Pilates Suspension Training With Rebecca Beckler

core connections movement Jul 17, 2018

It was great being able to catch up with my friend Rebecca Beckler! Since our Stott Pilates training days, she has developed her own suspension training method. A suspension trainer is an awesome tool because it is inexpensive and can be used anywhere!! As a busy mom, she talks about how she has found the balance between work and personal life along with her busy traveling schedule.

MEET REBECCA

Rebecca Beckler is the creator and author of the Pilates Suspension Method. She has a bachelor’s degree in adult fitness, a certified advanced level Stott Pilates instructor, a Stott Pilates instructor trainer, a Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) certified trainer and an American Council of Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer. Rebecca is a proud mom of two as she travels around teaching her Pilates Suspension Method.

REBECCA'S SUSPENSION EXERCISES

REBECCA'S TOP HEALTH HACKS

1. WATER

Drinking water helps flush out toxins, clear up your skin and keep you full until your next meal! 

Watch the video below for some of my tips on how to stay hydrated!!

2. MAKING AN APPOINTMENT FOR YOURSELF

Rebecca schedules herself in her calendar to make sure she has time in the day for her. If you don't focus on your health, how are you supposed to help others? She uses this time to move and her moving helps her come off more relatable to her clients.

3. EATING EVERY TWO TO FOUR HOURS

This has been a game-changer for Rebecca as she has found that eating every couple of hours is what her body needs. Once she started working with a nutrition coach, she started making it a habit in her daily routine. Listen to your body and what it needs when you start to focus on nutrition. 

4. MIXING IT UP

Rebecca suggests mixing up your workouts to keep your body guessing what is going to happen next! She loves mixing yoga, Pilates, lifting and HIIT workouts into her routine.

5. SLEEP

Whatever your fitness goals are, your body needs time to rest. That is why it's important to get your 7-8 hours of sleep every night. This is the hardest hack for Rebecca to keep up with because of her go, go, go lifestyle. But she has set a routine to help her develop an internal clock. 

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

Watch Rebecca and I's Conversation On YouTube!!

EPISODE QUOTES

TRANSCRIPT

Erica: I am so excited that you are here Rebecca. For those of you who don’t know, Rebecca and I knew each other before we had kiddos during our Stott Pilates training. 

Rebecca: I know! Thanks for having me. It has been nice to follow you throughout your career since our training. Fast-forward 13 years later and look where we are now! 

Erica: I want to dive right into how you created your Pilates Suspension Method. 

Rebecca: It just kind of happened organically. When I opened my small studio, I had a group of ladies that would come five days a week. At that time nine years ago, the TRX Suspension Trainer was just coming out. It sparked an interest in me and I wanted to try it out and see if it would be good for my clients. 

I went to an eight-hour workshop and then started playing around with it on my own. I thought this was the perfect piece of equipment to put in my small studio that had no heat. The ladies would come in throughout the week and we would spend a couple of days doing footwork on the reformer, and then on the third day, I suggested that we try doing this footwork standing with the TRX. 

I started to notice that they were getting so much stronger in not only their core but their scapula stabilization and overall awareness of their body. When you are doing a mid-back series on the reformer, you can kind of cheat a little bit. I noticed with the TRX that you couldn’t cheat as much and they were getting stronger because of it. Then about a year later, I was doing hour-long suspension training classes. 

I ran my classes in several different ways. I would have a group on the reformer and a group on the suspension trainer and then would switch. I could also use it as a circuit with six to eight people going through a circuit. When I go around teaching my method, I tell them that they can use it however you want and even change the Pilates-based names. This way they can get the benefits of doing Pilates without them thinking that they are doing Pilates. 

The Pilates Suspension Method is a blend of contemporary and traditional. This is due to my Stott Pilates background where you are taught to do things in a certain order, but also wanting to apply all seven of the Pilates Suspension Method principles. These principles are a combination of what I want out of the movements but also combining Joseph Pilates's ideals. My big thing is fluidity, just as Joseph Pilates wanted it to be, as we are barely moving the suspension trainer. I am hoping to honor him in that way by staying true to the Pilates traditional method. That is why I always tell everyone before I teach that these exercises are Pilates rooted movements. 

Erica: The great thing about the TRX is that you can use it anywhere. I personally hook it up over the door in my workout space. 

Rebecca: I put two little X mounts up in my house. I have also gotten an extensor strap where I can take it outside because like you said, you can do it anywhere. 

