Ep. 125 – Jennifer Pilates – How Pilates Can Reform Your Body

Are you ready to reform your body using Pilates? Pilates is good for anyone of any age since it uses body weight and targets the smallest of muscles.

Pilates creates a mind-body connection that helps you release tension and anxiety to be in the moment. To secure your retirement also means having a healthy mind and body so you can enjoy your retirement investment when the time comes.

In this episode of the Secure Your Retirement podcast, we have Jennifer Pilates, an empathic intuitive advisor and coach empowering people through Pilates. We cover the health benefits of Pilates, variations to experiment, and the benefits of Virtual Pilate training.

In this episode, find out:

  • Jennifer on how a car accident led her to Pilates and how it changed her life.
  • Beginner-friendly Pilates for anyone and their mind-body benefits.
  • The rehabilitative nature of Pilates for injured or dormant joint muscles.
  • Why Jennifer shifted from managing several Pilates studios to home boutique studios and virtual training.
  • Jennifer defines the ideal Pilates clients plus the different Pilates variations you can experiment with.
  • The benefits of virtual Pilate training vs. studio training in today’s world.
  • She shares where to find her and the time you need to do Pilates to start feeling a difference.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “With Pilates, you’re working with your own body weight and your own strength so its virtually impossible to overdo it.”– Jennifer Pilates
  • “If you’re looking to rehabilitate, to first experience Pilates and enjoy it, or to transform your body, the reformer is truly one hundred percent is the place to start.”– Jennifer Pilates

Get in Touch with Jennifer:


If you are in or nearing retirement and you want to gain clarity on what questions you should be asking, learn what the biggest retirement myths are, and identify what you can do to achieve peace of mind for your retirement, get started today by requesting our complimentary video course, Four Steps to Secure Your Retirement!

To access the course, simply visit POMWealth.net/podcast.

Here’s the Full Transcript:

