Plank’s Kick Butt Boot Camp

It’s our affordable and effective way to get in the best shape ever! This four-week program will change your body and your habits for long lasting results.

Unlike any other program, our Boot Camp offers private coaching, a month unlimited of classes and nutritional guidance. You tailor it to fit your schedule.

You’ll see these results

  • Lose weight or lower your body-fat percentage
  • Tone and strengthen your entire body
  • Obtain a better understanding of long-term physical fitness and nutrition
  • Improve your cardiovascular endurance
  • Look and feel great in your bathing suit 

Program Includes

  • Two one-on-one meetings with fitness and nutritional goals
  • Schedule planning and monitoring throughout the program
  • One Month UNLIMITED Plank360 classes and 5 Tower Classes

Program Fees
Regular Program $429 for the entire month or
Premium Program $529 for the entire month*
*Includes 2 Private sessions with Studio Director Julia Fouts

Email Julia@plankpilates.com if you’re interested or have any questions. 

This is just another way Plank is making it easy for you to get fit this spring. Can’t wait to see you at the studio!

Run Day 3-Progress and a Push

I had some very specific goals in mind for this run. A: Run slower.  B: Avoid the side cramp at all costs!

Instead of a mid day run that was my past two attempts, I decided to go in the morning. I had a cup of water, but no breakfast in the hopes that an empty stomach would help with the cramping. I did some side lateral stretches and was on my way.

My pace felt much slower this time; it was a true jog. I was worried I would get bored easily, but I instead focused on my breathing and stride. I definitely felt my leg muscles a lot more, and my lungs were working like they never had before. The side cramp came, and I was so annoyed. Was this seriously happening again? I ignored the cramp until I got to the point where I had to stop—0.6 miles.

I sped walked and turned around in my tracks. As soon as the cramp subsided I ran again and went for another 0.6 miles until the cramp crept up on me again. That means I ran 1.2 miles!…with a quick break. I promise it was quick though!

The new stride was very helpful because when I started running after my cramp break I didn’t think I would last that long in my second stint. Though I only hit two Don’t Walk lights at intersections, I took advantage of them, jogging on the corner, and allowing myself to feel the rest and the deeper breaths that came with it.

I spoke with Julia, Plank’s Studio Director, about my cramping after a cardio heavy class we took together. I felt a bit of cramping during the class, but nothing like what happened during my running excursions. Her tip to me: push yourself even more. (I had a feeling she would say that.) She said because I wasn’t used to the long durations of cardio that I just needed to do it more and force myself to stick with it even when it felt too hard to go on. <Metaphorical tail between my legs.> I guess I know what I’m doing this weekend…

I was proud to have that mileage under my belt, but now the question is how far can I go without stopping and with Julia’s advice in my head? Let’s see for next time!

Happy running,

Plank’s Run Around Girl

Run Day 2-Run Like an Adult

My second day of running was another mid-day sunny “work out.” I had shin splints and achy calves (seriously…?), but I was ready to give it another shot. I dressed myself a lot easier this time, and I ate  about 3 hours before the run. I kept thinking about the side cramp and desperately hoped it wouldn’t happen again.

I stretched my side body with some standing lateral stretches and did some full body roll downs to make sure I had a quick torso, hamstring and spine stretch. I started running at the same block where I started before so I could have a visual reference of how far I went previously and if I could make it past that.

I made it past the 0.38 miles I did last time, so excited that I had figured out this side cramp nonsense when it struck again. It was such a terrible pain in my side, but I made myself go farther. When I couldn’t go anymore I slowed to a speed walk. It was a continuous 0.5 miles. Better! But still not great. Ugh.

The day was so beautiful, that instead of sprinting and potentially losing my belongings (and dignity) again, I just sped walked all the way home. I used my time walking on the water to observe other runners’s strides and techniques. Everyone definitely has a unique run based on their body’s alignment, cardio health and the little quirks that get them through. (I saw some jacked, athletic guy, and he kicked his butt every time he took a new step. To each his own, I guess.) I realized, that everyone was running a lot slower than I had been. I envisioned myself running along the water, and I was constantly passing people.

