My name is Tony Bellisimo I am a 48 year old husband and a father of two boys. I have been an athlete my entire life, playing two different sports at a very high level – baseball and boxing. I can not remember a time in my life that I was not training or preparing to compete.
Both sports required explosive movements, so as a result, my training regiment was to one: lift weights, and two: practice consistent repetition of explosive movements.
About two years ago, my lower back finally could not take anymore explosive movements. I have had six surgeries due to sports injuries but this was my first back issue. I can take a tremendous amount of pain. However, I have never experience the persistent, relentless pain from a lower back injury. I was unable to function and lay on the floor of my living room for six months.
After what amounted to two years of no exercise and at my wife's insistence, I decided to try Pilates. The results were not immediate. It was not a one or two class thing and then I was cured. However, it was not an extended period of time either. It took about two months of consistent (5 times per week) effort. I am now really strong, especially my core.
The instructors are incredible. They encourage, motivate and challenge the class. They are also very knowledgeable as it relates to proper form and safety for those students who do have injuries. I also really like the way the instructors tell the class what muscles to focus on when doing particular exercises. I find that it really helps me to engage the proper muscles to create greater core stability. I also like the reminders from the instructors in regard to breathing, sounds simple right breathing... But I have found that I am able to work harder when I follow the breathing instruction.
The first day I could barely make it through the class. In all fairness I still have days where I can barely make it through the class but I am pain free. I sleep better and I am getting a six pack. I wish I did Pilates when I was competing because I have also noticed that my balance is the best it has ever been.