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.