Reformer Pilates Teacher James Shaw London-fields, Hackney, Shoreditch, Covent-GardenTempo Pilates trainer James already gained almost half a decade of Mat Pilates experience and is still keen on discovering new ways to teach.  Read our interview with him below…

TP: What first got you interested in reformer Pilates?

James: I found the Pilates method and absolutely loved it.  I taught mat Pilates for 4 years and finally, in addition, added reformer pilates to my qualifications. It was a natural progression to want to learn the large Pilates apparatus. This year I’ll be adding the Pilates Cadillac to my belt.

TP: What is it about the Tempo Pilates method you enjoy the most

James: I think the first half of the class being a repertoire aids the students to see progression within the class. Plus, greater mind-muscle connection as the repetition of movement strengthens neural pathways, which helps us to learn new skills and develop our bodies.

TP: Tell us about some of the benefits you’ve found Pilates can provide men in particular.

James: Pilates holds the same benefits for everybody. Men, women, young and old. I feel with regards to men, Pilates may hold a stigma that it is more for “women” when in fact Pilates was created by a man to fix his body. Add the reformer and you’ve got an amazing workout.

The benefits I personally found was the change in body shape because I’d lost lots of weight but still didn’t have a nice body. Pilates tightened my transverse abdominal muscles which in turn gave me a strong core and a smaller waist. Winning!

TP: What are your best tips to boost energy for fitness?

James: Get plenty of sleep and keep hydrated. Try to limit phones and tablets. Our screens emit a specific type of blue light; this light keeps us awake and boosts reaction times by suppressing the release of the ‘sleepy’ hormone, melatonin.
Try not using your phone for one hour before bed and try not to have the phone next to your bed while you sleep.  As a result, I found my sleep improved 110% by doing this.

TP: As an East London local, what are your favourite places to eat and drink?

James: For a Sunday roast I love The Talbot in De Beauvoir. Drinks at Howl At The Moon in Hoxton and Shoreditch House.

TP: A recent London discovery you’d like to share?

James: I found an amazing coffee shop called Black Truffle in Belsize Park. The coffee is amazing and the cakes are to die for. If you’re in north London look it up.

TP: Your favourite song from our April playlist?

James: Me and My Toothbrush – Sister. I love teaching to the beat.

TP: Who is an inspirational figure you look up to?

James: Benjamin Degenhardt. From the start of my Pilates career, I have found him a total inspiration for my Pilates practice and teaching.

TP: What’s your best tip for beginners to Tempo Pilates?

James: Nobody was good at anything without practice, therefore give it a go.

TP: What’s a quote or saying you like to live by?

James: “If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you.”

Book a class with James at our London E8 | Hackney or E1 | Shoreditch reformer pilates studio.