The idea behind Sculpt Club, created by Pilates instructor Julia van der Drift, was to create a supportive community that felt confident and comfortable with their bodies, regardless of fitness levels. “Pilates is something still quite foreign to Malaysians, compared to other wellness workouts like yoga,” says Julia van der Drift, an observation she had made upon returning home after studying in the Netherlands. “I wanted to create a community here in Kuala Lumpur that was willing to give Pilates a try, and to create a fun and intense workout for them”.
“It is so refreshing to be a part of a group that is empowered and motivated to empower others too–I put an emphasis on the journey of fitness as a whole, instead of counting the calories you burn,” she says. In today’s digital age, it’s all too easy to use the convenience of social media to put others down, which is why Julia uses her fitness-focused Instagram account (@pilateswithjules) to document not only her own inspiring journey, but that of her students, too. “Sculpt Club is your best friend, one who motivates you and pushes your limits; someone who believes in you.”
Besides getting one step closer to your dream body, says Julia, this low-impact workout does greater magic than just promoting weight loss and body toning. Pilates is known to be an effective form of physiotherapy for those suffering from overall physical performance and back-related pain. Poor posture and a lack of muscular support are common causes of prolonged pain on the upper body, and Pilates incorporates core exercises, stretches, and controlled movements to build resilience. “As Pilates efficiently strengthens the abdominal muscles like the transverse abdomis and the superficial layer of muscle called the rectus abdominis are being put to work,” says Julia. So while you might seek Pilates for muscle rehabilitation, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see abs starting to shape as you progress.
While Pilates has a bit of a reputation for being a difficult workout, nothing is too small of a step when starting out. “Trying workout sessions with a friend is a great form of motivation if you find it intimidating,” says Julia, adding that easy-to-follow Pilates videos on YouTube make it so that leaving the home is not even necessary. “My only advice for anyone looking to begin their fitness journey … is to just to start.”
Sculpt Club is held three times a week at FlyProject, 5, 6 & 7, Level 1, DC Mall. Tel: 03-2715 8220.