In a nutshell: If you’re looking for a low-impact strength workout that’s easy on the joints, have a somewhat flexible schedule, and prefer light or no weights, Club Pilates might be for you.
Club Pilates opened up near me and I took an intro class when the studio first opened. I’ve always wanted to try a reformer-based workout. They offered intro packages and I ended up buying one. The intro deal was $130/month for three months for up to 8 classes/month. This review is based on my experiences during that period.
I enjoyed the intro class. It was only 30 minutes but I felt it in my core the next day. I hadn’t used a reformer before and felt that it was a good change and would complement the trail half marathon training I was doing at the time. I do have a gym membership and use DVDs at home. This felt like it would work my muscles in a different way, and initially I think it did.
The first month, I enjoyed the classes. It was good to have a live instructor correcting form, and classmates to chat with before class. I took classes from several instructors, and tried a variety of types–regular reformer, “barre,” and TRX (which barely used the TRX). I liked the barre classes and one specific instructor so mostly signed up for those.
After the studio had been open for a while, it became tough to sign up for the classes I liked. You get your credits when your account is charged. So, you can use your 8 credits but then have to wait to get more, and sometimes the classes are full before that, depending on when you pay and when the next month’s schedule is posted.
The earliest classes were at 6 AM, and because my husband works overnights, I couldn’t go to those early classes. I work full-time from home so managed to do one class a week around lunchtime. They didn’t add any level 2.0 classes during my three months and I quickly outgrew the 1.0. All the barre classes were 1.5 and even those were pretty easy for me.
The instructors offer some modifications, mostly for making things easier. They do occasionally help you modify up, but not when using the reformer, only when using weights, gliders, or other things.
They did say they would add 2.0 classes in June, and even extended my credits so I wouldn’t just waste them. Still, I canceled and never did try the 2.0 classes. I am not entirely sure how I feel about the reformer. I do think it can give you a good workout, and that probably depends quite a bit on the instructor.
I will say that in all honesty the membership is too expensive for me. I pay $25/month for the gym, and while there’s no reformer there, I like variety more than the studio experience. Club Pilates would be $199/month for the 8-class pack. Buying a reformer for $2K seems almost like a bargain as long as you have the space!
I had about 8 credits left when I canceled and I haven’t been back. It was just too tough to fit the classes into my schedule. While I feel like I wasted money by not using the credits I paid for, I hate wasting time and forcing myself to go would have been silly.
Would Club Pilates work for you? I would recommend trying an intro class, looking into their pricing as it varies by area, and definitely check the schedule. If you enjoy the intro class and the types of classes they offer, and the other two are a good fit as well, then this might be a good option for you.