Radon Stancil:Welcome everyone to our Monday show. And every Monday, Murs and I, our goal is to bring somebody, an expert that could help us in a variety of ways. And today I am extremely excited. We have somebody that I think is going to be of benefit to you. I’ve got some of my own questions too. So it’s going to be a lot of fun, but it’s Jennifer Pilates and she is a Pilates expert. So that’s very nice to have that kind of a name and do this same thing. So Jennifer, thank you so much for coming on and talking with us today and our letting our listeners learn how you might be able to benefit them.  
Jennifer Pilate…:Yeah. Thank you both so much for having me. I’m honored to be on the show and honored to help serve your clients today.  
Radon Stancil:Very good. So Jennifer, could you just kind of get us started here and say, how did this all begin for you? How did you get into this world of Pilates? Where did that all come from?  
Jennifer Pilate…:Yeah, it actually started back in 1997. I was in a traumatic car accident out in Colorado. I had been running retirement communities at the time and I was very debilitated. I had soft tissue damage from head to toe. I was nothing short of a hot mess to be honest with you in and out of doctor’s offices for eight hours a day. And the blessing was I was in Boulder. So it was the total, amazing, epic opportunity to have all the different natural cures that you could possibly have. Anything holistic alternative, which coming from the East Coast I hadn’t experienced yet. And one chiropractor referred me to Pilates and that’s really how it began.  
 I rehabbed for a whole year. Every day I was in the studio. And then at the end of that year, I remember something transpired one day and this instructor didn’t show up and someone was like, “Well, Jennifer’s here all the time. I’m sure she can kind of wing it a little bit for the moment” and I kind of did. And it just stuck with me. And prior to that, my whole world was … And we didn’t talk about this prior. I ran and marketed and sold retirement communities. I started in the industry from when I was 15 all the way up until, well, into my 30s, late 30s and I loved it. I specialized in Alzheimer’s disease so it blended well when I decided to go off and just open a studio, it just all of a sudden it birthed my entrepreneurialness. And so it was quite a blessing.  
 I gave back. That’s what I wanted to do is I wanted to give back because what they gave me was really my life, a whole new life, a whole new way of living, a healthier way of living. And I thought if I could just touch one person’s life, then that would be amazing. And you know it’s been a blessing and 20-plus years later, I’ve touched a lot of lives all over the world so I’m really grateful for that opportunity.  
Murs Tariq:Yeah. So thanks for sharing that with us, Jennifer. So we as an office, we have actually taken a group Pilates class together at one point and my wife is an into it as well. I know it’s got a ton of benefits. Like you just said, it helped heal you in so many different ways. So the majority of our listeners are 50-plus usually and active. So can you kind of break down what Pilates is and some of the main benefits that someone could see from it at age?  
 I know there’s all different types of Pilates too. Like the one that we went to, you get on this machine and the machine is moving around, you’ve got these strings and all these different bells and whistles attached, but I know there’s a basic version too, right? So give us a little high level as to what Pilates is, and then what could it do as far as mobility and like that for a 50-plus-year-old?  
Jennifer Pilate…:Yeah, of course. Great. So Pilates is great for anyone of any age. So my clients always range I said from eight to 89. My 90th, she actually was 90 I think at the end of our term together. And it’s so amazing because what happens is you’re working with your own body weight and your own strength. So it’s virtually impossible to overdo it, which is something, one that’s super important particularly as we age. The other part that’s really great is that when you’re working with your body weight and whether you’re on the mat … It sounds like you were on the reformer. There’s five pieces of equipment in total. It depends on if you go to a traditional Pilates studio or maybe gyms mostly offer the mat. And sometimes they’ll have some of the props, the Pilates circle, things like that, little accessories that you can work with.  
 The idea that Joseph Pilates had when he began Pilates was that you would start with one exercise on one machine. And until you could complete that exercise on all five machines, you weren’t allowed to move on to the next exercise. And so now keep in mind, like there’s hundreds and hundreds of exercises that you can do. So imagine that’s quite the workout. What’s really interesting and I always found, I’m always pulled towards the Pilates reformer. And when I’m starting out clients particularly, well, really of any age.  
 The reformer is great because you, you have assistance. So you have some, for instance, when you’re lying down on, we’ll call it the bench for right now on the reformer, you have shoulder blocks. So you’ve got a connection and Pilates is all about that body-mind-spirit connection. So your body feels a shoulder block. It helps those muscles turn on. So there’s that mental aspect to it. And then your breathwork really helps you to move through. So being on the reformer, I say if you’re looking to rehabilitate, if you’re looking to first experience Pilates and want to enjoy it. If you are looking to transform your body, the reformer truly 100% is the place to start. The other-  
Radon Stancil:Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry. Go ahead.  
Jennifer Pilate…:Oh. The other thing that’s really great is that when you’re on it, for instance, like I have my mom. Like now I’m down in Southwest Florida, so I have a whole dining room that’s set up you come in and it’s all Pilates equipment and we get on there and the moment that you start working and you connect your body and your mind and your breath, right now you are releasing tension. You’re releasing cortisol. You’re releasing so much anxiety and all of that stuff because you have to be in the moment. So if ever there was a time to try it, now would be.  
