Welcome to Workout Wednesdays! Each Wednesday, we will be providing you with the inside scoop on all things fitness! This week read about how Real Pilates revived our fitness light. 

These days most people have dabbled in Pilates whether it be a video or an actual class. But not everyone has had the chance to train with Pilates guru extraordinaire, Alycea Ungaro. Her career spans 20 years and includes the opening of Real Pilates and countless books. Oh yeah, did we mention she has trained Madonna, Molly Sims and Christy Turlington! Read our exclusive interview below to find out how Ungaro has kept classic Pilates )that focuses on scientifically proven techniques) alive.

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Photo via Real Pilates

What makes Real Pilates stand out?

Everything about is authentic. We give real information, real training and real results. We use the toughest springs and the scientifically based programming to address total body strength and performance. Our pet peeve is Pilates training that focuses on feel good stretches and deep breathing. Real Pilates makes use of the best techniques for real life training no matter your level.

Tell us about your background as a fitness instructor?

I was originally a professional Ballet dancer and had started Pilates at the age of 14. I taught dance for years and realized I loved teaching, but I wanted to learn more.I trained to teach Pilates and I went to NYU for physical therapy. That led to the opening of my business. Since then I have devoted to bulk of my time to training clients and creating Pilates programs that get legitimate results.

Photo via Real Pilates

Photo via Real Pilates

What’s the one thing you always do when planning a class?

Consider the audience. If we have a skier in class, we’ll focus on exercises beneficial for that sport. If we have post-partum mothers we’ll tackle the abdominals and low back. We have the luxury of having a consistent pool of clients and can plan classes according to attendance.

Describe the atmosphere? Ideal demographic? All levels?

All levels are welcome at Real Pilates. The atmosphere is focused but very down to earth. You’ll hear both grunting and laughing when you come through the door. Our largest community is women 35 – 60 but we have more and more men coming to class every day.

What is your go-to pre & post workout snack?

As a nutritionist, I can say that snacks are not your best strategic eating plan. I focus on having a proper breakfast and lunch and if I need to fuel up after a workout, I will grab a high fiber fruit like a pear or some blackberries.

What is your ultimate health/fitness tip you swear by?

Improve your sleep.  Appropriate levels of hormones impact your health, your weight, your skin and everything else. If you can get your sleep habits under control you will have more energy and motivation than you ever thought possible.

What is your favorite workout move?

The Pilates Swan. Gravity is an enemy of our posture and spinal health. The Swan allows us to lie on our bellies and then work our spinal muscles in opposition to gravity.  We get stronger, longer, taller and it only takes 30 seconds (pictured below).

Photo via Real Pilates

Photo via Real Pilates

I always tell people who are intimidated to take my class to?

Show up anyway. You’ll be shocked how real and regular we are. I don’t teach to show off or impress. I teach to help you be your best you. That’s what gets me up in the morning.

When I’m teaching, I’m most impressed by a student who?

Takes corrections. Exercise is so hard and we spouting step-by-step instructions rapid fire. When I see a student working hard and adjusting their moves to reflect my corrections, I’m always really impressed.

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