Elevate Your Workout

Elev8 Pilates Tones, Burns and Strengthens

After sitting at a desk for eight hours, nothing feels better than a good workout. Here in the Gables there are plenty of options, with streetfront gyms popping up like coffee shops. You can box, run, lift, even bicycle underwater. Or you can try that trendy discipline known as Pilates.

Pilates focuses on controlled movement to work one particular muscle group at a time. It improves flexibility, builds strength and improves coordination and balance. The exercise also emphasizes alignment. Improper alignment is a major cause of back pain, which is why some may seek the form of exercise as an antidote.

One of the newest Pilates studios, Elev8 Pilates, is on the second floor of the 1001 Ponce de Leon Blvd. building, in the northern stretch of Ponce where office buildings abound – as does easy parking, especially toward the end of the day. It was opened by Pilates pro Simon Sliva in June, with Jessica Bircann as his lead instructor.

There are two different types of Pilates: mat and reformer. In mat Pilates, the entire class is done, well, on a mat. Elev8 uses “reformers,” machines that have a number of springs and straps to work different muscles. The Gables studio goes above and beyond by offering different types of reformers: the traditional and a “new and improved gravity machine,” the Encompass GTS.

“We try to make this studio unique not only with our new equipment, but also with our very own branded method of Pilates training,” Sliva says.

The studio has two rooms: one for classes and one for private sessions. We took Sliva’s Total Pilates class. This isn’t some high intensity cardio routine; Pilates enables you to get a good workout without sending your heart rate through the roof. You focus on one or two muscle groups at a time, strengthening them through isolated movements.

The focus is always the abdominal core, so even while doing leg, glute or arm exercises, the core is still engaged. The legs and abs are worked by doing leg presses and “jumping” off of the base board. When you turn out your legs into a “Pilates V,” you really start to feel your inner thighs burning. To work the biceps and triceps, you sit on a box atop the reformer and pull yourself forward using the straps.

The intensity level is changed by the red, blue and yellow springs. Don’t be surprised if Simon adds a spring in the middle of a set, intensifying the burn. But he’ll deny it and say it was “magic.”

If you’ve been doing Pilates for seven years, you’ll be fine. If not, like any workout, it will be challenging at first, but it gets easier as you get stronger. If you are a beginner, they offer 30-minute intro classes.

One of the things we loved about the Elev8 studio was the class size. There are only half a dozen reformers in the room, creating an intimate feel where the instructors can pay close attention to you and your form, making adjustments if needed to avoid injury. Packages for regular classes are available for four ($130), eight ($245), 12 ($335), or unlimited ($250) sessions. Private classes are available.

One thought on “Elevate Your Workout

  • October 12, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    From all of us here at Elev8 Pilates we would like to give a big thank you to the Coral Gables Magazine for making this Article for our studio..
    thank you very much,

    Simon Sliva
    Owner Elev8 Pilates

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