 And as we get into that age, right range of 55-plus, working with the tension that’s why we have tension cords. Some machines have cords, some have springs, neither is is better or worse, they do the same thing. And that with your body weight is what you need to propel to continue to advance your bone growth. A lot of people don’t know this, but you can increase your bone growth with Pilates. For instance, true story. I had always been 5’1″ 1/2 my entire life. When I started Pilates and after that first year, I was a solid 5’2″. So I increased myself by a half an inch in height. Super, super cool to be able to do that.  
 And you’re strengthening and you’re lengthening your muscles. You’re not constricting and tightening them. So that’s something else. So it’s a wonderful complement for anyone who’s going, “Well, I really like the gym or I really …” That’s great. Awesome. I want you in the gym. I want you moving. Whatever you’re doing, move and be happy. This is an incredible complement that will take any other form of exercise a whole other length forward.  
Radon Stancil:Yeah. So one of the things because like Murs said, we went in and did it and I went a few other times, but you talk about rehabilitation and you talked about that. And we were talking before we started recording and you talked about a person who had a bad ankle, but you were able to help that or prepare or repair that. Now for me, I have bad knees basically. I mean, my knees are hurt. I actually have had to do some different things. Is that something that can be helped as well? Although it’s not like an injury. It’s just simply I don’t have really good knees right now.  
Jennifer Pilate…:Sure. So again, Pilates again, body-mind-spirit. It’s all about the alignment. So the difference with coming to a Pilates practitioner and ideally I do always suggest if someone has any sort of injury or something, one , always let the instructor know and two, research your instructor. If you can get one that has the experience with rehabilitative care, it’s even that much better. Pilates works on your alignment. So the difference between a Pilates trained person and a physical therapist, for instance, is if you come in with your knees being an issue they’re going to go right to your knees and they’re going to work on your knees.  
 If we had a session, you would come in, I would look at your gait, I would watch how you’re walking and I would start at your core. And I would start from your core outward and in doing so we’re going to realign and fix anything else that is out of alignment. Because nine times out of 10 if it’s your knees, there’s also your hips, then we’ve got some shoulder stuff and some next stuff going on.  
 So it’s never just that one thing that we think and it’s never, for instance, if someone says, “Oh my gosh, my right hip is really killing me.” Nine times out of 10 it’s actually coming from the opposite side and then the same shoulder. So there’s a whole dynamic to how as a Pilates practitioner how we look at the body much differently than really anyone else kind of looks at the body.  
Murs Tariq:Yeah, that’s interesting. You hear the word Pilates and you think, “Well, it’s just another form of working out,” but there’s so many more layers to it just like the way that you described. And for anyone that is listening and things Pilates is not for them or maybe it’s too easy. My personal experience, when we did that on that reformer machine, you can make it as easy as you want or as hard as you want depending on the resistance you’re putting on it. And I remember some of the simplest movements I struggled to do because of how you do it in the Pilates form and stuff.  
 So I thought it was a great workout. We all left that, that place dripping in sweat and really shaking. I remember shaking more than anything because you’re activating these tiny little muscles that you don’t do on a regular basis. So it was a really cool experience for me. So we’ve talked a little bit about what Pilates is, but tell us a little bit more about your journey. So I know you’ve got some studios. Are you still teaching in those studios? Are you kind of just managing them? What’s going on there?  
Jennifer Pilate…:So right now I have relinquished all studios and that was pre-COVID. Just so everyone knows, that was way pre-COVID. I have had studios all over on the East Coast and on the West Coast and loved it and enjoyed that journey. That journey turned into then going in managing other studios, which then turned into extending my business and having home studios. So I started my home studios when I was back in Scottsdale. And what I found is my original studio that I started in Cape Cod was a very small boutique studio, it was about 300 square feet. And I really had the most fun in that space. And I’ve had very large studios and very small ones. And so I wanted to get back to that boutique-y feel. I wanted to get back to more of that.  
 Well, everyone else was going around and now they’re having 10 and 20 people in a class. I really wanted it to be about you and maybe three other people. I wanted you to feel like you’re having a private session. So that’s where my home studios came into play at that point in time, as well as this is an interesting story and I don’t think I’ve written this anywhere in a long time. I actually am the very first person that pioneered virtual Pilates back in I think it was 2000.  
 When I originally left the East Coast to go out to Arizona, I didn’t want to leave my clients. So I worked with Skype at the time and the Wall Street Journal covered me. It was like this big, huge deal that someone was doing fitness online. So it goes back that far for how long I’ve even been doing virtual. So now fast forward, I’m doing all of my sessions virtually. Particularly just because of last year, you really have not had an opportunity to do very much in person at all unless the client calls and there’s a need, and they’re flying you somewhere.  
