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Toby_Davis_Pilates_reformer_trainer_londonWhen he’s not jet-setting off to South America, the friendly Toby can be found teaching his fun yet challenging Tempo Pilates classes at our E8 | Hackney and E1 | Shoreditch studios. We spoke to him about his best exercise tips, the improvements he’s noticed since beginning Reformer Pilates and his favourite things to do in his spare time.


TP: Tell us about the greatest difference you have noticed in yourself since practising the Pilates method.
Toby: I used to suffer from really bad sciatica. Since using the Pilates method, touch wood, I have had no problems. Single leg and double leg bridging have really helped my lower back and glute strengthening.


TP: What do you find to be the most challenging exercises on the reformer?
Toby: For me, it has to be lunging with core rotation because it’s s a challenging way of keeping your balance. All men find lunging horrible! (laughs). It aches my hips which is part of the problem. You also need to focus on your eye line and concentration


TP: Many of us are planning on escaping the London cold for the holiday break. What’s your favourite destination?
Toby: It has to be Brazil, a beautiful & gorgeous country. It’s a big melting pot of many cultures. The food is amazing, there’s a big Japanese influence. We like to go to Sao Paolo and to the beach house in Santos and swim in the Atlantic every day- looking for sharks! (laughs). Rio is a bit too touristy.


TP: Do you have any Pilates equipment that you would recommend to take along?
Toby: I always take a workout mat wherever I go. I love doing leg extensions and planks- on holiday but we always go to beach places so I tend to stay away from these and like to swim/run/jog for some variety.


TP: Many of us come to Pilates to reach our exercise goals, especially in winter when we are less active. What are your best tips to help?
Toby: Winter time is always hard to motivate ourselves.  Keep going.  Don’t change your workout routine. Eat well. Sleep well. Don’t overdo it.  Rest is just as important.


TP: What’s your best kept London secret? (maybe somewhere to eat/a landmark/a park etc not a lot of people have heard about)
Toby: I just discovered Aviary Hill park and aviary house are very beautiful- they have the second biggest glass house after Kew. Just on the edge of Greenwich. 


TP: What are your top 5 foods for good health and energy?
Toby: Milk. Apples. Quorn. Oysters. Wine.


TP: And on the contrary, what are your top 5 foods to avoid?
Toby: Cake. Cheap chocolate. Fizzy drinks. Sweet breakfast cereals. McDonald’s.


TP: The name of someone on Instagram who inspires you?
Toby: Michelle Obama –  Michelle Obama joins Prince Harry to surprise a school in chicago


TP: What is a quote you like to live by?
Toby: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story……..


Toby’s classes run on Monday mornings in WC2; Tuesday mornings in E1; and Wednesday and Friday mornings, and Sundays  in E8.

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A regular at our WC2 | Covent Garden studio, Lida has been coming to Tempo Pilates for over 5 years. Here she shares her thoughts on the results she has seen, her local restaurant recommendations and more.

When and what made you decide to join Tempo Pilates?
2010/2011. I was intrigued by reformer pilates.

How has Pilates changed your day-to-day life? Have you noticed any differences when you are at work?
I am more flexible and have more energy! I definitely start my day in a better mood.

How many times a week do you attend?
3 times a week.

What I like the most about Tempo Pilates is...
That the exercises are challenging but enjoyable!

What is your favourite Tempo Pilates playlist tune?
Moon Taxi – Two High. I also liked Strange Love – Koop, from many playlists back


What motivates you to maintain a regular exercise routine?
The changes I notice in the way I look and feel.

Any favourite local places for food and drinks you can recommend?
TY Cafe and Barrafina! Great for brunch and a fun dinner.

Well done to Lida from Gina and the TP team.



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instagram-sarah-emay-pilates-reformer-trainerOxfordshire-born Sarah has been a Tempo instructor for 2 years. An experienced dancer and lover of music and theatre, Sarah’s passion for movement really shines through in her classes. This month we spoke to her about nutrition, at-home exercise, personal training and much more.

