Pilates Plateau

Jul 1, 2013    •    1574 Views

Dear Alexa,
I started doing Pilates 2 months ago to get in shape for the summer. I noticed huge improvement in first few weeks but lately have seen my fitness level plateau. What’s going on?

Let me start by saying that what you are experiencing is very common in the world of fitness. About two years ago I had a similar experience when I switched from doing cardio-centered workouts to attending yoga classes daily. You see, even though you might not hear this phrase thrown around in the gym, you are actually experiencing the Law of Diminishing Returns. This principle explains that if you increase the factors of production, that there will eventually be a decrease in total production and overall effectiveness.

For example, let’s pretend for a moment that you are the head of a gym that guarantees your customers perfectly sculpted and fit bodies in six months. Now imagine that one day your clients desire to alter their weekly workout regimen so that they are taking Pilates classes five times a week and in addition to their day off, running one day a week. While all of the Pilates classes they are taking will increase their flexibility and muscle strength, the same increase will not hold true for their endurance and ability to do high intensity cardio work outs. So, although your clients will be increasing one factor of production towards their entire product, their body, the overall output of a perfectly well-rounded and fit body will eventually diminish. You see, Lizzie, though you are improving your body by attending Pilates classes, your cardio-respiratory endurance, a facet of fitness, is not increasing.

Now, while I do admire my fellow Yogis and Pilates enthusiasts, you might want to consider balancing your workout schedule by adding in some kick boxing classes or daily runs. If you do this, I promise that in the next few weeks, not only will you have improved abs, but also stronger, slimmer legs and better lungs!


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