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Am I Too Fat to Start Pilates? Am I Too Fat to Do Pilates?

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

Today we are going to chat about body size and practicing Pilates!


First, you may be wondering why we are addressing this and it all boils down to the weight stigma in society.


Am I too fat to start Pilates?

Am I too fat to do Pilates?

Can fat/overweight people do Pilates?

Do I need to lose weight to do Pilates?


When I first looked into what Pilates was, I did an actual search on "Do I need to lose weight to do Pilates?" And after I'd started my Pilates journey, I wondered if I'd ever be able to do some of the more advanced exercises. I looked all over for people who looked like me, doing all the things that the normal sized bodies were doing in Pilates.


The Google search didn't really answer my question back then, and it didn't show me many (or any) people who looked like me, so I just went about my business not sure what would happen.


I think the fact that we need to ask these types of questions means there isn't enough representation of body diversity on the internet.


Here's my quick and dirty take on the subject:

- Yes, you can START Pilates if you are living in a bigger body

- Yes, you can DO Pilates if you are living in a bigger body

- You can start Pilates at any time in your life, at any age or size

- Just like with any other exercise program - ask your doctor for advice before starting Pilates, but ONLY because that's what most programs recommend for all bodies (not because of the body you are living in)


Do I recommend a certain type of class over another?


YES! I like recommending Private sessions for beginners in a bigger body.

Note: I also like to recommend Private or Semi-Private sessions for literally ANY beginner.

  • I typically recommend 5 - 10 Private sessions and then have clients move to Semi-Private sessions, unless they are working on very specific goals and want to work with certain pieces of apparatus.

  • Private sessions can be 30 or 50 minutes, in my opinion. The value is the one on one time (individual attention) and not necessarily the length per session.

  • Private sessions are a great way to have open communication between you and your teacher, which is crucial for knowing if you should use an exercise variation and/or how to variate for certain exercises.

  • Private sessions (and Semi-Private) are a fantastic way to get a more in-depth understanding of the Pilates Fundamentals.

  • I love to "sneak focus" them into sessions and classes, which means that my clients are getting some focus on the fundamentals without necessarily realizing it. Since they are basis for every exercise, I think this helps clients find the work quicker.

  • If your budget doesn't allow for Private or Semi-Private sessions, I would recommend looking for a beginner or all levels class that has smaller class sizes (such as less than 6-8 people).

  • Always remember to pick a studio or class that is suited toward your goals and needs.


Weight stigma is a huge thing in our society, but it shouldn't stop you from moving your body and being happy while doing it.


Maybe Pilates isn't going to be your "thing" - the goal is to try to find a movement practice that does make you happy!!! If you don't feel accepted or happy in your current studio or movement practice space, try a different place. All businesses are different.


You are amazing, as you are. You'll find your fit!


For related content, please refer to my posts on:


Picture shows a mat variation of Teaser


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