 So everything has been virtual and right now as I mentioned earlier, I have a whole studio in my home. Again, and I’ll always have a home studio. I’m not sure when I’ll open that back up to in person training, I would hope over the next year that that would begin again. But for right now, there’s all virtual training. And through the years as it expanded, then we expanded in to the clothing line and everything just kind of beautifully snowballs and pivots as needed throughout the journey.  
Radon Stancil:Very good. So what are some things like if people are listening that I guess we could have varying problems. I’ll tell you about my knee. Somebody else has some other thing and they’re listening to this and they’re saying, “Hey, would this potentially be an answer, a fit?” Could you kind of give us some scenarios that somebody might have that you go, “If you had this situation, we could help” or who might be looking for something like this and like help trigger our minds on that?  
Jennifer Pilate…:Absolutely. So nine times out of 10, most people have low back issues. You are an A++ candidate for Pilates because we begin with your core and we work from your innermost muscles out. So as we do that, you’re strengthening everything along the way, you’re relining your hips, your knees, your ankles, all of that. So low back, you’re in. If someone has said you need hip surgery or you need knee surgery, you’re a perfect candidate. If you have Achilles or tendon issues, any neuropathy, anything like that going on, you’re an amazing candidate. Any neck issues, amazing candidate.  
 Let me think. If you are a senior and you would like to move and you want to stay moving and you want to stay safe, safe as we age, safe as we move, you’re an incredible candidate. And if you’re worried about, “Oh, I don’t want to do an hour session or this, that and the other thing.” You find the right instructor who’s willing to work with you. A lot of my seniors, we did half an hour sessions. I very much customize everything for that individual that’s in front of me. And I think also that makes a huge difference with the way people teach for sure.  
 Let’s see. Oh, pre and postnatal phenomenal. Oh my goodness. I had one woman with twins like two days prior. I was more nervous than she was. I was like, “You know, maybe it’s time.” She’s like, “We will work out today.” I was like, “Okay. Yes, we will.” So really there isn’t anyone. Again, from the ages of eight and I’m sure smaller children have done it, but eight to 90-plus you can do it. There’s no reason you can’t. And if someone says, “Well, I don’t know.” Let’s talk about the variations of Pilates. So there’s mat Pilates, which is just you personally and the mat and maybe some props. So that’s traditionally you’ll find that in most gyms. You can find that off of a DVD or whatever you need on the TV.  
 Do we still have DVDs now? I aged myself again. Oh my God. I’m thinking, “I don’t even have a DVD player anymore.” On demand, on demand is the new DVR. That’s it.  
Radon Stancil:That’s right.  
Jennifer Pilate…:So there’s that. So we got the mat. You can do it online. Do it on your computer. You can do Pilates. So that’s something since being here in Southwest Florida. High pivot. Pilates in the water. I’m obsessed. So my mom’s an aquatic instructor and when I got here obviously because I didn’t have all my stuff at first. We started being in the pool every day and I’m thinking, “She’s doing Pilates and she doesn’t even know it. She’s teaching Pilates and she doesn’t even know it.” And so a few months go by and I thought, “I’m going to I’m going to work on my own and tweak this and tweak that. And there you have Pilates.”  
 So if you’re somebody and, again, this is great for any human being, if you’re rehabilitating, but also phenomenal for seniors getting in the water. You can work out in the water all day long and it feels like nothing, but you get out and like you were mentioning. You feel your legs. You’re like, “Ooh, I did something today. Oh my abs. Okay. I did something today.” So, Pilates honestly like has become my new love. That’s been my new pivot since being here in Southwest Florida, plus I love the pool and all that jazz. So you’ve got the pool so I think I’ve covered every aspect.  
 And then there’s the five different pieces of equipment and it’s changed so much over the years since I’ve gotten into the industry that it is reasonable. You can find reasonable equipment for your home. I have clients that I teach virtually and they have a reformer at home and we do it over the computer. And it’s no different. I’m just not physically touching you. And right now in today’s world, a lot of people probably don’t want that. So there’s so many options that I think it’s really hard for someone to give me a reason why they can’t.  
Radon Stancil:So when you do that, I’m sorry, I’m doing a follow-up here. When you do it that way and you talk about the virtual training. So are you typically working with a person one-on-one or you have a couple people that you work with at a time? What does that look like?  
Jennifer Pilate…:For me mostly this past year, it’s been one-on-one. Now, if someone wants to get to some of their friends together, they can do that. There are classes, of course, that you can do online. But for me, it’s been more one-on-one.  
Murs Tariq:So talk through I guess the pros, cons. Someone would say, “Well, I would rather go somewhere and be in the gym or maybe just not comfortable.” Or feel like they’re not going to get the value out of the virtual training because you’re talking across screens. But I assume you’re able to see perfect form and everything just through a screen the way cameras are today. So talk a little bit about that and I guess to the person that may say, “Well, I don’t know if virtual is for me.”  
Jennifer Pilate…:Sure. I totally get it. And I’ll tell that person, “You know what? I was right there with you.” I was like, “No, I don’t …” But honestly, when I go back 20 years and I’m thinking, “Gosh, I should have just stuck with it.” Once I moved and everybody, everything, I didn’t stick with the virtual. I should have. The benefit is that you are home. The disadvantage is that you are home. So the benefit is you just need to be able to close the door and set a boundary and boundary time for yourself, which is amazing.  
