What Are Pilates Exercises

What Are Pilates Exercises

Having been an athlete in my past, I realized that what I enjoyed about Jerzy was that he was a coach, not a trainer. This is more than just a semantic difference. I’d never heard a trainer use “meditation,” “parasympathetic nervous system,” and “weightlifting” in the same sentence. A typical trainer tells you what to do or is there to be your exercise buddy. A coach explains why you do something, so that knowledge becomes a part of you.

After about 9 months, I became interested in going beyond the exercise routine of The Happy Body. Jerzy started me on the long, patient process of developing the strength and skill to undertake Olympic style weightlifting. The body needs lots of time to adapt, a process that can’t be rushed without injury. Given Jerzy’s knowledge of when to increase my weights, I have not had any injury.

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The conventional image of weightlifting is of large, lumbering men. It was quite an epiphany to learn how Olympic lifting is totally different. Olympic lifting is about flexibility, form, and quickness. I love the efficiency of the exercise. It feels like a combination of plyometrics, yoga, and lifting, and you literally work every muscle in your body in one movement. Like The Happy Body exercise routine, I can complete it in 45 minutes. My primary goal is to perform the Olympic “Snatch” with my weight approximately 100 kg before my 55th birthday. My second goal is to enjoy as much time as I can with my parasympathetic nervous system.

“If you can not measure it, you can not improve it. ”

An integral step in developing any improvement program is the establishment of objective standards. How does one measure the attributes of youthfulness other than chronological age? We struggled with that question for many years. The answer started to crystallize for us during the 2002 World Weightlifting Games in Melbourne, Australia. After the opening ceremony, and before our own events, we watched the oldest weightlifters compete.

Charlie Henderson, an Australian weightlifter who competed in the 136-pound weight category, was slated to lift 137.5 pounds above his head. When he appeared, everyone applauded. He walked to the platform with his chest held high, his back straight, and his arms loosely at his sides. After bowing to the audience, he approached the bar, lowered himself, cleaned the weight to his chest without effort, and jerked it above his head. We watched with amazement as he held the bar high in the air with straight arms, for Charlie Henderson was 80 years old.

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