BAZAAR Tries: Getting Fit with Julia van der Drift of Sculpt Club

Start Fresh.

The new year calls for setting goals and introducing something new to your weekly regimen. For us, this means pursuing workout classes to feel energised again. If your workouts are becoming a little stale, trying a new form of class can be daunting, but trust us, you’ll feel good that you were even up for the challenge. Whether you’re a fitness junkie or new to the fitness world, picking up a reformer pilates class can do good to your mind and body with its overall deep core strengthening, improved balance and coordination.

What is Reformer Pilates?

The reformer pilates machine used involves a large piece of equipment that uses springs and pulleys to provide resistance. It works the whole body, resulting in a low-impact method integrating breath with movement while activating your deep core muscles. What’s great about it is that it aims to build core strength, strengthen muscles and challenge balance and flexibility.

For beginners, don’t be afraid of the carriage, as it will move with you. Lying on your back flat on the moving platform can be unsettling, but you’ll get used to it with practice. Throughout the class, instructors will incorporate props to help improve your form and create a dynamic to your routines. The most common props used are magic circles, reformer boxes, stability balls and resistance bands.

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Before booking your next class, be sure to invest in a pair of good-grip socks to help prevent your foot from slipping on the straps, foot bar, or springboard. Most importantly, it’s best to explore in finding the perfect fit for class. You will feel more comfortable flaunting a more body-hugging fit, just so the instructor can evaluate your movements better and your clothes don’t get caught in the machine.

Additionally, take your time and trust the process. With practice, this well-rounded workout will improve your mood and help with posture, core strength, and balance.

During our session with Fitness Instructor Julia van der Drift, a 2023 Women of the Year alumna, we dove into reformer pilates to experience its benefits and invigorate our bodies with each movement.

Take a look to see how we do for our first session with Julia:

In Conversation with Julia van der Drift:

What inspired you to pursue Pilates as your form of daily movement?

Julia: I started learning Pilates during high school as a form of rehab, to help my posture, and with performing in competitive sports at the time. I started committing to Pilates almost everyday once I started my corporate job, as it was a way for me to relieve stress. I felt like it was the only workout that stimulated the mind-body connection, and it really helped my focus at the same time – working out evolved into mental therapy for me, as much as it was physical. I love how Pilates requires incredible attention to technique, with my goal always being mastering movements and understanding my own body. Not only were the results incredible, but it was the best way to start my day.

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What would you say is the most significant learning experience you’ve ever had?

J: The biggest learning experience I’ve had was starting my own business from scratch and running it myself with a small team. It definitely helped shape me into the person I am today from when I first started 4 years ago. I learned the ins and outs of administration and operations of a business – which is a challenging thing to do on your own!

What are the fitness benefits of introducing Pilates to your weekly routine?

J: Once you introduce Pilates into your weekly routine, you will start to learn to be more in tune with your body. We focus on mind-muscle connection, breathing techniques and slow and controlled exercises. Most people think that Pilates is just a form of stretching – but it actually requires a significant level of strength and mobility, and results in an incredible connection with the body.

Pilates strengthens the deep core, focusing on movements that target smaller muscle groups – which helps train lesser used muscles to operate functionally. Essentially Pilates helps you build a strong solid foundation for your body, with the bonus of a more balanced posture. Particularly for those seated at work for a long period of time, Pilates, as a physical and mental workout, is even more relevant now. The best thing about Pilates is that it is a movement practice that does not discriminate, it’s there to help anybody and everybody.

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What is your go-to music genre to play in the studio?

J: 2000s R&B is my go-to playlist for the studio! Our clients love it so much – it’s such a great throwback and jamming to these tunes during training sessions makes it extra fun!

Do you have a favourite Pilates move?

J: The Teaser!  It’s one of my all time favourite exercises of Pilates! It takes a lot of strength, control, flexibility and balance – everything that we aim to develop in our Pilates workouts.

What’s your favourite time of day?

J: Currently evenings are my favourite time of day, as I get to unwind and spend time on focusing on my own self care, such as getting in my own Pilates workout and cooking myself a delicious meal.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

J: Always keep learning and growing! You can never know enough.

For more, check out Sculpt Club or WhatsApp to book at +6011-3197-9530.




Featured image credit: Unsplash/freyayangg

Amalina Anuar is the Digital Director of Harper's Bazaar Malaysia. From covering the latest runway trends to the hottest happenings in Kuala Lumpur, she also delves deep into all things lifestyle and beauty.