Does Pilates Actually Work?


Does Pilates actually work? Well, the first thing to clarify is what is your goal when it comes to Pilates? If it’s to exercise your full body in a safe and effective way, well, the answer is yes! 

There really are so many benefits to praticing Pilates. But the 2 reasons why we believe Pilates actually works, is that: 

  1. it’s enjoyable, and
  2. easy to fit into a busy schedule. 

The reality is (prepare yourself, AHA moment coming!), many different varieties of exercise work… but only if you do them consistently. 

If you’ve always struggled with creating a consistent exercise regime, it’s probably because:

  1. you haven’t found a workout you like, or
  2. your schedule does not permit the chosen workout 

Seriously, are you really going to run 5 times a week if you hate running? 

And are you actually going to get to that studio for the 5:30pm class when you continually struggle to leave the office at 5pm? Let alone, drive, find a park and get changed? 

Ahh, we feel exhausted thinking about it!

And if you haven’t found a workout you love, we’d suggest you start with Pilates! Actually, why not sign up to our Free Program of 10 Minute Yoga and Pilates classes. You never know, you might just love it!


Pilates really is one of the best forms of exercise for improving posture, building lean muscle and of course, creating core strength, but it’s also so accessible. 

Meaning, that you actually don’t need to go to the fancy Pilates studios to feel the benefits. 

We do love Reformer Pilates, the springs and pulleys add another level to resistance weight training but often the classes are quite expensive, around $25-$30 for a single class. This is why, we personally love mat Pilates and why we created our MerryBody Online Studio, so you can experience our Pilates workout classes in the comfort of your own home. 

I’ve (Emma) been a Pilates instructor for 4 years but I’ve been practising for many more! In fact, I first started Pilates at home with my Winsor Pilates DVDs to help my scoliosis. Then all of us (Carla, Mum and I) would go to the local gym for our weekly BodyBalance classes. 

Although we’ve always consistently exercised, Pilates (and Yoga) have been part of our lives for the longest. This is because it’s not just an exercise for your physical body, it’s also extremely beneficial for your mental health too. 

It’s an exercise method that helps you feel good about yourself. You will always finish a Pilates class, not just with stronger core muscles, but in a great mood,  a sense of accomplishment and you’ll even probably feel taller! 

It’s a proven form of exercise, it’s been around since the early 20th century. Invented by Joseph Pilates, it was created during World War 1 and then taken over to NYC in the 1920s where it got the attention of the NYC school of ballet! It’s really quite a fascinating story (read more over here!).

But how many hours of Pilates exercise do I need to do each week?

This is a common question we hear often but there is no common answer.

You see, each and every one of us lead different lives, therefore our workout schedules look different. 

It all depends on how much time you have available.  Do you have kids? What are your other commitments? What about your current health/fitness situation?

If we were to say:

You should practice Pilates at least 3-5 times a week. Also at least 2 Yoga sessions along with a few well paced walks. 

This would be terrible advice! 


Because in fact, this happens to be our schedule and it works really well for us. But, we don’t have kids, we work from home, our schedules are not crazy and we are both injury free, fit and healthy. 

For you, a better answer might be 2-4 times a week. Or it could be to do Pilates training every single day! 

Only you really know the answer BUT this is also why we chat with our Members and help them work out their perfect weekly schedule.

What about Pilates for weight loss?

When you wonder, “does Pilates actually work” maybe you were thinking about weight loss? 

The truth is, for many years we were absolutely obsessed with this thought.

In the past, our goal when it came to all exercise, was to lose weight. It’s like we signed an imaginary user agreement when it came to all methods of exercise. It said, I will only exercise to lose weight or as a punishment for what I ate.

Seriously, we think back and reflect, no matter what we weighed in that given moment, we always wanted to lose 5kgs! 

This way of living brought no joy to our lives, in fact, it perpetuated a deep self-loathing. It led Carla to try every diet ever invented, from the lemon detox to the Dukan diet, it led Emma to Bulimia. 

Our thoughts at this time in our lives rotated around…

I’m so fat, I need to double my workout today. 

I should not have eaten all that over the weekend, I start my new diet Monday.

Urgh, if only I could get rid of this tummy fat. 

I hate this part of my body, it’s so disgusting.

Everything would be better if I could just lose this extra weight. 

This is what Diet Culture does. 

And you’ve more than likely experienced it. 

Remember the 99% fat free marketing era of the 90s? Now it’s low carb and sugar free.

What about those famous words by Kate Moss “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. 

The continuously changing body ideals of women, hourglass, twiggy, athletic, big booty and so on! 

The endless magazine covers shaming women on weight gain and celebrating weight loss. 

This is exactly why we choose not to focus on body weight goals within our fitness program. We’re not saying losing weight is bad, we’re not anti-health, we’re not saying forget about your body and do nothing! 

All we’re saying is that you can let go of weight loss obsession. That you can accept your amazing body right here and now. You can exercise for the simple joy of it, for the desire to take care of your amazing body. 

And this is why we created MerryBody. Not only is it an extremely effective method of exercise, filled with transformative Yoga and Pilates moves, but it’s also a self-acceptance practice. 


Each and every time one of our Members rolls out their mat and does a class they are signalling to themselves (and the world) that they accept themselves right here and now. 

That they are amazing right here and now. It’s a daily act that slowly but surely unwinds the mindset effects of Diet Culture. 

If you have any questions about MerryBody or Pilates, get in touch, we are here to help! If you’re ready to try one of our Online Pilates classes SIGN UP HERE and we’ll send it straight to your inbox.


Always merrymaking,
Emma + Carla

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