fitness

ROAD TEST: 'The celeb-approved Pilates program that actually made me want to work out.'

Fluid Form
Thanks to our brand partner, Fluid Form

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always dreamt of having ‘the perfect healthy week.’  

The concept alone is flawed, though. What defines ‘perfect’? Is it your ability to stick to a gruelling schedule or perhaps not skip any of the classes you’ve booked at the gym?

For me, I’d consider myself a medium-liker of the gym. It’s a love/hate relationship that skews far too often to the latter. I love moving my body and try and eat as well as possible but I still have a daily mental struggle between wanting to go to the gym and wanting to do quite literally anything else.

Despite living two minutes away from my gym, it doesn’t come naturally to me. Like the saying goes, you can bring the gym to Ellie but you can’t make her exercise - or something like that.

I go for daily walks and hikes every other weekend, but when it comes to toning my body and building strength, I rely on the gym for that. But I kind of…. don’t really go.. at all.

That’s why when I had the opportunity to trial Fluidform At Home - an at-home Pilates program - I jumped at the chance as it promised an in-studio experience without leaving the house.

I’d also heard my boss Mia Freedman rave about it in her Sexy 6 recommendations and she swore it was a lifesaver for her as she isn’t a huge fan of the gym either.

I wanted to find out if it could get me out of my exercise slump and reinvigorate my mind and body for the year ahead.

So, here's a little bit about the program that’s endorsed by celebrities and fitness influencers alike - and my experience of trialling it at the end of a year where my energy was the lowest it’s ever been.

So, what is Fluidform Pilates?

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Fluidform Pilates has had two studios in Surry Hills and Clovelly in Sydney for years, primarily focusing on small groups and private one-on-one sessions. The Pilates methods are modern, dynamic and functional and have been designed by founder and owner Kirsten King.

King launched the Fluidform at Home offering in 2019, which is an online Pilates subscription service. "I want my clients at home to get the same experience as my clients in the studio," King told me.

It’s available globally on demand so you can really do it any time you want. If you’re so inclined to do a spontaneous Pilates sesh at 11pm or 5am alike - you can just pop on a video and get sweating (yes, you will be sweating).

The program isn’t just Pilates though - the platform takes a holistic approach to health ticking off all aspects of wellbeing including the physical aspect, mindfulness and community support.

The program, in a nutshell.

Fluidform At Home houses more than150 workouts that will guide you through everything from fixing your posture, building all-over body strength and transforming your body.

There are three main ways you can use the platform, which I love because I can’t do the same thing every day or else I get bored.

Firstly they have FLOW, which is a series of specific movements aimed to realign, strengthen and tone your body. Each flow series takes you on a six-month journey where you can then progress to the next level. There’s Beginner (hello, me), Intermediate, Advanced and also Pre Natal and Post Natal which you won’t progress to unless you're...with baby.

It's really simple and easy to use on your phone and computer. Image: Supplied.

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Next, they have Challenges, which are designed to challenge your body and push you to your limits through focused and specific goals. You can choose the challenge based on the body part you’re trying to strengthen, the length of time you want to commit and the level of intensity.

And then there’s Workouts, where you use the search function to find a daily workout. This option really stood out to me as I love the idea that you can put in exactly what you want to do and it will give you tailored workouts based on your exact criteria. It feels like you have your very own personal trainer who chooses bespoke exercises just for you.

Tailored workouts and different levels makes it flexible around how I am feeling. Image: Supplied.

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Speaking to Kirsten, I really wanted to find out why people chose to do the program instead of going to an actual gym - and she said that price and convenience are the main factors. Memberships start at three months for $49 / month, then go to $42 / month for a six-month subscription and then there’s a 12-month contract for $35 / month. 

Even if you choose the $49 option - it’s still less than the cost of two in-studio classes per month so it’s good value for money, in my opinion.

Kirsten says results will come using the platform if you commit to a workout for 15 to 30 minutes per day. 15-30 minutes!!

She says if you can commit to doing that then it’s the equivalent of three sessions in the studio a week. It’s at this point that Kirsten says she sees changes in people’s fitness.

After hearing this, there was no way I was going to be making excuses not to work out. Plus, I only had the time in between my room and the TV room (5 metres and maybe 2.5 seconds) to talk myself out of it. Read: it would be virtually impossible to back out.

What you need before you start.

These bands look harmless but they burn. The cute tote and cap are additional equipment you can purchase on their website. Image: Supplied.

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When you sign up, Fluidform will you send you a free equipment pack which has all the equipment you need to do their home workouts including a ball, resistance bands and pilates sliders (the little discs on the bottom left that will take your workout to the next level, trust me - they burn). You can also purchase additional FFAH equipment to boost you practice, I am currently looking at the ankle weights.

