Here’s the Problem With Committing to an At-Home Reformer Pilates Machine

Here’s the Problem With Committing to an At-Home Reformer Pilates Machine

My relationship with Pilates has always been a casual one. I enjoy it less than yoga or weights training, but will turn to it as a workout option if I want to squeeze in a quick session that I know will burn. I’ve long been aware of the term ‘Pilates body’ because of the impressive effects this kind of exercise can have, so, when I was given an opportunity to review an at-home Reformer Pilates machine for a few months, I jumped at the chance.

Maybe this would be my time to commit to this form of fitness and become a Reformer Pilates girly once and for all.

Here’s how my experience with the Your Reformer rental bed went.

Real Life Reviews: Your Reformer rental Reformer Pilates bed

reformer pilates
Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

Before we dive into the details of what it was like to use this Pilates machine at home, there are a few specs you should be across first.

  • Aluminium bed fitted with 5 springs (different resistance settings)
  • Padded foot bar
  • Three head cushion height positions
  • Specs: 235cm (L) x 60.5cm (W) x 23cm (H)
  • $39-week cost for a minimum 12-week commitment with a $300 refundable bond – cost includes Your Reformer OnDemand App Access Pilates Studio Essentials Pack (Jump Board, Pilates Box, Pilates Ring, Hand Weights)

You can check out everything included in the rental service here.

What’s good?

Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

First of all, the set-up of this Reformer bed is about as easy as things come, because the Your Reformer team will handle all of it. Once you place your order, the team will take care of the rest – from organising a delivery date to setting the bed up in your home; it’ll all be handled, and quickly.

Setting up my account with the Your Reformer app was also simple, and finding my way to the beginner’s videos took a matter of seconds. I liked that the kit came with all the accessories I could ever need for a complete introduction to Reformer Pilates, and at the beginning of each video, you get a quick rundown on which items you’ll need to use for the workout you’ve selected.

During my first session on the bed, I’ll admit I was a little nervous that a spring might break loose, or I might accidentally launch myself off the Reformer by mishandling a strap or two, but after the first few minutes, I felt really very secure using the bed – as long as I followed the directions carefully.

It’s worth noting that I have done a Reformer Pilates class before, so this was not my first time driving one of these beds, which certainly helped.

What I came to realise after a few weeks of using the bed is that the diversity of the workouts you can complete on it makes it comparable to a multi-station weights training machine. Sure, you’re using resistance instead of heavy weights, but the range of exercises accessible is really not all that different. You can work every part of your body with the machine, and because of the range of positions available to you, there are loads of different ways to hit said body parts – meaning that no two workouts are going to be the same.

Some days I used the machine for a deep stretch session, other days I jumped on for a high-intensity full body workout, and when I was short on time, I could smash out a quick 20 minute core burn if I wanted to.

With the many workout videos available on the app, the selection of accessories, and the versatility of the machine (five springs offer a pretty broad range of resistance options) I found it incredibly easy to design the kind of Pilates session that suits me each day.

What’s not so good?

Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

Now, onto the less good elements. If you live in an apartment or a just smaller home, there’s no denying a whole Reformer Pilates machine is going to take up space. For the months I had this baby set up in my living room, anyone who came over would have to walk around it to get to the couch. If you have a home gym or a spare room on hand, then this shouldn’t be a problem, but there aren’t too many people who will have a huge chunk of floorspace available for a Reformer machine these days.

The other thing to keep in mind is that if you’re not confident with home workouts and haven’t done much Pilates before, there’s a chance you could miss minor mistakes in your form, which can lead to injuries. It’s worth training with a professional at first to get your technique in order before you take a bed home with you – but that’s the case with any home workout.

It also isn’t cheap to take one of these machines home. Renting a Reformer bed for 12 weeks will set you back almost $470 (plus a $300 refundable bond). This isn’t too bad if you consider the cost of individual Pilates classes, but if you look at purchasing one outright, you’re looking at $2,795 for the base model and up to $3,995. Other weight machines can cost a pretty penny as well, but you can find models for under $1,000.

Your Reformer rental Reformer Pilates bed: The verdict

reformer pilates
Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

After using the Your Reformer Pilates bed for three months I can say with complete confidence that it is a fun and convenient machine to use for home workouts. I put it to use regularly, and I enjoyed the sessions I was able to complete using it. I do think, however, that this kind of home workout machine is probably only going to be worthwhile for people who have some kind of background in Pilates or resistance training, as well as enough space at home that they can create a dedicated ‘Pilates corner’ without inconveniencing anyone.

If that’s you, and you have a few thousand dollars to spare, or would just like to rent out the machine for a few months, then you’re likely to have an incredibly positive experience with it. If not, maybe your standard Reformer Pilates class at a nearby studio is a better place to start.

Lead Image Credit: Lifehacker Australia/Stephanie Nuzzo

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