New York Style Pilates - Level 3

Jonathan Urla
Year Released: 2004

Categories: Pilates/Core Strength

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Pilates is something I've never got into great depth with, but have practiced on and off for 14 years (with classes and DVDs).

This morning I felt like I needed something "core oriented" so I dug out this DVD (my go to Pilates DVD, "Element Pilates Slim & Tone" is with a friend).

I was pleasantly surprised, I had done this workout years ago and found it too rushed, so I put it away and forgot about it. But this time I got into it more because the exercises are now more familiar to me. The sequence is similar to that on Element Slim & Tone, but done at a quicker pace. I think the workout is about 35 minutes long, but felt like less.

The reviewer below gives a list of the exercises, so I don't need to list them out again, but a couple of other exercises are included such as Seal and Boomerang, which appear towards the end.

I'd say this is a good workout that doesn't feel too long and no time is wasted (something I like in a workout, especially as I workout in the mornings), I did still feel that it is a bit rushed, but I think if I do this several times I'll get used to the sequence and find it easier, and then hopefully be able to do the exercises with better form.

I also enjoyed that it felt like a well rounded workout. Pilates workouts can sometimes feel too ab oriented for my liking, so it is nice to get a lot of leg work in (e.g. there is a side lying leg series and a kneeling leg series). The workout ends with some pushups too so the upper body is not neglected.

I liked this workout enough to want to do it again, I struggled with the more advanced exercises (e.g. teaser, jacknife, boomerang and a side plank one) even following the modifier, but I prefer workouts that give me a lot to work up to.

The instructor and one of the backgrounders uses a pilates pole for many of the exercises, but it is very easy to do without. In fact, a few exercises in I barely even noticed the pole being used.

There is a bonus standing workout which uses a pilates pole and resistance band. I haven't tried it but watched it through, I thought it looked too fussy (all that messing about with a band). I tried a resistance band workout in the past and got annoyed with it, I don't like fussing about with equipment!

If you already have "Element Pilates Slim & Tone" I'm not sure if you will get much more out of this one (other than a change of scenery / new instructor), as the sequence is fairly similar. But if you have solid Pilates experience and are looking for something fast paced, this should suit you.

Instructor Comments:
The instructor seems friendly enough, he doesn't really go into detail or give form pointers, but this is something I also like as it increases the longevity of a workout (I also like Tracy Anderson as an instructor, who is not exactly known for being chatty!). He refers to the background exercisers as "my girls", some might not like that, but I think it is kind of cute, it doesn't seem to be said in a derogatory way (he does also mention that they are "fellow instructors" and mentions that one of them is the best at doing the Boomerang exercise).



About Me: Iím an advanced exerciser, though Iím not sure what level Iím at in my Pilates practice. Iíve never taken a live class or worked with an instructor. I can do the advanced section of the Classical Pilates DVD with modifications (and boy do I feel it!). I also like Fit Chic, Ana Caban/Gaiamís Intermediate Mat, Hilary Burnettís intermediate, as well as Jonathanís Yogilates 2.

Set: Studio with hardwood floor, white wall behind exercisers, candles lined up on the floor behind them and on the sides. Rather spartan, but I didn't really mind it.

Chapter Menu:
1. Hundred
2. Leg Circles
3. Abdominal Series: single leg stretch, double leg stretch, single straight leg stretch, double straight leg stretch, criss-cross, spine stretch, open leg balance and rocker, corkscrew, saw
4. Swan
5. Neck Pull
6. Spine Twist
7. Side Kick Series: side double leg lifts, front and back, up and down, little circles, hot potato, battements, inside leg lifts, inside leg circles, clam, star stretch, heel beats, flutter kicks, double prone leg lifts.
8. Teaser
9. Kneeling Side Kicks (includes side planks and mermaid)
10. Pilates Push-Ups

The DVD also includes a bonus standing workout, about 12 minutes long, with just Jonathan using a Pilates pole and band. You could substitute a light dumbbell for some of the exercises.

Music: Jazzy instrumental. Pleasant but not distracting or particularly attention-getting.

Workout: The workout is about 38 minutes long, not including the bonus. It includes a wide variety of exercises, which I liked. While he cues well, Jonathan doesnít give many form pointers, or describe what each exercise does for your body. The exercises have a good flow. He seems to fit a lot into those 38 minutes. One background exerciser shows modifications.

Somehow, I just don't think of this workout as truly advanced. It's complete, but not advanced. Fit Chic and Classical Pilates make me feel like I've done much more, and in less time with fewer exercises. I sort of felt like I was going through the motions of doing Pilates, but it just didn't work me. The day after, I felt my obliques, but that was it.

While it's a complete workout, I don't feel like it really adds anything to my collection, so off to the swap it goes! It would probably be good for someone who wants something a little below the level of the advanced workout on the Classical Pilates DVD, with a different feel (to the instructor and set).

Instructor Comments:
Jonathan is in green tank top and cropped pants. He has a very calm, relaxing manner and is warm and personable in this workout. It bothered me, though, that he kept calling the background exercisers (in green capri leggings and yellow tank tops) ďgirls.Ē I liked him in Yogilates 2, and wanted to like him here, but that terminology sort of grated on me.