I am sometimes asked by men or their partners whether I run any men only Pilates Classes in Folkestone and Hythe. The short answer is: sorry, no. By why not? And why is it relatively rare for instructors to offer men only Pilates classes?
Most importantly, Pilates is not a gender-specific exercise system. The same set of Pilates exercises are equally applicable to both men and women; there are no women or men only Pilates moves. In other words, the only reason for a man to attend a men only class would be because he doesn’t want to exercise alongside women. And of course the opposite applies equally: the only reason a women would not wish to attend a mixed class is because she does not wish to exercise alongside men.
In the case of the individual, this may not be unreasonable, after all there may be any number of reasons why a man (or a woman) would not wish to attend a mixed class. However, from the perspective of the person running the class, and in particular my own perspective, it is important to be inclusive and non-discriminatory. Everyone is welcome at all of my classes.
A fully inclusive gender admission policy also avoids problems which can arise for transgender, gender-fluid and non-binary people, to whom men and women only classes may not easily apply. Once again, my policy is simple and clear: everyone is very welcome to attend any of my classes. I will never discriminate, and everybody will be made to feel welcome.
Why no Men only Pilates Classes in Folkestone and Hythe?
As an exercise professional, I am also very interested in barriers to exercise. So, in response to any demand for men only Pilates classes in Folkestone and Hythe, I prefer to ask: what are the reasons why some men would prefer not to attend a mixed class, and how can I make my mixed classes more appealing?
Primarily, I try to do so by cultivating a friendly, informal atmosphere within my classes, but specifically one free from competition. As I have written in my other articles, Pilates is not a competitive form of exercise, and in order to gain the most benefit, each person should be encouraged to exercise at a level suitable for them personally. So whether you are an extremely fit woman, a less fit man or vice-versa, you will find my Pilates classes suitable for you. The way I achieve this is by providing my participants with a range of variations for each exercise which cover all levels of physical development.
So, whether a man may feel intimidated by exercising alongside women, or whether he may incorrectly believe a mixed class will be too easy for him, I can quickly allay these fears: within my Pilates classes, your level of fitness and ability is only relevant to two people – to yourself and to me, and together we will ensure you work as hard (or as gently) as you need to, and progress at a rate suitable for you. As ‘a rate suitable for you’ also depends on factors such as your age, general health and any injuries or physical problems you may have, we can easily see how gender-separation is artificial and unnecessary.
Group Pilates Classes with Jane Mackenzie
How do my current group Pilates classes stack up in terms of men and women? Pilates does seem to be a bit more popular with women than men at present, although there is no logical reason why this should be so, as I have described above. However, all my class have varying numbers of men attending (as many as seven in one particular class), and of all age groups and abilities. In particular I have several male participants from Hythe Cycling Club (and women, too!) who have been coming for some time now, and who have benefited greatly from using Pilates to correct postural problems caused by significant time riding a bike. I also have several couples who attend together, enjoying my classes as something they can share.
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1 to 1 Pilates Classes with Jane Mackenzie
We are all unique, and there are a multitude of inter-related factors dictating which Pilates exercises are suitable for you, and which you would find most beneficial. And gender is just one of them! If you would like my individual attention in helping you progress your Pilates through the most appropriate set of exercises for you, then a 1 to 1 Pilates session is a great way of doing so. I offer 1 to 1 sessions for clients who do not wish to or are unable to attend group classes, as well as specialist remedial work for those with complex health issues or recovering from surgery. Click below to learn more.
Prefer not to attend a group class?
Unable to or prefer not to attend group classes? Do you have complex health issues? Do you require rehabilitation after orthopedic or other surgery?
Pilates Class with Jane Mackenzie in Folkestone and Hythe
So – no men only Pilates classes in Folkestone and Hythe. Sorry, it’s not something I can offer, but I do hope this article has gone some way to explaining why, and more importantly why all of my classes are suitable for everyone.
Why not get in touch and join one of my regular Pilates classes now!