The Pilates Body Timeline

The Pilates Body Timeline

With so many aesthetics and body types being labelled in different ways these days, it’s easy to lose track of what means what. One that’s becoming increasingly popular and a hot topic of discussion is the Pilates body.  

What is a ‘Pilates Body’?

When people refer to the ‘Pilates body’, it typically means a body that has been sculpted and toned through regularly partaking in classes, whether that’s with the use of a Pilates reformer or doing Pilates at home on a mat. 

However, at its core, a Pilates body isn’t dictated by any one shape or size - rather, its main objective is to cultivate and improve posture, develop core strength and increase flexibility. It achieves this by targeting numerous muscle groups at one time, thanks to the reformer Pilates machines and their unique springs and resistance bands. 

Everyone’s Body is Different

If you’re aiming to refine your form with Pilates, as with anything in life, everyone’s journey will be different because everyone’s body and constitution are different. External factors ranging from diet and pre-existing health concerns like joint issues or injuries to age and even height can play into how quickly you’ll see results. 

In saying that, many people start Pilates hoping for a body transformation and find the first benefit they experience, and the one they keep coming back for, is an improvement in how they feel within their body. From better flexibility and posture to an improved mood, Pilates is something you should experience to believe the difference it can make. In fact, happiness through exercise was such a strong focus for Joseph Pilates, the creator of the Pilates reformer and all of the associated exercises; he famously claimed, “The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They’d be happier.”

Physical Benefits of Pilates

There’s a myriad of physical benefits of doing Pilates. As we’ve mentioned, Joseph Pilates originally created these exercises and the various Pilates machines to help with flexibility, posture and overall fitness. Their original purpose was actually to help rehabilitate soldiers in hospital beds, meaning that no matter your fitness level or any pre-existing injuries, Pilates can be customised to you and your body’s unique needs so you can reap these benefits. 


Another quote from Joseph that sums up one of the core principles and motivations behind Pilates is this: “A man is as young as his spinal column.” Many of the exercises were centred around this principle, accompanied by deep breathing exercises, which rely on a more upright posture to maximise lung capacity. 

He designed reformer Pilates to help align the spine better, with the support of an improved core. Your abdominal muscles gradually improve over time, taking some of the load off of your back to help you sit and stand more upright. Eventually, this alleviates the perpetual slouch that’s so common with all the sitting many of us do at work. 


Many people find their joints and tendons are more flexible one way than the other. One example is if you struggle to reach down far enough to touch your toes, it’s likely that your hamstrings are either too tight or need strengthening. In this case, you’d benefit from improving your flexibility, which is something that reformer Pilates can give you. 

Typically, most people start to notice a change in their levels of flexibility within just a few weeks - generally by the one-month mark if you’re going regularly. Along with this, you’ll also be enjoying the benefits of better posture and core strength as well. 

Heart rate

Pilates is an anaerobic workout that uses intervals to achieve its result, which means you’ll be doing short bursts of intense exercise with brief rests in between. No matter the intensity of your reformer Pilates class, you’ll likely notice an elevated heart rate. When you’re doing anaerobic exercises, that means you’re burning energy stored in your body rather than deriving it from the oxygen in your blood like you would if you were running, for example. 

Not only can you engage in better breathing practices during anaerobic exercise, but you’ll also be pumping blood throughout your body more rapidly, which is great for your heart and overall cardiovascular health. 

Engaging in Pilates regularly and getting your blood flowing will also give you benefits long after your class is over. Regular exercise that stimulates blood flow is also great for your mood and helps you drift off to sleep more quickly and sleep deeper. 

Pilates Timeline

A common question when people are considering getting into Pilates or want the Pilates body is how long it will take to get there. The answer largely depends on two things: what kind of results you’re looking to achieve and also how frequently you do Pilates at home or attend a reformer Pilates class. 

How Frequently Should I Do Pilates? 

If you’re aiming to see noticeable results as quickly as possible, like with any form of exercise, you’ll need to be consistent. Typically, aiming to do three to four sessions a week will help get you off to a great start. You may wish to increase the frequency as you start to gain more strength and mobility by adding in a session or two at home as well. 

Pilates is all about balance, and while you could do it every day, it’s not necessary to do so for the benefits and results. Making sure you’re taking time to rest and let your body recover between sessions is as important as attending your classes is. 

How Long Should Pilates Sessions Last?

Whether you get a Pilates reformer for your home, workout on a mat or attend a class in a studio, each session should fall somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes. 

When Will I See the Results?

Pilates has the tendency to work more from the inside out. You’ll likely notice the difference in how you feel in regard to your posture and flexibility before you see physical changes. 

When it comes to visible changes, generally, those will take a little longer, but again, the answer to this question is dictated by how often you’re going. As a general rule, most people begin to notice physical changes, with their muscles starting to look and feel more toned after just four to eight weeks. The changes are cumulative; committing to going regularly for the long term is more important than transforming your body overnight. 

We’ll leave you with one final quote from Joseph regarding his personal experience because we think he summarised it best: “You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.” 

If you’d like to see our reformers in person, you can visit our showroom in Queensland. Or, you can contact our team for more information and personalised advice.