Belles: We have enjoyed all of your 10 Minute Solutions workouts, and you are obviously very knowledgeable about pilates. Is pilates your main workout regime or do you mix it up with other genres? Lara: Pilates is my main foundation, but I love to mix it up! I run in the morning, and I always look for new classes around town, including yoga, traditional weight training (hard!), and hip hop classes (fun!). My new Chicago group fitness facility,The Mercury Method, combines the best elements of strength training, Pilates, yoga and endurance conditioning into one incredible total body workout. So it’s important that I continually experience what’s new and exciting in the exercise world, so I can take those elements that resonate with me and incorporate them into my signature workout method.
Belles:Why do you think Pilates is becoming so popular in the fitness industry as of late? Lara: Because Pilates has become much more accessible and people see – and feel – the amazing results! More people are working out at home with DVD’s such as the 10-Minute Solution: Pilates series because it not only improves they way look – leaner muscles, smaller waistband, defined arms, better posture – but it also improves the way they feel – they stand taller, their low backs feel great, their stress levels are lower, and they have sharper mental clarity and a zeal for life! Why wouldn’t you commit to an exercise method so well-designed and so powerful that it can provide all these things and more?
Belles: What is the best piece of health or fitness advice you can offer to our readers? Lara: My best piece of advice is to find instructors who ‘speak your language’. There are so many DVD’s and classes out there, and the thing that helps me stick with a workout routine is the quality of the instructor. A good instructor is a ‘people person’ who loves to teach, who finds innovative ways of explaining the exercises, who knows how to motivate, encourage and challenge me to hang in there when I want to give up, and who makes exercising fun! Your connection with your instructor is the magic dust that will help you stick to an exercise program.
Belles: For those exercisers who believe that Pilates is too easy and isn’t for them or if you are not working hard then it’s not a workout. What do you have to say to them about the importance of incorporating Pilates into their workout routines? Lara: Pilates gives you a muscular foundation so that you can do all your other activities better. Whether you’re walking, running, swimming, biking, dancing – or even just horsing around with your kids! – your core is strong and stable from the hips to the shoulders, and your muscular system is balanced so you have greater flexibility. My new workout, The Mercury Method, will integrate these ‘core foundation’ elements with large muscle strength training, stamina-building cardio conditioning, and limb-elongating yoga. And with the unification of these fitness approaches, no one will leave my class thinking the workout was too easy!!
Belles: Fitness beliefs are constantly evolving as to the “best way” to reach a fitness goal. With so much information out there, how do you recommend individuals weed through all the information? Lara: Recent scientific studies on exercise prove that there really is no single ‘right way’ to get fit, so we have to experiment a bit to get a regimen that works for our body. Look for classes that are convenient both geographically and in terms of schedule. If you don’t have access to classes, then invest in DVD’s from different fitness methods – the ’10-Minute Solution’ series is great because they have programs in PIlates, yoga, weight training, cardio dance, boot camp – you name it! Find those instructors that motivate you, and you’ll be stronger, leaner and healthier in no time. ’Like’ me on Facebook or follow me @listentolara to read up on my personal fitness tips and tricks, or work out with me at the Mercury Method in Chicago - I’ll transform you from the inside out with my signature style of Tough Love!