The New Workouts: Pilates

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a revolution going on in the fitness industry. New takes on old workouts are the latest craze. San Francisco is gaining a reputation for the newest in heart-pumping boutique fitness. Storefronts turned into small gyms that focus on a single workout routine, class, and philosophy, are popping up all over the Bay Area. Remember how you used to bike, lift weights, crunch, and push-up? There are newly packaged ways to do all that, and they are faster, more entertaining and extremely convenient.

I want to try them all! For eight years I did the same workout and never got bored. I woke up early and started my day with fresh air and a beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the beach at Crissy Field. Trainer Kristi Dowler welcomed me and a handful of other women with a different workout every day. There was no clock watching, only San Francisco Bay watching. The women made it special, Kristi kept us working hard, and I felt practically invincible after each workout, three days per week. It was a great addiction.

And then my schedule and commitments changed. The timing was no longer convenient and I needed to find a new plan. I tried a handful of new workouts, some I liked. Recently, Adrian Ramirez sent me information about a new take on pilates at RockSalt Fitness. I was skeptical. About five years ago, I tried a series of pilates classes and nearly slept through them.

RockSalt is different. Their method fuses classic Pilates with intense cardio, resistance training, light weights, and upbeat music. In other words, nothing like the pilates I tried before. Rock Salt offers three different 50-minute high-intensity classes: RockReform Sweat, Strength, and Stretch. Each uses the pilates reformer and is designed to help people of all fitness levels build strength, flexibility, and endurance.

The Sweat classes focus on cardio through rapid successions of strength resistance training and reformer exercise. The Strength classes are for toning and sculpting, and the Stretch classes offer a slower pace to focus on flexibility, stretching, form, and isolated movements. The Stretch classes can be transformative for injured athletes, and for the studio’s older clients.

You can try a class at RockSalt Fitness in San Carlos or San Mateo for just $20. A Palo Alto studio will open this summer and the San Francisco studio in the fall. Highly recommended. — Marybeth La Motte

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