-morning coffee!

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

As we say in Elite, Pilates is for every body. Everyone can benefit from Pilates, and I would highly recommend trying a couple of classes to really get into it and see the benefits for yourself.

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Guess what? Your 6 Nations favourites favour pilates!

Now that the most anticipated tournament in European rugby has officially kicked off 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 benefits. 

Photo credit: rugby world.com

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 adn 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! 

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