Personal Trainer Emmet Rushe tears into claims that a weekly Pilates class was the only factor in Holly Willoughby's recent body transformation.

Holly Willoughby made the news during the week as speculation grew over how she achieved her new figure.

It was revealed that Holly had hired a Pilates coach, who worked with her once per week in her home doing post natal Pilates.

The Pilates coach Lynne Robinson, told the Sun online that;

“I worked with Holly for several months, teaching her privately at her home once a week.
Holly had postnatal mat work classes which concentrated on strengthening and toning her core.
The exercises help trim the waist and flatten the stomach.”

This article caused quite a stir and almost every news and gossip outlet in the UK and Ireland ran with the story.

Pilates is an excellent form of training for strengthening the core and it can help to condition the muscles in healthy adults.


What these articles are suggesting, and what Holly’s trainer is claiming, is not completely true.

Yes, Pilates is great for core strength and muscle tone, but it isn’t a form of exercise that could contribute to Holly’s ‘weight loss’ in significant way.

In order for weight loss to occur the body has to be put into a calorie deficit.

There are 2 ways that this can happen;

  1. The calories going into your body are reduced through your diet
  2. The calorie expenditure is increased through exercise. 

To say that a 1-1 Pilates session once per week gave enough calorie burn for weight loss to happen is false.

Even if Holly had been doing daily sessions on her own alongside the 1-1 session, she still couldn’t have created enough of a deficit to get the results she currently has.

So it is safe to say that she was following a nutrition plan alongside her training.

The diet would have created the calorie deficit for weight loss to occur and then this would have revealed the work that she was doing in her Pilates sessions.

Why is this important?

It is important because people tend to go with what they think will get them instant results.
All the article talked about was the Pilates sessions, none of them talked about the nutrition plan she obviously was on and that she actually stuck to it for a sustained period of time.

They also didn’t mention whether she was doing any other kind of training or cardio exercise alongside her 1 Pilates session.

If she was going to a gym or walking or running then these sessions would have given much more of a caloric deficit per hour than the Pilates would (depending on the intensity of them).

The other point that I need to address is the Pilates coaches claim that Pilates can
“help trim the waist and flatten the stomach.”

While Pilates is great a helping to strengthen the core, it does not help to do what is claimed above.

Again, what helped to trim the waist and flatten her stomach was the calorie deficit that she was in.

The exercise definitely would have helped to strengthen her core after childbirth and the muscles would have been stronger and tighter, but without the weight loss caused by her diet, none of this would have been seen.

This week’s article is not a dig a Pilates in any way. Pilates is a fantastic form of exercise.  I am simply stating that starting to do Pilates, once a week, will not contribute to weight loss in the ways you will have been lead to believe from all the article that were shared during the week.

If you want weight loss, you will always have to look at your diet first and then the type of exercise you choose should suit you and your lifestyle.

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