Kobe Bryant, Tom Brady, Tiger Woods. What do they all have in common? Well besides the countless trophies, awards and 20,000 square foot mansions, all three of these athletes frequently practice pilates. The fact of the matter is that pilates is continuing to gain exposure across more demographics, including men. People are continuing to see it’s very different than yoga and focuses more on core strength, centering and balance. The practice is also a contributor to flexibility and range of motion, which is catching the eyes of many big name sport athletes.
Down in Pennsylvania lies Absolute Pilates complete with 5 locations and their fearless leader, Allison Zang. Allison let her passion take over her life 15 years ago and has been teaching ever since. “I started practicing when I got an injury in college and I fell in love with it. It was a part time gig but I just realized happy people are those who do what they love. So I went for it.”
A big focus for our conversation was how the world views the practice and what gets Allison to gain more clients. People tend to box the users into mainly females and males tend to stay away. What the boys are missing out on is an exercising method that is performed on specialized equipment with resistance. It is not focused on meditation like yoga but more for the exercises and gaining core strength.
A big selling point is also the increase in the range of motion which is catching the eyes of more and more professional athletes. “All of these people that continue to come in are seeing benefits of range of motion, pain reduction and the strength for their specific need. We taylor workouts for specific sports and cross train with the athletes.” Allison also mentioned that her male clients are some of her most loyal. Once they come in, they’re hooked and tend to come in multiple times a week.
One of the most surprising realizations was the different variations and classes that are offered. Absolute has racked up 20 classes that are offered on their schedule that you can view right on their website! They have programs for new moms, brides to be and they even have classes to train teachers who are looking to get into the practice. If you’re ever in the PA area, be sure to take a class at Absolute Pilates!