 So the upside to that especially in this this last year. I mean, still, I mean, we’re kind of in it still. You’re not around people, you’re not around the germs of other people. You’re not having to deal with traffic. You are home. You can set time apart, close the door, have an amazing session, an amazing hour that’s all about you and immediately go to your personal shower if you choose. You can walk outside and go to your personal bathroom and start your life, your dinner. It’s not, “Oh my God.”  
 Now it’s not the excuse of, “Well, I don’t want to go to the studio. It’s five o’clock I’m going to hit traffic.” I think there’s actually a lot more reasons than a lot more excuses people come up [inaudible] nowadays to not go in studio versus on virtual like there’s just no excuse. All you have to do is hit something and I’m right there with. So sometimes people can even hit that even more and go, “Oh my gosh, I’m really in pain today. Can you squeeze me in?”  
 Of course, I’m going to squeeze someone and that’s not feeling well. So it’s really encouraging people to say, “Let’s look at the self-care for you right now and shut the room.” I don’t care what the room looks like. I actually in some ways can see someone’s body even more so via the Zoom than I can in person. Because in person I’m going to walk all around and I’m going to touch them and I’m going to feel. But when I’m looking at you in Zoom, there’s literally nothing you can hide from me and in class there really isn’t. But I mean in Zoom, it’s like you’re Zoomed in. You really can’t hide anything.  
 So I really do think that there’s significant benefits to being in studio and being social and being with your friends, and why that’s important in getting out. And I think that there’s equally as many benefits to why staying home and being able to really take care of yourself and still honor your family life and honor your work life at the same in time, that balance which is difficult. I mean, I don’t know that we ever balance it, but we sure do try. So it gives you that opportunity to do that for sure.  
Murs Tariq:Yeah, I would agree. I used to be the guy that really loves going into the gym and having that repetition and that type of scenario. But then I think it does come down to what works best for you. And so a year and a half ago we had our first kid and all of a sudden the idea of leaving the house and going to the gym just became near impossible. And so we started, we bought a Peloton a bit ago and started accumulating some equipment here and there in the garage. And all of a sudden now I can never see myself going back to the gym.  
 Because I get so much more time back just being able to, like you said, hop in a room and just get it done. No excuses. It’s right there. You can’t ignore it. Yeah, I think virtual for me is now the way to go. Two years ago I wouldn’t have said that.  
Jennifer Pilate…:Right. And I mean think of the savings. You have the financial savings, you have a times savings, which time is priceless and your health is priceless. So I agree with you and I think that’s great. Congratulations on the baby by the way.  
Murs Tariq:Aww, thanks.  
Radon Stancil:So could you tell us a little bit about like how people … Because I mean I’m listening. Every time you say perfect candidate, I’m like the perfect candidate. I got a bad back, lower back hurts, shoulders, all that stuff. And I’m like, “Okay, I am like evidently a perfect candidate.” So how is it that somebody could work with you? Where would they go? What would they do? Can you walk us through what that looks like?  
Jennifer Pilate…:Sure. So they would go to my website, jenniferpilates.com and they would send a message and say, “Hey, I heard you. I think I’d really like to do some Pilates with you.” And I would have an intro call. So we have a complimentary intro call. I get to know you. I hear what your story is. And then I customize a plan for you. And I’ve always done that with my clients. There is a guarantee that Joseph Pilates himself came up with and it said in 10 … In 10 minutes, that would be great. He’s probably like, “Jennifer.”  
 In 10 sessions, you will feel different. Your body will feel different. You will feel amazing. In 20 sessions, you’ll begin to see like inches and weight and everything changing. And in 30 sessions, you’ll have a new body. For me with my clients when I’ve worked with them, I’ve trimmed that down a little bit. So it’s usually within 10 sessions that you’re really seeing a difference with me. It’s usually within the first three to five, because I say our first three sessions that’s we’re dating. We’re getting to know each other. We’re being a little gentle. We’re just kind of digging in. And then all of a sudden everything changes by the fifth session.  
 And so it’s really great that way to customize it. And then it could be customized, now again, doing virtual. Now that’s changes. Traditionally, someone would always do an hour or a 50-minute and that can be customized too now. For someone who says, “Look, this is my time. This is where I’m at.” Great. What works for you?  
 Whereas having a studio, I would’ve never been able to do that before really. So I feel that there’s so much more flexibility to really working with someone. And again, what is best for you? So yeah, going over to the website, sending a message and we’ll have that consultation and figure out what’s best and begin a program.  
Radon Stancil:Well, I think you have shared a lot of good, good ideas with us. And certainly I would say a majority of us probably have some of those things that you mentioned that would probably make everybody a perfect candidate. So we thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule and coming on and talking with us, and sharing that with us. So we appreciate it very much.  
Jennifer Pilate…:Oh, thank you both so much. I’m so honored to be here and just to be a part of your listening and yeah, your listeners. It’s great. Thank you so much. I appreciate it very much.