HIIT vs Pilates: why we’re ditching rounds for reformer.

by Afterpay
Aug 18, 2023      6 min read

Keen to level up your health and fitness? Upping your protein with tasty shakes can help keep you energised. Splurging on new activewear might get you in the right headspace. But to really smash those movement goals, you might need to explore different workout regimes.

And one of the biggest dilemmas right now is: Which is better, the gym or Pilates? 

The HIIT vs Pilates debate is going strong, and it’s hard to know which to run with. HIIT had its heyday in the 2010s and maintains a solid following. Pilates is more old school, but it’s all over TikTok right now – and for good reason. 

Ahead, we weigh the pros and cons of both and reveal why Pilates is set to be the workout of the decade. We also recommend some fab Pilates equipment and classes to get you going.

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Fitness face-off alert: HIIT vs Pilates. 

HIIT and Pilates might seem like total opposites … and they kinda are! 

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. It’s a speedy, heart-pounding sweat sesh that’ll push you to your limits with short bursts of calorie-burning cardio. 

Meanwhile, Pilates relies on mindful, intentional movements and stretches that lengthen and tone all the major muscle groups. Think of it as low-intensity interval training (LIIT). 

Where HIIT is fast, Pilates is slow. And while HIIT promises a big payoff in a short amount of time, Pilates offers a more sustainable, harmonious way to build fitness over time. And this is why we love it. 

To get started with Pilates at home, you’ll want a cushy yet supportive mat like Bala’s The Play Mat. The Bahe Pilates Ring, MoveActive Pilates Ball and lululemon Workout Sliders Set of 2 can also assist your practice, helping you target those muscles you never knew existed.

The benefits of Pilates.

Pilates has a whole bunch of benefits up its sleeve. Strength, flexibility, balance, control, posture, body awareness, concentration... The list of benefits for the body and mind goes on. 

It sculpts your muscles, builds your range of motion and gets you stretchy as a rubber band, and can offer a more comprehensive workout than traditional HIIT exercises. 

Many people sing the praises of Pilates for weight loss, too, if that’s one of your goals. 

The many advantages of a Pilates workout come from resistance. On the mat, Pilates exercises create resistance through gravity, your body weight and small equipment like resistance bands (we heart Bala Bands for their different strength levels). 

Alternatively, you can also use the Pilates reformer. This sliding carriage that you push and pull along its frame allows targeted muscle activation – boosting the effectiveness of your workout.

Mat Pilates is super easy and affordable to do from the comfort of your home. Or you could purchase your very own reformer, like the large and luxurious Foldable Commercial Grade Pilates Reformer Machine by Core Collab.

Enjoy the benefits of Pilates reformer classes at a studio.

If you’re new to Pilates or enjoy group exercise, consider exploring professional Pilates studios in your area. 

Picture this: a purpose-built space buzzing with good vibes, where all the equipment you need is within easy reach. A skilled instructor is on hand to help guide and encourage you every rep of the way. 

You’re in your element, moving through each exercise alongside like-minded people. You might even meet your new favourite workout buddy or develop a lifelong friendship!

Keen to try reformer? Sydneysiders might like to check out Studio Pilates’s 6 Classes for $60 deal, while Hobartians can get a one-on-one orientation session in The Studio HQ’s Introduction To Reformer

Pilates classes come in an array of flavours, even beyond mat and reformer. Yep, hot Pilates is a thing! So it’s well worth exploring what studios in your area have to offer.

Find balance with Afterpay.

In a fast-paced world where flashy workout regimes like HIIT and F45 promise swift results, Pilates continues to offer a safe, effective, accessible practice with a range of benefits that can flow through to your day-to-day life. 

Warming up to the idea of Pilates becoming your thang? Let’s make it happen! Afterpay lets you order the gear you need now and pay better over time. 

Flexible muscles and flexible payment options? Who could resist? Consider the HIIT vs Pilates debate officially settled.

[Disclosure:] Late fees, eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply. See afterpay.com for full terms.

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