Q&A On Functional Training with Rosa Reeve

1) What exercises and equipment will I need at home?
At home we can use your body weight for weight-bearing exercises. We can use towels and bands for resistance. A Swiss ball, mat and a few lightweights are all you need for Pilates-based moves.

2) How do I get a flat tummy?
It is not possible to spot reduce in any one area. However, Pilates exercises focus on strengthening the muscles supporting your spine and the deep stomach muscles (your core muscles), making these muscles tighter and more compact. This generates significant inch loss in the areas around the rib cage and waist, as well as improving posture in daily life and reducing or eliminating back pain. Please see the section ‘The benefits of Pilates’ for more information. Click here for our Pilates Page

3) How will you tailor the exercise plan for me?
Everyone has different health and fitness goals and we look at every client individually. We complete a health questionnaire, considering injuries and past health history. We carry out a postural analysis and movement assessment and also check for any imbalances in your muscles. Armed with this information, we combine exercises to focus on your personal needs and targets. For example, if you are female and want to lose weight, we can combine weight training with cardiovascular exercises in a circuit format, depending on YOU and your abilities. We have clients of all ages with different levels of coordination! If you are male, for example, and want to increase your muscle mass, we can focus on lower reps and higher sets.

4) How often do I need to exercise to get results?
Everyone is different, with different body types and different goals. If you exercise at least 3 times a week, you will definitely see results. You also need adequate rest periods to allow muscles to recover, as well as enough sleep, good nutrition and effective lifestyle changes to enhance your general health. Exercise is key, but we can help you make other small positive changes to boost your energy levels and aid weight management, for example through healthy eating at the most effective times of the day.

5) I have been doing the same routine for years but have stopped seeing results. Why is this?
Always vary your workout routine every 4-6 weeks, whatever your specific aims. By shocking the body with a change of routine you are less likely to hit a plateau and benefit more fully from your workouts. For example, introduce intervals (periods of higher intensity workouts) within your cardio routine and change the sets and reps you do with your weights.

6) How will you motivate me and what advice do you offer?
We keep you motivated by setting personal targets each month that you can achieve and even surpass. These targets range from achieving a 5k run or a marathon to how many press-ups you can do. Focusing on improving your health and fitness with us really helps motivate you and makes your workouts more enjoyable.

7) I am a classic pear shape and want to lose weight around my bottom and thighs. What do you suggest?
For women who have a tendency to be ‘bottom-heavy’ and accumulate weight on their legs and bottom, we recommend Pilates exercises specific to this area combined with running or non-impact cardio-based exercises. This can be combined with full body and upper body weight training to help with fat loss.

8) If I do weight training, will I bulk up and look like a weightlifter, as a female?
As a woman you will not bulk up through weight training. This is because women’s bodies do not have enough testosterone, the hormone that helps build muscle. Men have a lot more testosterone in their bodies and even they find it a challenge to build muscle. Eating protein at regular intervals, as well as getting the adequate amount of nutrients, sleep and relaxation, all comes into play. How hard do you think it is for females? Answer – VERY HARD. Hence, through weight training women are able to increase their metabolism and muscle mass to become toned and defined, and lose fat.

9) Why is weight training more effective than cardio training for fat loss?
After training with weights your basal metabolic rate is increased, not just during and after your training, but throughout the day. With cardio training your metabolism is raised throughout the session and you probably burn more calories during the session, although your metabolism drops soon afterwards. More calories are burned through weight training in the long term. The higher your muscle mass, the more calories are burned – so your body can be turned into a fat-burning machine.

10) I have Osteoarthritis and my movement is limited at times. Can I still get results with you and what exercise is best for me?
Pilates is a perfect form of exercise for people with Osteoarthritis. The mobilising of the joints helps stimulate fluid production around the joints, allowing them to move more freely and with less pain. Non-weight bearing cardio-based exercise is also a great way to increase your fitness effectively and burn more calories. With Osteoarthritis, capacity for movement can differ from day to day and we recommend various options so that there is always some form of effective exercise you can do. The same principles apply for clients with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Osteoporosis. We focus on weight bearing exercises for Osteoporosis to help increase bone density.

11) I have an injury in my lower back. Can you help?
One of our specialities is rehabilitation. We work through an exercise programme tailor-made for you, which is progressive and safe and dependent on the type of injury you have. We incorporate a lot of Pilates exercises into rehabilitation as we have found them very effective. Rosa draws from her medical knowledge to assist and refer you to the appropriate care you need. She is also running Medical and GP Referral classes in Pilates for back pain to help you get back to your normal activities in your daily life and advance you further.

12) Am I too old or too heavy to exercise?
You are never too old to exercise! If you are not used to exercise, we take things gradually, trying out Pilates and other exercises to see which are best for you. Our clients range from 22 years to 70 years of age, all choosing a variety of exercises and finding benefits in all types. Age should never be a barrier. If you are severely overweight, we would need your medical history and a letter from your doctor advising that it is safe for you to exercise. We want to help you whatever your goal, whatever your age or fitness. We guide you every step of the way through safe, fun and effective workouts.