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Is Pilates Relevant to Transformetrics?
 
 
mrhealthpatriot mrhealthpatriot is offline
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01-07-2010, 11:56 AM
 
I have performed the exercises in M7 and PYTP for quite a few years now, and I know I am a stronger and fitter because of them. So I was quite surprised to find myself struggling through a set of Classic Pilates abdominal exercises. Over the last couple of months, I have experimented with Classical Pilates. Some of the exercises in Transformetrics are similar to the Pilates mat exercises. On the other hand, I find that when I focus on the mat exercises in Pilates, I neglect other areas such as the calves and biceps. Almost all of the books and DVDs seem to be about the same 30 or so mat exercises. Only a few books and DVDs show anything else.
Some thoughts on Pilates vs Transformetrics:
Transformetrics: Every muscle group gets worked directly
Pilates: Abdominal/Spine/Chest/ -directly
Pilates: Some leg, some arm, mostly indirectly, except for some "advanced" or "specialized" workouts

Transformetrics: builds a strong body using various direct exercises focused on bodyweight
Pilates: builds a strong back and abdomen using more "dance-like" exercises with or without light weights.

Pilates is technique oriented, with certain exercises dependent on mastering basic skills. Transformetrics is technique oriented, but much less so. The focus is on form, thinking, and strength.

Anyway, I thought I would post this, in case some one else was curious about Classical Pilates, or any other form of Pilates exercise. The system has a great history, is used by some physical therapists, and focuses a lot on core stability. However, the system does not cover whole body exercises, such as Transformetrics does, with the Tiger Bend Squats and Hindu Pushups, with the exception of some specific books and DVDs.

I think some of the Transformetrics exercises have a common history of Pilates, and both require control and thought during exercise.
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Andy62 Andy62 is offline
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01-07-2010, 12:33 PM
 
The founder of Pilates borrowed heavily from the principles of yoga. I have never practiced Pilates although I have done some limited reading about it due to my interest in exercise systems. I am sure that with it's origins in yoga principles that it shares some the mind/body charactierics with Transformetrics rather than the strictly muscle movement approach of most strictly western exercise systems.
 
 
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John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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01-07-2010, 01:20 PM
 
Hello Mrhealthpatriot,

Part of the reason for your difficulty is not necessarily strength but has to do with the fact that you are exercising the muscles in a different way with Pilates and there is a learning curve involved. No big deal, physical adaptation will take place rather quickly. But I'm curious, do you practice our Atlas Sit-Ups touching your forehead or chin to your knees? If not I think you would be amazed. Or, have you been performing Superman Wheel Push-Ups from standing? Example: I know a Pilates instructor that cannot perform a single Superman Wheel Push-Up from standing. He had stopped by my offices and was trying to tell me how superior Pilates is to all other forms of exercise so I showed him a few things. He observed me doing 30 Warrior Power T Push-Ups shortly after 30 Pull-Ups in succession and then a while later a set of 20 Superman Wheel Push-Ups. I told him that I can also perform 500 Tiger Stretch Push-Ups in succession and 500 Tiger Bend Squats, and he knew from observing me that everything I stated was No Brag, Just Fact. I showed him 'Chin to mat Bridging', 'Wall Walking' and a few other exercises for good measure. At that point he wasn't so arrogant. Especially considering that he was 25 years my junior and he shut up about Pilates being superior to Transformetrics. I told him that the only reason I demonstrated what I did was so that he would get off his arrogant high horse.

One problem that I personally have with the Pilates method is that everyone is expected to do the exercises in exactly the same way regardless of strength to body weight ratio, weight distribution, and natural leverage. Naturally, it works for some people but certainly not for everyone. I personally believe that every person needs to feel free to adjust and adapt every exercise to personal maximum advantage. Nothing wrong with Pilates. In fact, it's a great system and very therapeutic. But it all depends on what it is that one is out to accomplish. If it's functional strength and physique then Transformetrics is an excellent system.

---John Peterson

Last edited by John Peterson; 01-07-2010 at 01:24 PM.
 
 
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Greg Newton Greg Newton is offline
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01-07-2010, 07:31 PM
 
This is an interesting topic. I picked up a few things from a Windsor Pilates book, but overall, the movements seem very complicated. You would need a good instructor to work under to prosper from it, just like you couldn't learn karate from a book.

Since John mentioned it, I have to say that my "core" is very strong from doing the Atlas sit-ups several hundred times a day. I say this because I can duplicate different plank and leg raise movements I see in magazines with little difficulty and hold them for the "advanced" times or positions. I've also been lookiing around for an ab wheel to make an appearance at Walmart again. I have no doubt the superman rollouts are doable for me now.

Mastering the Atlas sit-up took time for me, and I definitely don't have the best leverage in the world for that movement, BUT it has limbered my spine to the point I am slightly taller, 1/4 to 1/2 inch and my abdominal core is much much stronger, as well as leaner, 38 pants compared to 32 pants. And that is 32 pants at 190 pounds, not the 160 pounds I was when I was much younger. I mention the height increase because the last three times I was measured by medical people, I was slightly over 5-10, whereas previously I had always been measured from 5-9 to 5-9 and 3/4's.

