During the summer, I got really into Pilates (still am!) and I began to realize why women are so addicted to it. The long, lean look and perfectly toned muscles you’ll get from a class like this and even the slight soreness I don’t expect to have the day after, but do, gets me super pumped whenever I have a Pilates date on my weekly workout schedule.
I started searching around for a Pilates studio that kicks butt—and stumbled upon Jumping Frog Pilates in Tenafly, New Jersey, just outside of Manhattan. Jumping Frog Pilates is one of the most successful Pilates studios in the state and one of the instructors, Alexandra White, a Lululemon Ambassador, is truly a FITNESS magazine role model. Mom to two young boys, Alexandra is also a successful runner who holds training camps for adults and kids, teaches girl’s lacrosse, competes (and oftentimes places) in local half-marathons, 5Ks and obstacle course races like Spartan Race, and is an avid skier. She knows firsthand why Pilates is the perfect complement to all the running she does, so I scouted some moves. What you got was the very awesome Absolute Power workout in our September 2012 issue. Read on to find out a little more about our trainer of the month:
Everyone I talk to seems to have a pre-trainer life. What’s your story?
I went to Parsons School of Design for a degree in graphic design and I was an Art Director for an advertising agency in New York City for 15 years until I switched gears and decided to make my workout hobby my job. I still do freelance print and web design on the side, because I still really love it.
What’s the hardest part about following your dreams?
Giving up knowing what is coming. When you work for an agency, you have predictable hours and rates. Working for yourself is much more unpredictable. I had to get used to having a very flexible schedule and income from week to week. But I’m so much happier now!
During those 15 years, how did you fit fitness into your busy schedule?
Fitness is part of my day no matter what. I work out like I eat my meals. I feel like I have to do it at some point during the day. I often worked out at 9-10pm just to get it in. I still do that now sometimes when my kids are asleep- just get on the treadmill late at night to fit it in. I put my workout first always–and if that means I have to come an hour later to a happy hour gathering, I do.
You’re an avid runner—okay I’ve read your race times border on elite status. Tell me how you got so good?
I wouldn’t say I’m elite by any stretch, but thank you! I usually place in the top 10 of a big race and I’m lucky to get a podium finish if it’s a smaller one. But I have just been doing it a long time—and maybe it’s some talent too! I’ve played sports my entire life that included a lot of running. And I’m too competitive to be mediocre, so I train hard and try to get better each time. You definitely have to put the time in to get the results you want. And yes I’ve won a few races!
Of the races you’ve done, what’s your favorite?
I did a really fun Super Spartan obstacle race with my younger brother. It was fun to break up the running with obstacles and mud!
How did you go from running to being a Pilates pro?
I hurt my back a few years ago and had to do some physical therapy to get it better. I tried Pilates to help strengthen my back and core and since I don’t like lifting weights, I found this was a great way to get my whole body strong without spending hours and hours lifting dumbbells.
Why does a Pilates workout complement a regular running routine?
When you run, your power comes from your core. As soon as you get fatigued, you start to lose form. A strong core helps keep a good body position, which allows for the best running economy. Read more