Maintenance Pilates For Weight Loss

Ana Caban
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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This is a tough but doable Pilates workout, with a concentration on abs moves-if like me you've been doing a lot of fusion workouts of late, you might have forgotten how challenging straight-forward Pilates can be. As the others have said, there is not a lot of form instructions-although Ana does remind you sometimes to keep your body or hips still and she's good about reminding you to hold in your core. Overall though, I do think this workout is best suited for those that have Pilates experience, since proper form is so essential for this type of workout. Additionally, Ana does not show any modifications. The setting is outdoors on a raised platform on a beach, which is a nice bonus for those of us working out in winter months. There is a nice mix of exercises, followed by stretching intervals. As other reviewers have said in more detail, this work out is a collection of a lot of basics, such as: the hundred (of course), single and double leg stretches, seal, criss cross, teaser, the completely bananas teaser 4. Despite some tough intervals, the time passed quickly for me. The workout time was 29 minutes. It goes without saying, but do this on an empty stomach.

Instructor Comments:
Ana has beautiful form, so she's a good choice for the viewer to watch and try to emulate. She doesn't mirror cue, which I find highly annoying as a rule. Particularly since she instructs in voice-over. There's just no excuse for that. Otherwise, I found her instruction clear and easy to understand.



I’m reviewing this workout after previewing and doing each workout once each since receiving this video a week ago.

General workout breakdown: This contains two distinct Pilates routines: a main routine of 30 minutes and a bonus of 15.
The main workout contains controlled sit down, the 100, roll up, single leg circle, rolling like a ball, single leg stretch, double leg stretch, scissors (i.e. single straight leg stretch), double straight leg stretch, criss cross, spine stretch forward, open leg rocker, closed leg rocker, corkscrew, saw, neck roll, single leg kick, double leg kick, shell stretch, neck pull, spine twist, side kick series (front & back, rond du jambe), teaser series (1, 2, and 5), leg pull front prep (i.e. plank), leg pull back prep (i.e. reverse plank), kneeling side kick series (bicycle), mermaid, snake, crab, seal (last one brings you to standing), push ups, and aerobics moves series (knee lift front, front kick, knee lift side, side kick, and jumping jack).
The bonus workout contains aerobics moves series (march, kicks to the front & back, side bends with bounce), controlled sit down, the 100, roll up, single leg circle, rolling like a ball around the clock, single leg stretch w/o arms, double leg stretch w/o arms, scissors, slow criss cross, spine stretch forward (holding final stretch forward), teaser series (3, 2, and 1), rocking, crab, standing foot exercises (similar to the ballet series which moves from plié to relevé or vice versa), “wall sit,” and “split” series (deep standing lunge with boxing, kneeling lunge into crescent pose from yoga and then a side bend in the lunge position).
The overall pace is swift but controlled. I never felt like saying, “C’mon, Ana, hurry up and do the exercise already,” but I also never felt like saying, “Wait, I’m not ready yet!” Ana does a decent number of repetitions: not too few, but never too many.

Level: I’d recommend this to a solid intermediate in Pilates through someone moving from intermediate into advanced. I consider myself a low intermediate at Pilates (about 2 years of experience but still limited strength & flexibility), and I found this suitably challenging, with a few moves almost too advanced for me right now.
I would not recommend this to a beginner to Pilates. While Ana includes some basic instruction and a few form tips, she does not discuss Pilates form and principles in enough detail for someone new to this discipline. Additionally, Ana provides no modifications. I would recommend grabbing an introductory Pilates video, then Ana’s Quick Start, and probably her Intermediate Matwork before reaching for this one. There’s quite a jump from the Quick Start Pilates for Weight Loss to Maintenance Pilates for Weight Loss; I recommend something in between with some of the more advanced moves and/or supplementing your practice with a live class and/or book.
Class: Ana alone, with instruction via voice over.

Music: unobtrusive percussion and/or upbeat instrumental music.

Set: For the main routine, Ana is on a raised platform on a beach, with some solid color flags flapping in the wind, on a bright, sunny day.
For the bonus routine, Ana is indoors on a raised platform with deep blue fabric hanging all around.

Production: It’s the usual high quality sound and picture (and long intro, which I can only fast forward) you expect from Gaiam. The voiceover and moves match up well, and overall I didn’t find the camerawork problematic or distracting.

Equipment: mat (or equivalent). Ana is barefoot for both routines.

Space Requirements: enough space to move your arms and legs around while lying down and kick your legs forwards, sideways, and backwards while standing.

DVD Notes: Both routines are chaptered by exercise (so you can skip those aerobics moves if you want). You can choose to work out with Ana in English or espanol.
A CD, which is supposed to include a 15 minute travel routine among other things, comes with the DVD, but I haven’t listened to it yet.

Conclusion: I’m definitely keeping this one. I like Ana, and I think these are well designed and interesting routines with some moves not generally included in videos. I don’t plan on losing a lot of weight with it, but I do plan on using it to conquer some challenging exercises.
I’d rank Ana’s current matwork videos in this order, from easiest to toughest: Beginning Pilates Matwork, Easy Pilates, Quick Start Pilates for Weight Loss, Cardio Pilates, Intermediate Pilates Matwork, PM Pilates, Maintenance Pilates for Weight Loss (both routines), the Energy Boost Pilates (I and II), and Pilates for Abs.

