I've been going to Tempo Pilates ever since a friend of mine recommended it as their favourite local studio. I'd previously tried SLT, Brooklyn Bodyburn and Pilates on the Square in NY, and a few Heartcore classes in London, but had never made a consistent routine of it. That changed after just one class at Tempo; I am hooked.
Tempo offers comprehensive reformer pilates classes dictated by the beat and frequency of music. Each sequence and each move or posture is controlled and consistent with the tempo of the studios upbeat playlists, to provide a fun and structural pace to flow to. The transitions within and between each movement are controlled and precise, and strengthen not only the major muscle groups but, just as importantly, the mind/body connection; something that not a lot of other fitness methods achieve. The classes also bring attention and awareness back to the breath, which, as well as energising muscles, helps to keep the whole situation calm and relatively stress-free.
Most classes begin with the same sequences, first stretching, settling and becoming accustomed to the machine, and then straight into some challenging ab work followed by warming leg exercises. You'll glide, slide, jump, squat, lunge, plank, push, pull and resist in each and every direction, each movement guided and fuelled by the breath. The breath, whilst centering the mind and enhancing focus and concentration, remains deep and controlled, with powerful exhales introduced to get you through the most challenging moments the movements.
What to expect
The beginner and intermediate classes begin with a few core exercises to warm and awaken the core muscles. You'll then move onto double leg work and then glute exercises and single leg work - focussing heavily on the hamstrings, glutes and lower back. You'll then usually do some more core work - involving some variety of crunches, sit ups and pulses, moving swiftly on to some excruciating inner thigh work. Then depending on the day, the time, the instructor, the mood, you'll either go onto some floor lunges (with one leg on the floor and one on the machine), some jump work (using a spring board attached to the end of the reformer machine) or some plank work (involving dynamic isolated planks, active plank to pikes, or some kind of knee to nose crunches or commando planks). Whatever it is, it's gonna burn, it's gonna be uncomfortable, but it's gonna give you abs pretty much instantly.