Pilates and his followers stood apart from the other MMB schools for surviving a turbulent century, for making multiple millions of people healthier in mind and body and for being a major force in reintroducing mind–body methods to healthcare establishments today. Furthermore, Pilates deserves credit for inventing his ingenious exercise equipment, which uniquely blends in harmoniously with the universal mind–body philosophy.
Individuals can increase fitness following increases in physical activity levels. Increases in muscle size from resistance training is primarily determined by diet and testosterone. This genetic variation in improvement from training is one of the key physiological differences between elite athletes and the larger population. Studies have shown that exercising in middle age leads to better physical ability later in life.
In 1904, Danish prize-winning athlete and gymnastics educator JP Müller followed Checkley’s exercise philosophy with the publication of ‘My System’. This book described how the relatively healthy, average person could keep fit, fortify health and stamina, and increase physical and mental efficiency with 15 min of daily exercise. He claimed: ‘If people only knew how much more, how much better and how much longer they can enjoy life, instead of being controlled by a weakly body, they have a strong and healthy one at their command!’15 Müller JP. My system. London: Link House; 1904. [Google Scholar] Müller was born a weak child and developed an exercise routine to re-build his own body, inspired by the harmony of ancient Greek statues. His routine included exercising natural functional movements, self-massage of skin in fascial lines, exposure to the sun, and bathing in cold water in addition to running on the balls of the feet as an aerobic activity.15,16 Müller JP. My system. London: Link House; 1904.
18. If you experience pain while working out, STOP! Although moving slowly drastically decreases the probability of injury, common sense dictates that if you feel pain, stop and try again a week later. Maybe you weren't hydrated enough, and maybe you need to reduce the resistance. And pain is not to be confused with a "burn". The expression, "No pain, no gain" is misleading. Pain is a warning to stop. A burning sensation simply means you've worked the muscle very intensely.
The MCT group was prescribed two weekly exercise sessions of 50-min continuous activity at 70% of peak heart rate, or approximately 13 on the Borg 6–20 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale . The HIIT group was prescribed two exercise sessions a week with 10-min warm-up followed by 4 × 4 min intervals at 85–95% of peak heart rate, or approximately 16 on the Borg 6–20 RPE scale. The participants were given individual oral and written information about the training methods, including information about frequency, duration, intensity and examples of exercise sessions. The participants were free to exercise individually, with an exercise type and at a location of their own choosing. Every sixth week the participants met for a supervised spinning session where they exercised with a heart rate monitor. These exercise sessions gave the participants an opportunity to control their intensity during exercise. In addition, organized group exercise was offered twice per week for motivational purposes. Attendance to these exercises was voluntary and the activity performed varied between indoor and outdoor activities such as walking, jogging and aerobics . Besides the two prescribed exercise sessions, the participants were free to exercise as desired.
Exclusion criteria included major diseases or conditions such as severe heart disease, uncontrolled hypertension, obesity, osteoarticular pathology, and neurological disease. Criteria were evaluated on the basis of clinical history, resting ECG, and physical examination. Participants maintained their lifestyles and were instructed not to take part in any other physical programs throughout the study. At the time of the initial design, the study consisted of a 12-week randomized controlled trial with a frequency of 3 times a week, 36 sessions in all, ending with a new assessment of their wellness and the potential persistence of the results on functional/physical capacities.