Margaret Chapman is the newest member of Team TPB! This fierce #corequeen is ready to help you reach your fitness goals, whatever they may be. We caught up with Margaret to find out more about her fitness background – read below to learn more about her individual training style!
Tell us a bit about your fitness background! How did you discover Pilates?
I was always into staying fit, but found that just going to a gym was not giving me the results I wanted. My husband bought me a Groupon for mat Pilates classes one day, and I was hooked!! He then convinced me to go ahead and get my certification. I love how Pilates is all about strengthening your muscles, while you are constantly stretching them. It’s a safe, yet super effective way to keep your body in shape.
What is your philosophy of training?
Slower=Stronger…..When you rush through pilates movements, chances are you are moving from your joints, not from your core – which will do little for your abs, burn your joints out, and probably make your lower back sore.
If you are taking your time with the movements, you can focus more, allowing yourself to engage the abs fully and keep your core super strong and supported. Even if an exercise is labeled as an arm, leg, or glute focused movement – if you are not also feeling it in your abs, chances are you are not doing it right.
What experiences have influenced your Pilates practice?
I am a trained musical theater actor, so dancing was a huge part of my life. I wouldn’t call myself a dancer, but a very strong mover, so Pilates came naturally to me. I actually feel that because I practice Pilates daily, I am a better dancer now in my 30’s than I was in my 20’s!
I also live with the auto-immune disease rheumatoid arthritis. I was officially diagnosed in Sept of 2014, but knew something was wrong starting around Dec. 2011. When I have a flare up, I get super achy in my shoulders/upper back, elbows, knees, and especially my wrists and hands. Pilates is one of the only forms of exercise that doesn’t make my joints feel worse. When I first started practicing Pilates, I used it as a way to stay in shape. Since I’ve been living with rheumatoid arthritis, it has truly helped me identify with Pilates as a type of physical rehab and therapy.
What are your greatest strengths?
I’ve been told I enuciate well, which classes seem to like, lol. Whether I’m teaching a class, a private, or a duet session, I will always adjust you if you are doing something wrong. I don’t expect you to be perfect, but want you understand the goal you are headed towards. I will always make sure my clients understand all the exercises and where they should feel everything.
When teaching classes, I welcome questions at the end of class from people who were confused about certain exercises, and will take the time to make sure they understand how to do it properly for next time. l am tough, but will never push you beyond your limit or make you do exercises you are not yet ready for. I will, however, never let you leave feeling that something was “easy”. Nothing should ever feel easy!
Healthy eating tips? Favorite healthy food hangout?
I try to do a gluten free and dairy free (or light) diet, but that is mostly due to my rheumatoid arthritis. However I am a firm believer that eliminating these things from your diet will make you feel great! Find foods that make you bloated (for me, it is white gluten, cheese, and foods high in sodium) and stay away from those! Stay away from processed foods and anything with sugar added.
Beverages like sodas, fruit juices, lemonade, gatorade are super high in sugar and contain lots of other things that should not go into your body. If you like to drink adult beverages, try to stay away from beer and too much white wine. If you are a fan of the mixed drinks, be careful what your you are mixing the alcohol with. Stay away from sweet and sour mix, and all those beverages I mentioned above. Everyone deserves to enjoy themselves, including me, but just remember: everything in moderation!!!
If you are trying to lose more than 10lbs, you HAVE to be doing a cardio a couple times a week, as well as Pilates, and also make sure your diet is on point (lower calorie intake). The cardio can be an hour long Pilates jumpboard class – if you aren’t into jogging, cycling, or other forms of cardio. I truly believe you need to be doing Pilates at least 3 times a week (whether it be private sessions or classes) in order for your body to truly benefit from it….definitely no less than twice a week!
All I do is Pilates, with some cardio twice or three times a week. If you are looking to stay toned, flexible, keep your muscles long and strong, and are not really looking to lose weight, you don’t really need to do anything else but Pilates. If you take classes, go to a few different teachers (at least two). Every teacher is different and your body may become complacent just going to one instructor. It’s a little different with private sessions. I actually think with privates, sticking to one instructor is best – that way the instructor gets to know your body, and knows what needs to be done to get you to achieve your fitness/rehab goals.
Favorite fitness fashion?
Whatever feels and looks good! I own a few pairs of Beyond Yoga workout pants and they are GREAT! I own a few sports tanks, shirts,and jacket from LuluLemon. Honestly, I try to make sure I’m not wearing clothes that are too baggy. Baggy, loose fitting clothing are not the best to workout in, and when I’m teaching and demonstrating, the clients need to see my body and what it’s doing.
What are your other hobbies and interests?
I love hiking, and try to make that my cardio at least once a week. My first trade is singing and acting, which I still do out here in LA. I was an original member of the acclaimed “For the Record” series, and performed in their shows at Rockwell Table in Stage in Los Feliz from 2011-2014. I still perform at Rockwell from time to time – the last few times doing my one woman concert, THE SOUNDS OF DIRTY JERSEY. Between all that, pilates, and taking care of my husband and two dogs, I don’t have much time for anything else!
Margaret is available for Private Sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at TPB