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Pilates and Professional Fitness Competition

It is time again for the next in our series and this time it is with bodybuilding Competitions in the NCP Organization. Shannon Hunt, one of our WAP instructors is working on getting her Pro Card. She was already involved with this sport when she came to do the Teacher Training at our studio. She has been doing them now for 3 years. 

Shannon looked at doing Pilates to round "my workout plan out, and give me longer muscles, when you work the tiny muscles it will make the big muscles come out more". For the competitions a well rounded plan consisting of Pilates, weight training and Yoga are what Shannon has found works the best. 

"When I train my clients in Pilates I still incorporate these three elements. As well as working with positives and negatives to give the body and muscle everything it needs to build and sculpt into a beautiful piece of art that suit the clients needs and wants as well as sculpting to their body type."

During her training season Shannon uses Pilates in the building of her muscle and can target the muscle versus using other parts of the body to pull the weight. She has found the equipment helps to zone in and target muscles for her.

If she is competing or not Shannon still practices Pilates, the only difference is that when she isnot competing shewill use lighter springs to build the core more verse using a bit heavier spring to build the muscle. Shannon feels all are very important.

"Pilates has helped me in all other areas in my life. When I'm in the gym weight training it has helped me focus on the muscle and not using other parts of the body to help pull or press the weight" she says. She has also learned she doesn't have to lift heavy to build muscle. 

Shannon has things she is dealing with in her day to day life when it comes to her body. " I suffer from two autoimmune issues, both effecting my joints and bones, Pilates has helped me enormously with feeling good in the morning and not so achy. As well as helping with a bad back with spinal cord compressions and herniations throughout my spine. When I first found Pilates and Yoga I was suffering from cancer with the autoimmune, Pilates has been a blessing to my body helping me to reconnect and learning how to balance the body, from inside to the core to outside of my posture."

Shannon also noticed when she added Pilates into her routine she got more lift and power out of her training, as well as not being sore the next day,  Shannon says she "truly believes that it also has made what I look like on stage a longer, more sculpted look, before the muscle appeared shorter compared to a longer well defined look in the muscle."

In Pilates it it important to do every exercise whether your training or not, Shannon will just play around more with spring tension, depending on what the focus is for that day, whether building or working on the core. She feels youneed a well round workout every time.

During off season Shewill focus on every exercise giving the body a well rounded workout, the core is mainly the focus, as well as the tiny muscles. "When in season I start targeting the muscles using heavier spring loads but still doing all exercises. I may even add traditional weights into the apparatus exercise, working on the bigger muscles."

Shannon has found that Pilates has made a very significant difference in her body for her competitions.

"The most helpful thing I feel that has helped me after getting Pilates into my routine is building a solid core foundation, and building from there! When you have a strong core anything is possible."