I did want to add that these exercises are great for pregnant women as well. Especially with some moves that you wouldn’t want to do on a reformer, they are able to do them effectively on the suspension trainer. 

Erica: Rebecca has two books where you can learn what moves to do with the suspension trainer. I love them because they are very picture heavy. 

Rebecca: The first book has about 74 Pilates-based exercises to do with the suspension trainer and my 2.0 version has about 74 additional exercises as well. The 2.0 book is a little bit more intermediate and advanced as it is a continuation of the first book. They are both very picture-driven because I am a visual person. 

I’m already working on my third book where it is still the Pilates Suspension Method, but blending in my fitness background as well. It has Pilates, fitness and a little bit of dance as it is a continuation of the previous two books. This one is a little more fun because I didn’t give myself as many rules, but still has a Pilates root for every exercise. Hopefully, that comes out by the end of this year. 

Erica: I am so excited for everything that you are doing. I love it because you are keeping within the Pilates principles, but expanding on them. There are so many more exercises and they are much easier for everyone to do. It is such a great way to challenge your core. 

I know that you go around and teach a lot. I look at your schedule and I have no idea how you are doing it! How are you balancing all of it?

Rebecca: Right now, I am traveling every other weekend and I have a great husband as my support system. I do my training later on Saturdays and early on Sundays so that I am just gone Friday-Sunday and then I can be with my family during the week. This has been a dream of mine for so long and it has been amazing being able to make this dream a reality. 

Erica: Is your creative time during the week then as you are working with your clients?

Rebecca: Since I moved out of California, I train all my clients in one hour-long sessions three to five days a week on Skype. That way, I am still able to train them, but it also frees up a lot of my time for creating new material and answering emails.

Skype has been great for my cueing. I can’t move a lot on Skype otherwise it freezes up, so I rely a lot on the cues that I give them so they can feel what I want them to feel. It has really helped me decide what works and what doesn’t when I am getting ready to present in my workshops.

Erica: I am sure that it helps with the writing of your books as well. 

Rebecca: Oh, so much! I use those hour-long sessions with my clients as my guinea pigs with what works and what doesn’t. With my books, I make sure that all the exercises are beneficial for the body and that three-fourths of the population can do them. 

Erica: I feel that with social media, they put a damper on the effectiveness of many exercises. I know this was brought up in a previous podcast as Jen and I talked about modifying. Just because the exercise isn’t intermediate or advanced, it could be way more effective for your body.

With your workshops, are they just for instructors or can anyone take them? 

Rebecca: Anyone that has a passion for fitness and learning is welcome to attend. I have physical therapists, chiropractors, personal trainers, Pilates instructors and even Pilates enthusiasts that come. A lot of the time, I have an instructor who will bring one of their clients and that is always nice to see that bond. It is for anyone that wants to dive deeper.

Erica: Before I let you go, I want you to give us your top five hacks that you do for living a healthy lifestyle. 

Rebecca: First is tons of water. When I started doing this a year and a half ago, it helped clear up my skin and flush the toxins out of my body. It has really helped me feel full between each meal.

Second is that I make an appointment for myself. In my planner at the beginning of the day, there is always a space that I make for myself before my family wakes up. I take the time to go to the gym and that is my time. I also feel that this time is important for an instructor because it is your chance to try new things that you are teaching to make yourself come off as more relatable. 

Also, eating every two to four hours was a game-changer for me. It was a good habit that I got my body into. Then, mixing it up would be my fourth one. I like to incorporate Pilates, yoga, lifting and HIIT workouts to mix it up and keep it fresh while keeping my body guessing.

My last one is rest. Whatever your fitness goals are, it is important to give your body the time that it needs to rest. A full seven to eight hours is what I recommend. Those are my top five hacks, especially in the past year since I have started working with a nutrition coach. 

Erica: Which one of those is the hardest for you to keep up with? 

Rebecca: I would say sleep; I am more on the seven hours’ end.

Erica: I was hoping that you said that one because I wanted to talk about sleep. It is easy to get into the cycle of lacking sleep. One thing I started to notice when I moved back to the Midwest was that once I let my body sleep a little bit more, my body felt so much better.

Rebecca: Yes, I am not exhausted by 4 p.m. anymore. I do try to stick my body to a routine.


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The material contained within is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before beginning a new regiment or purchasing any product(s).

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