What’s the secret to getting fit and toned fast? Vicky Mayer discovers the answer (and a new favourite exercise) at private lessons and master classes at London pilates studio Ten Pilates


They say there’s an exercise to suit everyone and after years of shunning sweaty gyms, I’ve found that Pilates is mine. This grown-up, no nonsense exercise regime will get you fit and toned fast.

As an absolute beginner, Ten Pilates held my hand all the way. To get started, I took two private one hour lessons with trainer Vinny Lewis- Jamerson at the St James studio. Modern pilates practitioners offer you the chance to work out on a reformer machine which will tone you up fast. The reformer is equipped with tension springs (which you can increase to intensify your workout) and pulleys to use on your arms or legs.

There are literally thousands of Pilates exercises you can do on a reformer and the joy of this workout is that your instructor can tailor-make it to your requirements, whether you’re looking for a trim tum or perfect pecs. Each movement is slow and many are similar to yoga poses. Pilates is all about setting your own pace and carefully controlling your movements. At first it feels a bit odd but once you get the hang of it, you can feel how your muscles are toning up as you move.

Two sessions on, I was ready to join the beginners’ classes and this is where I really started to enjoy myself. The hour-long sessions take place in a bright studio, and with no more than 10 pupils at one time, your instructor really has time to look after you. With a great soundtrack to accompany you, the hour is soon over and I left every session feeling toned, refreshed and walking tall. In a month, with just two sessions a week, my whole body felt toned up and for once in my life, I’ve got great posture.

Whether you’re an absolute beginner like me or a pilates pro, Ten Pilates offers classes and bespoke one-to-one sessions to suit everyone. They’re a really friendly bunch, with great facilities and a work-friendly online timetable. There are not many reasons I would get out of bed at 6.30 in the morning to get fit, but Ten Pilates makes it worth while.

 Ten Pilates have six studios in London. For more information see