It’s my first time to blog about anything fitness-related. For as long as I can remember, I avoided working out. My parents put me through so many workouts in the past, but nothing stuck–until I tried Pilates at Onelife Studio. My first session was on December 30, 2016, which means I had just celebrated my first anniversary with them. For the first time in my life, I was able to work out consistently for an entire year!

My mom convinced me to try Pilates last year because she was worried about my health. I have problems with my lower back. My hamstrings are unnaturally tight. I couldn’t kneel or sit on the floor with my legs outstretched. I couldn’t reach the top row in the cinema without taking a break midway to catch my breath—all while carrying popcorn, soda, and fries.

One year later, I’m still not as strong, healthy, and toned as I’d want to be–but I’m really happy that I was able to stick to a workout for an entire year.

Here are some reasons why I loved Pilates at OneLife Studio (enough for me to last for a year and counting!)

Ambiance & Cleanliness

I know people have different preferences when it comes to their workouts, but noisy, crowded places always stress me out. OneLife Studio is well-lit and squeaky clean. It always smells so good in the studio, too! Despite the workouts being challenging, the ambiance is soothing, serene, and welcoming. Instead of dreading my upcoming workouts, I always look forward to being in the OneLife Studio.

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Location & Accessibility

Because of the Metro Manila traffic, I knew I could sustain a workout only if the place was accessible to me. OneLife Studio is ten to fifteen minutes away from where I live. Parking has never been a problem, too. I frequent their branch in Greenhills, but they also recently opened a new branch in Legaspi Village.

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Locker and CR

I started doing Pilates while I was still in my last semester of school. I went to OneLife before heading to school but didn’t want to go back home just to bathe and do the usual kaartehan ritual I had before class. The lockers and the very clean bathrooms were very helpful.

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Accountability

Even if I enjoy Pilates more than any other workout I’ve tried, there are still days when I just don’t feel like working out. But because I know Anna, my instructor, is waiting for me at the studio, I show up on time. After every workout, I schedule my next workout with Anna or at the front desk. (I usually don’t leave the studio until I have a next workout scheduled.) The results? I show up even when I don’t feel like it. Before I knew it, an entire year has passed. This reminds me of how important accountability is. While I may be sincere in setting goals, being accountable to someone like my Pilates teacher helps me reach those goals.

Honoring Your Own Pace + Celebrating Gradual Improvements

I’ve always been around people who were so much healthier than me. At OneLife, they encouraged me to compete only with myself and to honor my own pace. I remember how happy I was when I was able to reach my toes for the first time!

OneLife offers personal training and group training. Thorugh the personal training sessions, I reaped the benefits of workouts specifically tailored to me and my problem areas (tight hamstring, lower back, cardio, et cetera).

More importantly, my teachers (Anna and Gwen) were so meticulous with the execution of those workouts. For example, when I was asked to lift something, my teacher would always remind me to be mindful of my breathing, to keep my core engaged, and to know which muscles are supposed to be engaged. It’s not good enough to simply lift the object.

I later found out that there were some workouts I failed to do in the past not because I was too weak, but because I wasn’t conscious of my body. I failed to do sit-ups because all my weight was on my neck and shoulders. I totally forgot to breathe while I was doing crunches. (LOL. True story.)

Results After a Year

After one year of Pilates at OneLife, my body feels so much stronger and more flexible. I’m now able to do the poses I wasn’t able to do when I first started out. I can also do more repetitions now. I started to fit into my old dresses again, too! (I don’t fixate on my weight, though. I make it a point not to measure my weight. That means if I did lose weight, which I’m not sure I did, I won’t be able to quantify it.)

Ironically, my trips to the spa became less frequent ever since I started doing Pilates. I used to always feel ngalay all over my body: my shoulders, neck, lower back, and legs. But the nagging ngalay feeling just gradually disappeared.

What I Learned

Even though this post is primarily a feature of my own experience in OneLife Studio, I want to end this post by sharing three things I learned. After all, it’s my first time to ever maintain any kind of workout for a year!

Accountability matters.

I felt accountable to my teacher, and always had an upcoming schedule before leaving the studio. This made me show up even when I wasn’t feeling like showing up.

Honor your own pace.

Progress will look different for different people. Recognizing those tiny, gradual improvements made the journey enjoyable and sustainable.

Systems have more impact than goals.

I’ve always been goal-oriented. Some of the goals I used to set for myself were ridiculous. James Clear wrote this blog post about why systems are more important than goals, and it really changed the way I planned improvements in my life.

If you completely ignored your goals and focused only on your system, would you still get results? For example, if you were a basketball coach and you ignored your goal to win a championship and focused only on what your team does at practice each day, would you still get results? I think you would.

As an example, I just added up the total word count for the articles I’ve written this year. In the last 12 months, I’ve written over 115,000 words. The typical book is about 50,000 to 60,000 words, so I have written enough to fill two books this year.

All of this is such a surprise because I never set a goal for my writing. I didn’t measure my progress in relation to some benchmark. I never set a word count goal for any particular article. I never said, “I want to write two books this year.”

What I did focus on was writing one article every Monday and Thursday. And after sticking to that schedule for 11 months, the result was 115,000 words. I focused on my system and the process of doing the work. In the end, I enjoyed the same (or perhaps better) results.

Price

I usually end all my reviews with a list of suggestions/areas for improvement. The only thing that comes to mind right now is the price. Pilates is relatively expensive compared to other workouts. (And I don’t just mean Pilates at OneLife Studio–I mean Pilates in general).

I’ve personally seen how OneLife Studio invests on its equipment and teachers. All the equipment are clean and working. I’ve never encountered any damaged or dirty equipment the whole year I was there.

There were times this year when the management blocked off schedules to train their teachers further–and different trainers flew in from other countries just to teach them. (They even had practical and written exams–my teacher Anna told me about them).

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I appreciate how there’s an effort from the management side to continuously improve and innovate–and to seek resources internationally. They have the vision to be a world-class Pilates studio. Naturally, these efforts from the management translate to the quality of training that their teachers provide.

While I understand and see the tangible reasons why the prices are relatively high compared to other kinds of workouts, I acknowledge that it’s not something everyone can afford to do regularly–especially the private sessions. But they do have ongoing promos and packages. (You can check out their prices and services here.)

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The price was the main thing that almost stopped me from trying out Pilates last year. But I’m really happy I still gave it a shot–and one year later, I’m still taking Pilates at OneLife. I think that just goes to show that I found it worthwhile and rewarding.

When a friend told me, “Uy pumayat ka! Gumagana ‘yung Pilates mo,” I joked, “Yung pera ko kasi na pang-kain sana, sa Pilates ko na lang iniinvest eh!” I said that as a joke, but I’m willing to give up a portion of my pig-out budget to sustain my Pilates lessons.

Why? Because #PilatesWorks. It did for me, and I hope and trust that it would work for you, too!

This is an unsponsored review. It was not sponsored in cash or in kind. 

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