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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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Happy Anniversary! | Meet Dori Tallent

This week, our lovely Dori Tallent celebrates her 1 year anniversary as a part of Team Elite and we couldn’t be happier to have her with us for the past year! You’ll usually find Dori in our Carrigtwohill studio being an absolute pilates hero, and if you havn’t had a chance to pop into one of her classes yet, trust us, you should!

Thanks so much Dori for all of your hard work as a member of #TeamEliteCork and for always bringing the very best to each and every class. 

Read about Dori’s pilates journey below!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself?

So I’m Dori, I’m from Kilkenny. I lived in Dublin for 4 years, the UK for 5 years, travelled for one year and have been living in Cork for 2 years. I’m a chemical engineer and, like most people, moved away to get a job. I danced all through school and loved it. I tried several different places after I left school but nothing seemed right which brought me to pilates.

 

How long have you been working with Elite?

I’ve been working with Elite for 1 year. 

 

How did you start teaching pilates?

As mentioned I loved dance and as I missed that. Pilates pulled me in with its precise movements and body awareness, as well as the fun of barre! 

 

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

Working with a great group of interesting people which such diverse backgrounds. 

 

Why did you choose pilates as a career?

I love to make a positive difference in people’s lives. When people come in saying how they’re able to move around with more ease and not in pain anymore if they were before.

 

What 3 words would you say describe you?

I try to be honest, empathetic and frank.

 

What 3 words would you say describe Elite Pilates

Friendly, caring, professional .

 

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

I love the sea, dance, and learning new things.

 

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

When I’m not working my other job I try to see my family and friends as much as I can.

 

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

Listen to your body, what’s right for someone else may not be right for you.

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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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