Ding, ding, ding, lightbulb! I was running way too fast. I guess, like Friends’ Pheobe Buffay, I wanted to run like I ran when I was a kid. (Don’t worry, I don’t flail my arms quite as freakishly as she does.) A quick race to the swing set or down to the pond was something I could do since it was a short, intense burst and then lots of rest to follow. My stride was still long and fast, but as an adult this looked like I was getting chased by an axe murderer rather than out for a healthy jog.

Pleased with my new information, I thought I maybe I could solve the problem of the side cramp for good. We’ll see next time!

What I learned:

-Jog don’t run. Keep your strides smaller to pace yourself.
-Stretching and not eating before the run may have helped with the side cramping a bit, and I felt my abs engaged more this time.

If you have any tips for me, please leave your comments here or our on Facebook and Twitter pages!

Happy running!

The Run Around Girl

Plank’s Run Around Girl


 In our last blog post, The 5Ws of Plank360,  we explained how this unique method was created to satisfy our clients’ need for cardio in addition to their pilates classes. To further assist this goal, Plank will be starting a Run Club in the coming months! When I heard this, I was excited about the idea and then immediately worried. I desperately hoped that I wouldn’t need to be the instructor to lead this Run Club because, well, I can’t run. It’s a hard thing to believe, but there are many aspects of my childhood that have now made it difficult for me to run as an adult. I spoke with Julia, Plank’s Studio Director, about this shortcoming and fear, and she encouraged me to record my experience so I could keep track of my progress. Though running is a seemingly natural activity, many people struggle with it as part of a fitness routine. Starting from square one, I will share my running adventures on Plank’s blog with the goal to run four miles by June.  You can read here to benefit from my mistakes (there will be plenty!), and learn along with me.

Here’s a bit of my fitness background so you get a better understanding of where I’m starting from.

Workout Activities of Choice

Dance
I’ve been dancing since I was seven years old and am now a professional dancer in the city. Even though I dance with a company here, I transitioned from a college dance schedule where I danced  5+ hours a day, 5-6 days a week to the “real world.” For seven months I had a part time desk job (also known as sitting and eating to reward myself for being there) while I tried to find a great Pilates studio where I could teach and work full time (cue Plank’s entrance.) I was hitting the pavement auditioning, but finding extra time to take a dance class was slim, not to mention extremely expensive. To dance 5+ hours a day it would cost about $60-$70 per day, meaning that’s in no way feasible unless I had a burning desire to be homeless. After graduating I saw all my college friends shed pounds, simply from refraining from nightly binge drinking, while I instead gained weight. Nothing that was too obvious and detrimental, but my body responded to the negative change of not having hours upon hours of dancing (a full body, cardio workout) in my everyday life. 

Pilates
I do mat exercises on my own and then take Tower and Plank360 classes from Plank. I’ve been practicing pilates for about 6 years now.

Yoga
I don’t frequently attend yoga classes, but I incorporate the stretches before and after dance and Pilates work outs.

Dance themed classes
I like to move to music with a good beat. Classes like Zumba are really fun for me since I’m enjoying what I’m doing and not thinking it’s work. However, in the city these usually require a gym membership or a large payment per class.

I’ve always envied runners because they can get their cardio workout anywhere at anytime. Inside or outside. City streets or park. Sun or rain. Dawn or dusk.  I could technically dance anywhere, but then my mental health would be questioned.

Reasons I’ve Been Scared of Running and Deemed Myself Unable to Run

Asthma
I had severe asthma as a child, and it was very hard to control. I would wheeze and cough any time I did too much cardio exercise whether it was dancing, running, or going wild on my Skip It. Because of this, I was always the last to finish the mile run in the Presidential Fitness Test in elementary and middle school. While dancing aggravated my asthma, it was the lesser of two evils, since the cardio lasted in short bursts rather than long extended periods of time. My asthma was eventually controlled with medication, and it grew to be more seasonally induced than exercise induced. Regardless, the effects from childhood made me nervous to try again.

Flexibility
The more my dancing improved, the more flexible I got. I would try to run more at the beginning of high school, but my legs killed when I tried. My loose hamstrings couldn’t keep up.

