Pilates and The Xiser
Incorporate Cardio into your Pilates Workout
By Beth Begelman - For Pilates Digest
Wouldn’t you like to have the ability to add cardiovascular work to your Pilates classes
without foregoing the Pilates workout?
Here is a way to add cardio work while complementing the Pilates workout in addition to helping clients feel
better, increase their endurance, burn more fat and save time?
The X-iser Machine™ is a stepping device used for an exercise protocol called Sprint
Interval Training (SIT). This method of exercise can help you and your clients accomplish all of the benefits
listed above and more!
X-iser Machine™, is a stepper that can be used to build
both upper and lower body strength and endurance while saving you valuable time.
The machine was used in a study conducted in part by Dr. Mark Smith,
Ph.D. The study evaluated the effectiveness of Sprint Interval Training (High Intensity Interval “burst” training)
versus Low- to Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training (LMICT). The results of the study found that Sprint Interval
Training is more effective at increasing cardiovascular health, reducing fat and increasing sports
The greatest advantage however is that the time investment to achieve these benefits
is significantly lower than the prescribed 30-40 minutes, 3-4 times per week of cardiovascular exercise that we’ve
heard about for so many years.
One of the most common excuses given about why people do not do cardiovascular work is
the time investment. It has been drummed into us that in order to obtain and then maintain cardiovascular fitness,
we must exercise for 30-40 minutes, 3-4 times per week at a level of 65% – 85% of maximum heart rate. That’s
a minimum total weekly time commitment of 90 minutes.
In his studies and research, Dr. Smith has found that the time investment for burst training is a
whopping 12 minutes of cardio per week! Can you imagine? Only 12 minutes per
week, that’s incredible. Who doesn’t have 12 minutes per week to invest in their cardiovascular
health especially when it is incorporated into a Pilates routine?
Here is the breakdown of the 12 minutes per week. The intervals are performed on three
different days. Each interval session consists of cardio blasts that can be 20, 30 or 60 seconds in duration. There
are four segments of blasts, each of which have alternating periods of work and rest. It would look like
- 20 second Burst (stepping as quickly as you can for the entire
- 20 second rest
- 20 second Burst
- 20 second rest
- 20 second Burst
- 1 min, 40 seconds total of which 1 minute is cardio
You would then wait a minimum of 4 minutes between each cycle (during which time your
clients can be doing their Pilates mat or equipment work) and repeat the cycle 4 times for a total of 4 minutes of
If you choose to do the 30 or 60 second burst then the rest cycle would be of the same time duration as
the burst; still waiting a minimum of 4 minutes between each cycle and repeating the cycle 4
Using the X-iser Machine™ will complement the Pilates work you are doing with your
clients because proper form in the stepping requires core engagement, breath control, balance and focus. Your
clients will love you for helping them achieve the benefits of cardiovascular fitness while still seeing the
benefits of their Pilates routines.
With a price tag around the £300 mark, the X-iser is a great
piece of equipment to have particularly in studios which have limited space available for treadmills or elliptical
machines. The X-iser folds up easily and can be stored under a Reformer or Cadillac or even under an office desk.
Weighing only 14 lbs. it is portable too. Get your clients moving towards total fitness, the X-iser is an excellent
tool to help you get them there.
Dr. Smith’s full research article is available here Sprint
Interval Training - " It's a HIIT " - by Mark J Smith,
Written for Pilates Digest by:-
Beth Begelman has been working in the fitness industry for the last 10
years. Fitness and athletics have always been part of her life. Growing up in the Miami area, she
was a competitive swimmer and water polo player. She was a high school All-American water polo
player and she played on a women’s team that competed on a national level. After spending several
years in the airline industry and in the corporate world, Beth began her fitness career as an
aerobics instructor. She continued her career and interest by being trained and/or certified to
teach yoga and Pilates; two mind-body disciplines in which she also enjoys participating. Always
wanting to learn more, Beth pursued a career as a personal trainer because she enjoys working
one-on-one with clients.
While doing personal training Beth met a client who aspired to be a
professional golfer. She began research on golf-specific fitness training and found that while
golf-specific trainers do exist, they are not easy to find; particularly ones who are qualified to
do high level sport-specific training. Out of desire to learn more about golf-specific training and
to provide clients with the best and most accurate information, Beth researched and found the
most-desired certification in the golf fitness industry. Advantage Golfoffers three
levels of golf-specific fitness training. It was run by Dr. Greg
Rose who is a co-founder of the Titleist Performance
Institute and is a notable figure on the
Golf Channel’s Golf Fitness Academy.
Beth has obtained the highest level certification with Advantage Golf
and is a Master Golf Fitness Instructor and she is a
level 3 Golf Fitness Professional through the
Institute. She uses these qualification as well as
her knowledge in Pilates and Yoga to train local golf enthusiasts and players preparing for
professional golf careers. Beth is certified as a Pilates apparatus
instructor with the PhysicalMind Institute; her mat training was completed
with STOTT PILATES ®. Additionally she holds a certification with Mike Wright’s Golf
Pilates as a Pilates for