Gratz Pilates has initiated a series of interviews with some of our prominent instructors to allow them to tell their story and discuss the current challenges in our industry. We have featured interviews developed by Gratz Euro correspondent, Tavis Bohlinger, with Brooke Siler and Marjorie Oron and now we are proud to present an interview with our friend and brand ambassador Chris Robinson.
The interview was conducted virtually by our talented designer in Philadelphia, Jennifer Chung who had the opportunity to spend some time with Chris at the PMA event in Monterrey last October and more recently at the Ft. Worth Classical Pilates event in late February.
Please take a look at the interview and hear Chris tell his story and his journey from his participation in sports through childhood, studying oceanography, competing in martial arts and of course his passion for practicing and teaching Pilates with students all over the world.
Sports has been a part of me all my life. Since elementary school, I've been active in many sports like football, basketball, baseball, and track. I started doing Martial arts at 14 years old and am still active today. Initially, my major in college was Oceanography. During my sophomore year, I learned that the field offers very limited research funding and jobs would be scarce so I had to really reflect on what I love: peak performances and movement. So I changed my major to Kinesiology. I wanted to learn how the body moves like a machine so that’s what led me to the fitness industry.
"The exercises were unreal. Like nothing that I have done before. After the workout, the level of exhaustion was through the roof, but I could punch and kick with much more speed, power and control. My body felt light!"
The Archive Reformer has been my favorite. It makes a huge difference in the quality of my workouts. I feel it's really challenging and making me stronger. With the pandemic, I’ve had time to really explore the techniques on the reformer more deeply.
First and foremost, I just enjoy helping people. I love seeing the moments my clients do things they didn't think they would be able to do. I want all of my clients not only to improve their fitness levels, but to learn how to move. This gives them the freedom to enjoy activities pain free. For the athletes I train, this is their dream and livelihood. I feel I can give them what Pilates has given me: great control of their bodies and optimal performance. I’m honored for their trust in me to help achieve their goal. For the teachers I train, my job is to guide them to find their unique way of understanding the method so they can have their own voice.
I've been teaching online. I have 5 Pilates classes a week. Mat, Wunda Chair and Reformer classes with private lessons as well. When I’m in California, I only teach privates at S6 Pilates in San Diego or at Hummingbird Pilates in LA. Classes aren’t allowed due to capacity limitations. I cancelled all of my workshops, seminars and conferences for this year. As for my own training, I always workout with my classes online. I like to set the pace of the class and I want everyone to see my techniques, and also my mistakes and how to work to overcome them. I also run track and swim about 5 times a week and a little Muay Thai training. Sadly, no Jiu-Jitsu. It’s too difficult to social distance
The impact it has had on the Pilates industry is tough, especially for larger studios. It's unlikely that we will be going back to big classes anytime soon. Teachers are going to have to adapt to make their studios and workouts more personalized.
CHRIS ROBINSON AND LILI VIOLA
CHRIS ROBINSON + GRATZ TAKEOVER