Grace
No, I’m not flattering myself. For eleven years of my dance career (the pre-college portion) I was always taught to “dance” run, gliding effortlessly and quietly across the stage in a toe-ball-heel fashion. When I try to run normally (heel-ball-toe) I automatically go to my toe-ball-heel ways (or just toe if I’m feeling sprightly), so I look like an idiot, and my calves cramp before I can even think of accomplishing any long distance goals.

Despite all of this, I’m still going to learn how to run. I need to for my heart health and general well-being. I have about two months to accomplish my four mile goal, but with Julia’s guidance I think I can do it! Read my posts to learn along with me so you can join our Run Club too! (More info to come!)

Happy running,

Plank’s Run Around Girl

Progressive Pilates

Many Pilates studios, in the attempt to brand themselves, call their method “the newest” and “the best” or “contemporary” and “innovative.” We at Plank Pilates like to call ourselves progressive.

But we are guilty as charged; we can identify with some of the buzz words previously listed.

  • We are new. Maybe not “the newest” any more since the studio opened 11 months ago, but we are still a young business.
  • We are also contemporary purely because we are a business that exists in today’s present world.

These two items can make any studio stand out momentarily, but the hype is fleeting. More than that, being the “newest” doesn’t necessarily lead to being the “best,” and a “contemporary” studio isn’t mutually exclusive with being “innovative.” While Plank naturally stems from “new” and “contemporary” because of the sheer time and place of the studio’s existence, being “progressive” allows us to work towards something greater than that.

The word “progressive” has the root word “progress.” When applying it to Pilates, it fits in many ways: the progression of a series of exercises, the progression of technical understanding, and the progression of the body’s muscular endurance while performing the exercises and technique. For Plank, the standard progressive nature of Pilates is true in addition to a desire to have the past inform the present while forward thinking enough to anticipate the future. The classical Pilates technique and fundamentals are the base of what we do. We then incorporate the contemporary version of the method and add in our supplemental knowledge of modern personal training, biomechanics, anatomy and nutrition to build a better body and sense of self for our students. With these positive results in mind we look to the future and anticipate what’s to come, staying true to our progressive philosophy and adapting to change before it happens.

But it looks like a torture device…

The conversation usually starts with a reference to The Princess Bride’s torture scene where Westley is pulled and stretched to his limit. We hear it all the time: pilates equipment looks extreme. Mat pilates is tough as it is, but then add an apparatus and your work out woes sky rocket. First timers, with Westley in mind, usually think equipment with springs, chains, bars and straps can’t be fun.

Though intimidating at first, the equipment used in classes and private lessons (the tower, reformer, ladder barrel and wunda chair, respectively) helps tone, lengthen and align the body at a more effective level than a regular mat class. It takes time to learn the technique behind every exercise, but using the machinery allows you to see measurable results and mastery over time. From session to session you see your body change with the help of the once-daunting equipment. Finally you’re controlling the heavy leg springs, they’re not controlling you; your abdominals are engaged enough that the Push Through is smooth instead of jerky, and you feel strong and proud in Teaser instead of shaky and uncertain.

While your first classes will be familiarizing yourself with an inundation of new mechanical functions and vocabulary, you’ll soon not only know the exercise set up and name, but also see your body respond in a way that yields results. You’ll no longer be Westley fighting to get out of the straps and springs, but rather channeling Humperdink, the “torture devices” now frequently used and adored.

Pilates Running in the LES, with a watermelon?!

I recently signed up for the New York City Marathon and started training again.  This is my second NYC Marathon, and I’ve been hitting the streets before my Pilates Class a few times a week.  Although I have been through this routine before, what I failed to recall is how fricking hot and gross it is running by the FDR in July in this dirty dirty city.  My post run pickup of the month has been one of those ice cold containers of watermelon from the deli.  So cool and good after a hot grimy workout and its PACKED with vitamin C, A, and lycopene.  Not only that, the natural antioxidants in H2O melon can reduce inflammation that contributes to joint swelling and asthma, (which is perfect considering thats exactly what working out in July causes)..  All in all, I give this delicious summertime fruit 4 of 4 stars for being  the perfect natural sports drink in a tasty cube.