This was a super luxe package to receive and also made me feel really motivated to workout knowing that I had professional equipment on hand. After I signed up, I received a welcome email with all the information and resources I needed to get moving. The course sits within the Fluidform website so I just logged in and started navigating around the platform.

My experience.

After I signed up, I had to choose between doing a FLOW, a Workout or Challenge. As a beginner, I opted for the beginner FLOW series, which takes you through the fundamentals of Pilates. It’s also great for people who are new to exercise or recently injured.

At first I didn’t love that my fitness level was comparable to someone who was injured but let’s be honest, that’s pretty much where I’m at right now in my fitness journey. Basically all this means is that it’s not going to be too hard on your muscles or joints and is designed to get you gradually stronger and more confident.

Over the next couple of days, I worked my way through some of their Beginner Challenge videos to get a sense of the program. At first I was like “Oh my gosh these exercises are so easy why didn’t I do this earlier?!” but then my arms and legs started bearing the weight of the reality of the workouts. Who knew that these small motions, sometimes no bigger than lifting your ankles off the floor, could cause such a good burn?

You know that feeling you get after you begin working out repeatedly? It’s like a small but subtle ‘ouch’. Not ‘ouch’ in a bad way but in a ‘I-can-definitely-feel-I-worked-out’ kind of way. But that feeling gave me a warm smugness because I knew I was making progress. Just knowing I was using muscles I didn’t even know existed - and really feeling them - was enough to get me to keep showing up every day.

This burns, don't underestimate the bands. Image: Supplied.

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It’s the compounded effect of doing these tiny movements repeatedly that really tones and sculpts your body. I also started to feel the mental benefits of working out every day, feeling more relaxed in general.

The workouts were perfectly suited to my small attention span, and being coached by Kirsten herself in my living room felt super motivating too. It was like… she herself was showing up every single day, for me - even though they’re pre-recorded.

I also liked how Kirsten always gave tips throughout the videos on ways to modify each exercise, as it felt like the type of guidance you would get in studio.

She’ll say something like “hold onto your knee if you need to” and so I will hold onto my knee. Or she’ll say, “Go down a resistance band level to make it easier” so I always take her suggestion - it would be rude not to!

Another aspect of the FLOW series that was super helpful was the daily calendar that corresponded to each video and had little tips on it. The tips said things like, “Don’t forget to keep hydrated to keep your mind and body clear” and “Practise gratitude, take a moment to close your eyes and say in your mind...Today I am grateful for...”, and honestly even little reminders like that really help you to be more mindful throughout the day even when you’re not working out. 

Throughout the week, I also supplemented my FLOW practice with some workouts. Using the Search function, I chose different workouts targeting various body parts, all beginner level, and got accustomed to using all the different equipment. It’s amazing how much you can sweat with just a resistance band and a ball!

I feel like a pro. Image: Supplied.

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It was so enjoyable to move my body in a new and challenging way and I began to pick up what type of exercises I liked the most. I made very good use of the ‘Favourites’ feature that lets you add workouts to your own personal tab to refer back to in the future. 

Other features.

There’s so much of the platform I still have to explore, such as their boxing and stretch sections, but the one that I’ve used a lot is their meal plans. They have ones for different seasons, different goals and even one created by celeb chef Donna Hay! They’re also fully customisable based on your diet so there is something for everyone, whatever your health goals are. 

The images are enough to convince me to try this. Image: Supplied.

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Personally, I love their super-easy three-egg omelette with greens and goats cheese recipe. I literally make it for breakfast three times a week now because it’s so quick but feels a bit special when I’m working from home.

Here’s a quick video of me making it:


Video via Mamamia

So, there’s my road test. If you couldn’t tell by now, I absolutely loved it and will be continuing it into the future as it’s the only program that’s actually made me enjoy working out. It’s not intimidating, it’s good value, it’s easy to follow but still challenging, and the coaching style is warm and friendly.

On top of all that, I’ve felt calmer, more centred and more energetic moving through my everyday life than I have in a long, long time. 

I guess that’s what a “perfect healthy week” actually looks like.

Want to try Fluidform Pilates? For the month of January you can save $15 a month on their 12 month membership plan. Use the code NEWYEAR20 to access their 12-month membership plan at a special price of $20 a month, instead of their usual $35 / month . 

All sign ups will receive a complimentary equipment pack and free global shipping!

Fluid Form
Fluidform at Home is the ultimate in-studio Pilates experience, at home.
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