TP: What makes Tempo Pilates different from other Pilates studios out there?
Sarah: The music! We have great playlists that really help to motivate both students and instructors. It gives our Pilates sessions a fun edge and helps to give you an extra buzz so that you keep pushing through a tough exercise series.


TP: What role does nutrition play in seeing good results from physical exercise, and what foods do you recommend?
Before exercise, I eat something light for energy. It can be as simple as a banana, or avocado on toast. Anything heavier and exercises like the 100s feel horrible! My favourite food is peanut butter, in any form, so right now I love peanut butter protein balls. They’re easy to make, and a great ‘on the go’ refuel.


TP: What’s a myth you’ve heard about Pilates that you’d like to debunk?
Sarah: That Pilates is going to bulk out your muscles – that’s not true! The great thing about Pilates is that it does two things in tandem: it lengthens and strengthens your muscles. It has nothing to do with ‘bulk’.


TP: Which area of the body generally needs the most work when a student is new to Pilates?
Sarah: The most obvious answer is probably core strength! What new students don’t often realise is that we aren’t just strengthening abdominals during planks and curl-ups. Your core is always being engaged throughout a session, whether it’s simply remembering to connect with your core during your exhale, or engaging your abdominals to help keep your balance for standing work. Basically if you stick with Tempo Pilates you should find that your core strengthens quickly!


TP: What Pilates equipment can you recommend to complement at-home exercise?
Sarah: The Pilates circle of course! You’ll already know a good few exercises from our Tempo classes that you can incorporate into your home workout.


TP: Do you have any favourite clothing/accessory brands that are good for practising Pilates in particular?
Sarah: So many to choose from, but personally Lululemon is a guaranteed win – the quality is great and they tailor some of their range specifically for Pilates/Yoga.


TP: What are the benefits of personal training at Tempo?
Sarah: Personal training gives you the chance to work closely with your instructor and really tailor each session so that you focus on your own personal goals. A lot of my students find that personal training complements attending group classes. Personal sessions enable you to consolidate and develop your technique; the sessions can be tailored more effectively to support your particular body type and can more fully accommodate your personal goals.


TP: The last good film you’ve enjoyed recently?
Sarah: I love watching films. Hard to pick just one, but recently I watched Ex Machina, which I really enjoyed; it had me on the edge of my sofa with the suspense, the special effects were incredible and it I found that it gave me lots to think about afterwards. I would definitely recommend it.


TP: A song from our current playlist that you enjoy the most?
Sarah: James Brown – I Feel Good. The catchy beat really motivates you with the footwork series.

Sarah’s classes run regularly at our E1 | Shoreditch and WC2 | Gymbox reformer pilates studios.

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Tempo-pilates-student-of-the-monthWhen Mahsa is not travelling for work she joins us 5 times a week, read below on the amazing results she’s seen and what Tempo Pilates helped her accomplished.


 When and what made you decide to join Tempo Pilates?
I joined Tempo Pilates in May. I have a hip condition that has kept me from running these past few years. My physiotherapist had told me I needed to strengthen my core, and I finally got around to it by joining Tempo Pilates and attending classes at least 4-5 times a week.

How has Pilates changed your day-to-day life? Have you noticed any differences when you are at work?
So my hip problem which usually flared up for me at least once a month has basically disappeared, and I’m running my first half-marathon next Sunday (after I was told to stop running long distance back in 2013).

What I like the most about Tempo Pilates is…
If you find the moves too challenging, you can lose yourself in the breathing or the music, and before you know it, that 2-minute difficult plank is over.

What is your favourite Tempo Pilates playlist Tune?
When I first started and was getting really annoyed and worn out by the ‘over and under’ leg presses I memorized the lyrics to ‘Everything’ by Maya Jane Coles that always played during that set (June playlist I think). Now I hear that song on my playlist at home and think “over and under.”

What motivates you to maintain a regular exercise routine?
Being able to run, and not being crippled by hip pain. Of course, feeling like my body is looking really toned and strong since I started doing Tempo Pilates obsessively is a pretty nice added bonus.

Any favourite local places for food and drinks you can recommend?
Campania for a nice meal, and then next door at Printers and Stationers for drinks is always a lovely time.

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