As a Fitness Editor, This Is the Pilates Challenge I’m Doing to Kick Off My New Year

As a Fitness Editor, This Is the Pilates Challenge I’m Doing to Kick Off My New Year

In case you haven’t heard, it’s our Pilates Era – at least, according to TikTok, celebrities, and Google (the pop culture trifecta, if you will.) But if you’ve yet to become hooked on the practice, it’s not too late. In fact, you’re right on time.

Alo Moves, the workout streaming platform created by beloved activewear brand Alo Yoga, just launched a 14-Day Power Pilates Challenge, and if you do 10 classes in the series by Jan. 30, you’ll be entered into a sweepstakes. The prize? A chill $10,000, a free year of Alo Moves, and a personalized workout from Bianca Melas, the instructor behind the challenge.

I’m not just recommending this challenge because you can win some cash (though, who doesn’t want to start their 2023 with that gift?). I’m suggesting this series because, up until I tried Melas’s classes, I was a bit of a Pilates skeptic myself.

It’s not that I didn’t believe in the power or benefits of Pilates. (In fact, I wholeheartedly believe in all the good it can do for people, including helping to rehab injuries and building really intentional total-body strength.) I just never felt like it was worth my precious workout time. I’ve always wanted to get a little sweatier, breathe a little harder, and feel a little sorer than what a typical Pilates session would do to me. The closest I ever got to being hooked on Pilates was loving Syndey Miller’s Housework classes, a sort of Pilates-inspired choreography-based slider and dance workout.

But once I found the niche of satisfying, just-hard-enough Pilates routines that worked for me – courtesy of Melas? Well, I’m a total convert.

Melas is an accredited Pilates instructor and certified clinical naturopath. I first tried her Alo Moves 7-Day Pilates Glow Retreat, set in the lush rainforest of Byron Bay, Australia, and loved her style immediately. It’s a bit more dynamic than other Pilates classes I’ve tried (you won’t be laying on the floor for every rep) and she also brings a calming, mind-body cueing style to the practice that can feel a bit like taking yoga. She doesn’t promise these moves will “lengthen” or “lean” your muscles (that’s not possible, BTW), and she doesn’t use any subtle body-shaming language. She puts together sequences that will absolutely have you gasping for air, but won’t make you feel like a failure for needing to modify or take a break (which you will). Melas’s workouts always scratch the itch I get for a tough workout, but don’t aggravate any of the many lingering injuries I have going on. And maybe it’s all the “Too Hot to Handle” I’ve been watching, but her Aussie accent really makes me enjoy the workouts that much more.

So, when I heard Alo was hosting another challenge with Melas, I was in (before they even mentioned the sweepstakes). I’ve already started the 14-Day Power Pilates Challenge and can promise that this new series has all of the good stuff from Melas’s earlier classes, and more. The workouts are all between 12-27 minutes, most of them hovering between 20 and 25. If you want a longer workout on any given day, you can stack them; for example, I did Day 2’s 360 Core Power and Day 3’s Outer Glue Power back to back. It’s recommended that you have a Pilates ball, light hand weights, ankle weights, and a small loop resistance band (though I’ve made do without the first three, and I still feel the burn).

To access the challenge, you’ll need to sign up for Alo Moves. Now through the end of January, you can subscribe to Alo Moves and get 60 percent off your first year – that’s $85/year, compared to the usual price of $199/year or the regular monthly subscription of $20/month. And if you’re not ready to commit to one of these options, there’s always a seven-day free trial for new members.

If you’re hoping to join the Pilates people crew, try this challenge to turn 2023 into your personal Pilates Era and take a crack at that cash prize. Even if you’re not into challenges, these are solid Pilates workouts you can return to again and again. See you there?