Instructor Comments:
Ana has a positive, encouraging voice, and she sounds very upbeat here. I feel her personality comes across better here than on previous videos with voiceover. Ana includes more cueing of breath and movement than on the Quick Start (which was admittedly sparse). She doesn’t mirror cue, which isn’t that big of a deal because most of the time you see her from the side. Ana cues and instructs Pilates—no side chatter, and no mention of weight loss (except in her intro to the main routine and at the very end of the bonus routine). I enjoy her as a Pilates instructor. I think she presents the classical Pilates matwork in a way that makes the same old, same old seem fresh, interesting, and doable.



Maintenance Pilates For Weight Loss consists of a DVD and an audio program CD. The DVD is chaptered so that you can select from: Main Program, Bonus Program and Language Option (Espanol and English).

Main Program:

This 28-min. program takes place on Malibu Beach (same location as Ana's Quick Start Pilates For Weight Loss). Ana's alone on the raised wooden platform. It is a beautiful, bright and clear day. The sand is white and clean, and the ocean rushes over rocks in the background. The production quality is outstanding and the instrumental music is similar to that in Quick Start Pilates For Weight Loss. Ana wears an outfit similar to the one she wore in Quick Start Pilates For Weight Loss, except that it is now blue instead of pink. Ana does not consistently mirror cue.

There's a brief intro at the beginning. The program starts with Ana standing at the front of her coral colored mat. Shen then lowers down onto the mat for the hundred. She follows it with the roll up, single leg circles, rolling like a ball, single leg stretch, double leg stretch, criss-cross stretch, spine stretch forward, open leg rocker, closed leg rocker, corkscrew, saw, neck roll, single leg kick, double leg kick, child's pose, neck pull roll up, spine twist, side kick, teaser I, teaser II, teaser V, leg pull front preparation, leg pull back preparation, kneeling side kick, mermaid stretch, snake stretch, crab stretch, seal, single leg plank position push up and standing front and side leg kicks. The program finishes with 5 jumping jacks.

Bonus Program:

The 15-min. bonus mat workout is filmed indoors with Ana alone on a wooden platform. The studio background is blue with small white swirls, to resemble the sky. Ana starts by marching in place. She follows this with front leg kicks, back leg kicks and standing side stretches with arms straight out horizontally (bounce sideways 3 times). Next, lie down onto the mat for the hundred, roll up, single leg circles, rolling like a ball, single leg stretch with no arms, double leg stretch with no arms, scissors, double straight leg stretch, slow motion criss-cross, spine stretch forward, teaser III, rocking (similar to bow pose), child's pose, crab stretch and standing feet exercises: bend at the knees and rise up on the toes and then lower back down with straight legs, stand on one leg with the other leg raised up off the floor and then bend the base leg, standing split, low lunges into Warrior I, low lunges side torso stretch and then roll up to standing position.

20-min. Maintenance Pilates For Weight Loss Audio Program:

Contains 4 tracks with nice upbeat instrumental music:

1. (1:20) Ana starts by saying that Joseph Pilates always said, "in 10 sessions, you'll feel the 20 sessions, you'll see the difference...and in 30 sessions, you'll have a whole new body." Ana congratulates you on your results. Ana states that your new goals need not be weight loss related and she encourages you to reward your successes and to challenge yourself; find a new hobby or activity.

2. (0:54) Ana encourages you to stay on track and to eat a balanced diet. Moderation starts at the grocery store--never shop when you're hungry! Keep a variety in your workouts. Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness--being fit is your choice.

3. (1:19) Ana encourages you to keep a journal. Ask yourself: How are you feeling? Do you like the way you feel? Have you improved your balance, core stability, coordination and posture? How are people reacting to the changes in you? Not all changes are physical--some may be emotional. What changes have you noticed in yourself?

4. (11:56) Mini workout (her instructions are more detailed here than they are on the DVD): lie down on your back for the hundred, roll up, rolling like a ball, open leg rocker, closed leg rocker, teaser II, teaser III, swimming and then roll up to standing in Pilates stance for the plank position push up. The actual workout is just a little over 8 minutes long (the remainder of the workout is nice instrumental music).

In my opinion, Maintenance Pilates For Weight Loss is an intermediate level Pilates practice. Ana assumes that the exerciser is already familiar with the basics of Pilates. Maintenance Pilates For Weight Loss is very similar to Quick Start Pilates For Weight Loss, with the addition of some more-challenging exercises. The pace is faster and there are fewer repetitions.

I'm happy with this one; my body felt strengthened afterwards and my muscles felt warm. I really like Ana as a Pilates video instructor and have enjoyed her workouts thus far.

Instructor Comments:
Ana Caban is a certified Pilates instructor who is a former professional dancer. She is also a Spanish Language instructor.

Ana cues in voice over, which is consistent with her on-screen movements. She speaks clearly, enthusiastically and affirmatively. However, she does not consistently mirror your movements.

Leslie (blue_hydrangea)