Pilates Body Vs Gym Body – What Is Your Preference?


When you want to work out and exercise, you have to know what your goal is. What is the type of body you strive for? What are you shooting for? You may think I will work out for the sake of working out. But it is not that simple. There are many different types of bodies out there. And today, we will talk about pilates body vs gym body.

What you need to understand is that some people are naturally skinny, some are muscular, and some are overweight. Depending on what body you want to achieve, you need different types of exercises.

And in the Pilates body vs gym body debate, there is a big and visual difference in the outlook.

What Is Pilates?

Simply put, practicing pilates is a combination of exercises developed by Joseph Pilates. He was a German physical trainer who promoted the pilates method of physical fitness.

His system was designed to improve physical strength, posture, and flexibility. It is often used by dancers, athletes, and people who want to stay in shape and prevent injuries.

Generally speaking, pilates is a great workout for people of all ages and fitness levels. You can perform it in a class or in a private session.

Pregnant women also should practice pilates, as it is one of the best ways to stay in shape during pregnancy. The benefits of practicing pilates include and are not limited to:

  • Improving flexibility
  • Improving posture
  • Enhanced coordination and balance
  • Improving muscle strength
  • Improved endurance
  • Better breathing techniques
  • Increased abdominal and back strength
  • Improved joint mobility

Serious slim ethnic female athlete in sportswear sitting on fit ball with arms outstretched and stretching body while training with other ladies in contemporary fitness center

What Is Gym Training Or Strength Training?

The gym, commonly known as strength training is a high-intensity workout that will help you lose weight and build muscle. Strength training is a common form of training.

And one of the most common strength training practices is weight lifting. There are different types of strength workouts available at gyms. They are usually tailored to all fitness levels, keeping the exercise session interesting and challenging.

In the gym, you can choose one of more than 150 types of weightlifting equipment and weight machines. There are many exercises you can do on your own. Some of the common equipment includes resistance bands, barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and more.

Simply put, the gym is the place where people go to stay in shape. Gyms can range from small and local facilities to large and national chains.

Pilates Body vs Gym Body

Generally speaking, there is no wrong answer to choosing between a pilates body or a gym body. It depends on your preferences, goals, and desires.

A pilates body refers to a slim and toned physique with long and lean muscles. You can achieve it with regular pilates workouts. Usually, these exercises focus on core strength and flexibility.

The gym body, on the other hand, looks like a body with more muscle and definition. You can achieve it through weight training and resistance exercises.

If you want to have a body with more muscle mass and definition, going to the gym is your logical and natural choice. You cannot get that much muscle and definition with a pilates workout. Yet, if you want a more flexible body and leaner physique, try pilates.

With that in mind, let’s compare the two in different aspects.

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Weight Loss

The debate between the pilates body and the gym body has been around for years. They both have their pros and cons.

Now, when you talk about weight loss, which one is better? Let’s remember, most people work out to lose weight and shed pounds.

Pilates is great if you want a low-impact workout. You can even do it at home with little to no equipment. This makes pilates more convenient and affordable and great for toning muscles.

The gym will offer a wider range of options for workouts. There are machines like cardio machines, free weights, and group classes. Because you are around other people, it might be more motivating.

Which one is better for losing weight? Well, it depends on your goals and preferences. We advise choosing the one that you will stick with long-term.

Losing weight is a change of lifestyle, not a two-month trial. So, find a workout plan that will work and you will stick with it.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Both pilates and the gym are great for cardiovascular fitness. They just work differently. In the gym, you can work on the treadmill, elliptical trainer, rowing machine, and other types of equipment. Or you can do circuit training with weights.

During a pilates class, you do exercises non-stop, which will challenge your cardiovascular fitness. If you are not too advanced for the class, the pilates workout might be too challenging.

In this case, the gym wins because it offers more variety and control.

Better For Injuries

Let’s be honest, it can be risky if you are injured and you are doing gym training on your own. For the gym, you definitely need the guidance of a personal trainer with rehabilitation experience.

Pilates is slightly better here because you can attend it with a mild injury. But more importantly, the precision, breathing, and attention to detail make pilates the better option. Not to mention, the low-impact nature of the workout.

Athletic Performance

When you look at high-level athletes, you instantly notice they are generally strong with good cardiovascular fitness. Going to the gym and working on these aspects is part of their training.

But pilates is the perfect addition to athletic training as it will correct any imbalances in the body and increase body awareness.

For athletic performances, it is best that you combine gym and pilates workouts. It will optimize your performance.

Photo of Three Women Smiling

How Does A Workout Session Look?

Going to the gym is pretty straightforward. You go in and start your workout. Usually, people warm up on a machine like a treadmill, then do some weight lifting, and then core training. You can do it at your own pace, which is quite convenient.

In a pilates class, you will be guided by the teacher from the beginning to the end. You do not need to decide which exercise to do next.

The gym is the place to go if you want independence in your training. Although, we suggest hiring a trainer for gym workouts as well. That will maximize your results.

Equipment Comparison

As we said in the beginning, the gym has a lot more equipment you can use for working out. For example, you can find a stationary bike, treadmill, stair climber, elliptical trainer, dumbbells, barbells, squat racks, strength machines, pull-up bars, dip station, and more.

During a pilates class, you are usually using equipment that is specific to pilates exercises. And it is much more limited. Yes, pilates workouts might use some weights, but not to the point that gym workouts do.

How Do You Look After A Workout?

After a gym session, you will get the typical pumped-up sensation and some soreness the next day. With pilates sessions, you often feel light and tall after the session.

After a pilates class, you will have a feeling you worked out some muscles that you have never worked out before.

What Is Better For You?

Debating between pilates body vs gym body comes down to preferences. Gym training will result in a more muscular look and will depend on your exercise selection.

Getting bulky is not a possibility with pilates training. Yes, pilates can tone your body, but toning doesn’t mean what you think it means. It means giving strength or firmness to the body. With pilates, you will look leaner, taller, and nicely toned.

The answer which is better depends on what you want to achieve. If you want something focusing on core strength, pilates is the way to go. The gym is better if you want to build muscle and strength.

Both of these exercises have their advantages. For example, pilates improves posture and flexibility. Gym training will help you build bigger and better muscles.

And at the end of the day, it comes down to preferences. What is important is to understand the differences between the two, so that you can make an educated decision.

Because gym workouts can be customized, they are often a more popular choice for people trying to achieve specific goals.

I am a mother, wife, daughter, granddaughter, writer, living in Virginia Beach. I love creativity, ideas, crafts, arts, photography, movies, food, coffee, naps, outdoors. I love to make stuff!