Raleigh, N.C. — PBX Pilates Extreme is not your traditional pilates done on a mat on the floor.
The north Raleigh studio combines traditional with modern pilates and takes it to another level by using a reformer machine.
It can be intimidating at first, but owner Libby Bradley Burton has crafted a program that includes classes for even the most un-flexible beginners.
It all starts with the Allegro reformer machine, which allows you to do a ton of exercises.
To be able to use a reformer at other studios, users will need to go through a series of private lessons. At PBX, every class participant gets their own to use from the start.
Burton, a former competitive gymnast, wanted to make "reformer pilates more accessible to more people."
The reformers can be stood on for lunges, laid on for resistance training with elastic bands and even used for planks. During Core Jump classes, a board is used to create a cardio workout on the reformer. Barre classes combine the traditional ballet style training with the reformer's resistance training.
Burton, a UNC grad from Raleigh, started doing pilates in Los Angeles and fell in love with the high intensity of the modern style. When she moved back to the Tar Heel State, she became certified in pilates and developed the PBX pilates barre extreme program. The mission was to develop a workout that is easy on the joints, but still has the results of high impact exercise.
The PBX Basic class offers a lower intensity program at a slower pace. I took the PBX One class, which is also designed for those new to the reformer machines. The One class teaches you the fundamentals of the reformer, but at a faster pace than the Basic class. The reformer really works to elongate your muscles and provide a full range of motion with each move.
For the next few days, I felt sore in muscles I didn't know I had. I felt like I got more out of it than a regular pilates class. And it was set to modern music that kept me moving and motivated.
I'd definitely go back and try the Core Jump, Barre and Circuit classes (where each reformer is turned into a different workout station).
PBX Pilates Extreme is located at 11211 Galleria Ave. in north Raleigh. Classes are offered seven days a week. Classes are sold in groups of three, five and 10. There are also monthly memberships. The first lesson is free, and Groupons are always available for packages of classes, so keep your eyes open for deals.
The studio also offers children's classes and special men's only classes (taught by Burton's husband) throughout the year. And don't be surprised if you see PBX popping up in other places in the Triangle. Burton is looking to expand into North Hills.