When 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.