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Featured Fitness Instructor: Lesa McLaughlin of Excel Pilates DC

Featured Fitness Instructor: Lesa McLaughlin of Excel Pilates DC

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 - 5:52am
Lesa McLaughlin of Excel Pilates DC

Photo courtesy of Excel Pilates DC.

About Lesa: "Lesa McLaughlin, owner, was certified as a teacher in The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning by The Pilates Studio in New York in 1995 under the tutelage of Romana Krowsanavska. She received a Gold Certification by the Pilates Method Alliance in 2005. Lesa has been teaching pilates for 20 years."

Lisa was kind enough to answer our questions for latest installment of our feature fitness instructor series.

Tell us about your athletic background. What are your certifications?
I have been certified in the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning since 1995 with certification from The Pilates Studio in NY. I also received Pilates Method Alliance Gold Certification in 2005. My athletic background includes, Track and Field (Long Jump), Basketball, Softball, Rugby (briefly - club at VCU), and Dance. I danced professionally for 20 years.

Describe a typical Pilates class with Lesa.
Lesa's classes and sessions are challenging, but designed for the abilities of the participants. They are invigorating physically and will leave you feeling better that when you walked in the door. Her goal is have students accomplish more that than they thought they could and be empowered by the experience. 

What sets a Pilates class apart from other forms of cardio? What are the benefits of Pilates?
Pilates is a full-bodied work out. While it is primarily focused on your (“Power House”) core muscles, you work to build strength from your center out. Pilates uniformly develops strength while simultaneously improving flexibility, posture and body awareness.

What is your favorite article of fitness-related gear?
The Reformer and Barrels.

What is the biggest mistake you see participants make in class?
I would not call it a mistake, but if you move too quickly through the movement without clearly understanding the depth of the work first participants will not get the most out of the work. If you are going to invest the time then one should give it time. They will then feel the rewards.

Please offer advice for someone considering taking your class. Any first class tips?
Try a couple of private sessions first to get some real individual attention. Give yourself time to learn the foundation of the work. Pilates is a system of exercise with an intelligent layering process. When the system is learned sequentially in progression it will provide the most benefit and reward. Experience the work beyond Mat class and workout on the studio equipment as well.

Lesa completes one on one sessions, new clients can request her by going to Excel DC Pilate's website.