Dear Annie: Pilates is Here to Stay

Dear Annie: Pilates is Here to Stay


Dear Ms. Annie Lowrey,

Have you ever seen a nice, polite lady from the South get really, really mad?

Well, that was me a little over a month ago after reading your New York Magazine article, “The Pilatespocalypse: How the Method that Started the Boutique-Fitness Trend is Going Bust.” You say that Pilates is over, that it isn’t as popular or relevant as the other “boutique-fitness” classes like spin or CrossFit. You write that Pilates class attendance is lower than ever and that studios everywhere are struggling to stay open. For gosh sakes, you call Pilates a fad.

Dear Annie: you are wrong.

Pilates: Your Favorite Pair of Blue Jeans

First of all, let’s get something clear: The Pilates Method cannot be compared to the likes of spin, barre, boot camp, CrossFit, pole dancing, etc. Simply stated, the Pilates Method has been around since the 1920’s, and as more people are introduced to the world of Pilates its following only continues to grow. It doesn’t belong in the same list as those other brand of fitness with boutique-style workouts.

In 1926, Joseph Pilates emigrated to the U.S. and opened the first Pilates studio in New York.
In 1926, Joseph Pilates emigrated to the U.S. and opened the first Pilates studio in New York.

You write that nobody wants to do Pilates anymore because compared to CrossFit or spin class, it’s too quiet, antisocial and it doesn’t make you sweat. Annie, have you ever even taken a Pilates class!? First off, when done correctly with precision, form and control—trust me—Pilates practice will make you sweat. If you knew how many loads of towels we go through every day here at ABC Pilates, or took a class and could hear us laughing, encouraging one another and grooving to the music, you might change your tune.

Besides, even if Pilates isn’t the most sweat-inducing workout, this recent mentality that the fitness world has adopted that one has to overexert oneself or blast one’s body with pure cardio every workout to get results is just plain ignorance. Our bodies benefit more when they are worked properly, not heavily. The truth is that those hardcore, heart-pounding, pumping-and-jumping workouts take a severe toll on your body, leading to overuse injuries that can keep you from exercising at all. On the plus side, that just might lead you into a physical therapy clinic where they will promptly give you Pilates-based exercises to make your body well again.

Surviving and Thriving

A full, high-energy group class at ABC Pilates.

While there may be some U.S. Pilates studios closing here and there, we must remember that Pilates is world-wide. On the other hand, you choose to use the 300 Pure Barre studios in the U.S. as a ruler. How can we compare national to international? America’s latest trend’s growth spurt to a nearly-century-old practice’s worldly omnipresence? Your article mentions that a market research firm, IBISWorld, found that the number of people doing Pilates declined about 2 percent per year every year between 2007 and 2011. Well, I think that they forgot to survey us over here at the ABC Pilates studio, as well as many other local studios that I know for a fact continue to grow. Where did they conduct this survey anyway, New York City where the price of rent has skyrocketed?

What the fad?

Now, we’ve come to the part of your article that irked me the most. You cite the American College of Sport Medicine Survey by saying it “floated the theory that Pilates was a fad, not a trend.” Then, icing on the cake: one of your sources ludicrously lumps Pilates in with Zumba. To that, all I can say is that there is a reason why so many elite physical therapy clinics, such as Rausch Physical Therapy & Sports Performance, use Pilates modalities to successfully rehabilitate their patients, as I mentioned earlier. I have yet to hear of any physicians or physical therapists making a patient do Zumba!

Listen up, Annie. Pilates is not a high-fashion, designer dress that’s in style for a season, it’s a good pair of classic blue jeans.

There is a ton more ranting about this article that I could get in to, but I will refrain with a big warm smile like the southern belle I am. I’ll simply leave you with this: the Pilates Method is not just surviving, it’s thriving. Oh, and Annie? Get your butt into one of my Pilates classes soon for a full-body, timeless workout that will leave you feeling positively great.

ABC Pilates Studio Manager & Instructor




I joined ABC looking for a yoga studio but found pilates was more of my speed. This is not just a place to exercise but an environment where friends come together to get fit, healthy, and happy.
I love the instructors who take good care of everyone. I always get the best encouragement possible! I also like the small class sizes for anything from yoga and pilates to Zumba and TRX.
Thanks, ABC Fitness Studio, for making being healthy fun!
— Candice D.
When my wife convinced me to try ABC Fitness, little did I know it would become an almost daily fixture in my life.
I enjoy multiple classes weekly and each is very special in approach to strength, balance, core, flexibility, and overall fitness. Feeling better and stronger physically leads to more enjoyment in all activities.
I feel stronger and fitter and look forward to continuing to rely on ABC Fitness as an integral part of my life.
— John T.
I’ve been doing pilates for almost 3 years now, and I feel stronger and have improved functionally in my daily activities
I was recommended by my physical therapist when I was a patient with many joint problems. My PT thought Pilates would help me, and it did!
I feel stronger, and have a better tone, range of motion, and a stronger core. I can get up from a low sofa with less effort now as my core plus legs are stronger; I owe all these improvements to Pilates. My teacher is patient and kind, always helpful — thank you!
— Surinder B.
ABC has a great variety of group classes, which allows me to take multiple classes and challenge my body in different ways. It keeps the workouts fun and interesting. It helps me reduce stress and keeps me strong!
— Natalie M.
I certainly enjoyed the Pilates session with Charlotte — it provides some pain relief, increased flexibility, and makes me want to be more active.
— Joni
I have been with ABC for about 7 years, and its biggest benefit has to be no more lower back pain and much more flexibility. Love it here!
— Mike P.
I love ABC Fitness!!! Over the years, I’ve worked out at many places, but this is the first one I absolutely love — so much so that I usually come 7 days a week! What is so special are the small classes that mean lots of individual attention, the extraordinarily knowledgeable instructors, and the nice variety of classes. It has been a huge benefit to my well-being.
— Linda T.
My balance has definitely improved, and I feel stronger. The ABC classes are wonderful! Zumba has always been a joy. Great to dance, dance, dance!
— Brenda
ABC has helped me heal from knee surgery. The classes and teachers are amazing! It is a very welcoming and friendly studio.
— Helene C.



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