The Atlas sit-up is not a mere sit-up. It is a total body type movement that works the whole midsection, stretches the hamstrings and strengthens the muscles in the frontal thigh in an isometric contraction. My back after YEARS of being locked in pain and inflexibility is PAIN FREE. I am also more limber than I have ever been in my entire life, and my posture is different. Even the dry rot (read arthritis) I was suffering in my right hip is gone. The Atlas sit-up definitely had a part to play in that.

Recently I was trashed and misquoted by some idiot scoffer elsewhere on the internet for making this kind of statement about the Atlas situps. That man was and is a fool. There is gold in the kind of exercises John promotes if you will diligently apply yourself. The Atlas-situp wasn't for me when I first started, but over time it became a bread and butter exercise. That is the key right there. Start off with the Tiger Moves, work into the Tiger Bend Pushups and Squats, and then transition into some of the other exercises like Atlas sit-ups. It is about improving yourself over time.
 
 
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April April is offline
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01-07-2010, 11:57 PM
 
Hello,

Maybe I have a little something to add to this discussion.

Before I stumbled upon the Transformetrics system, I was using dumbbells every other day for strength training and on the alternate days I was doing Pilates. I learned Pilates from a video and a few books. I tried to do the Pilates as accurately as possible and would write myself lists of what to remember for each exercise. I would like to comment on my experience with Pilates vs. my experience with Transformetrics.

Pilates was a nice system. With time, I was able to work up to most of the advanced exercises. The thing I didn't like about Pilates was that I had to be on the ground the whole time. I bought an exercise ball and adapted the exercises to the ball, which got me off the ground and made the exercises more fun. But after a while I went back to the original exercises because I didn't think that the ball exercises were exactly the same.

Once I started Transformetrics, I found that my core was being worked even better than with the Pilates exercises. The M7 exercises and many of the others in John's books, which look like arm exercises, have a profound effect also on the core muscles. I found that John's methods worked the whole body, and eliminated the need for other training systems. We've talked about the lithe look and feel that you get from Transformetrics, and with that in mind, I think that whatever I achieved with Pilates was improved upon with Transformetrics alone. Now that I have started on Transformetrics, I have abandoned all other training systems and feel that I am getting everything I need and more with the Transformetrics methods.

Since Greg was talking about the Atlas sit-up, I will mention that after not doing any for about 3 months due to surgery, I tried to do an Atlas sit-up today. I was so disappointed. I mentioned last week that I was still able to do a few push-ups once I started exercising again after 3 months away, but I couldn't do even one Atlas sit-up after being away from it for some months. I had been able to do as many as 50. :( So today, I kept my arms at my sides instead of above my head, and tried sitting up that way, with legs straight and pressed to floor. That worked and so I did a few that way. I will now start building up to the proper form and better numbers. What amazes me about the Transformetrics system is that with patience, commitment, and practice, you can work up to doing things you never thought you could. I am sold on this system.
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mrhealthpatriot mrhealthpatriot is offline
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01-08-2010, 10:49 AM
 
Quote "But I'm curious, do you practice our Atlas Sit-Ups touching your forehead or chin to your knees? If not I think you would be amazed." - If we are talking about the Full Range Atlas Sit-Ups or the Atlas Sit-Up/Knee Ups then I am about 2 to 3 inches away from the knees. Flexibility remains an issue for me. I can perform the Full Range Atlas Leg Raises and touch my toes to the floor without shoes. I am in no way criticizing Transformetrics. Ironically, I found out about bodyweight exercise the day after I bought a gym membership in 2003. One of the advantages of Transformetrics is that one does not need any equipment at all, and the system is adaptable to one's needs. In Classic Pilates, (I don't know about Stott, Windsor, Fusion, etc.) if you want to advance beyond the very limited, specific forms of mat exercises you need to start buying "Pilates" equipment.
Personally, I think that if you want to look like Charles Atlas, Earle E. Liederman, or any other physical culturalist, you should train like they do. I like some "bulk" with my muscle!
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Greg Newton Greg Newton is offline
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01-08-2010, 02:08 PM
 
Quote:
If we are talking about the Full Range Atlas Sit-Ups or the Atlas Sit-Up/Knee Ups then I am about 2 to 3 inches away from the knees. Flexibility remains an issue for me. I can perform the Full Range Atlas Leg Raises and touch my toes to the floor without shoes.
You are just the opposite from me. I can do the situps, but have to work at the full range leg raises. Although, on the sit-up I am not touching my nose to my knees yet. I touch my elbows to my knees. I am not sure I am really built for nose to knees. But, who knows? The more I do this stuff the more I do things I never thought possible.

I did not intend to seem like I was implying you were criticizing Transformetrics. Pilates is an interesting exercise form and I agree that there are common roots. Personally,I get frustrated at the smoke and mirrors that is promoted as fitness advice. I chased the wrong rabbits too many years. I have found that keeping it simple has provided the most benefit and crossover to other forms of exercise.

I agree with John that there will be a slight learning curve in adapting to the Pilates movements again. Re-learning those exercises would be akin to re-learning a martial arts kata that hadn't been practiced in years. Balance, coordination, and fine tuned movement would have to be adapted to again.
 
 
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