Pilates Elephants
Pilates Elephants
Apr 10, 2022
82. How bodybuilding has influenced Pilates, with Aden O’Sullivan and Raphael Bender
Play • 1 hr 31 min

We’ve often talked about the influence of dance in Pilates, but the influence of bodybuilding is also important - in fact, it’s so pervasive it’s invisible.

Many of the things we take for granted in Pilates in fact are just bodybuilding conventions, not facts of exercise science, and they certainly weren’t part of Joseph Pilates’ original vision.

Things like:

  • Isolating muscles
  • Thinking about aesthetics as the primary goal of exercise
  • Working to fatigue and seeking the burn
  • Overcomplicating our programming
  • Are all bodybuilding practices, not laws of physics.

Resources mentioned in the episode:

  • Follow Raph on IG here
  • Strength is Specific book by Chris Beardsley here
  • Pumping Iron movie here 
  • Intrinsic motivation for exercise is healthier and more sustainable here
  • Hip stance doesn’t affect quad recruitment in a squat here
  • Females tend to select loads that are too light to stimulate strength gains here and here

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About Aden O'Sullivan

Aden is the Co-owner of The Fit Space Australia. He is a strength & conditioning coach as well as a Master Trainer for KX Pilates. Aden has an impressive educational background, holding a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Human Movement) from the University of South Australia, and a Master’s of Exercise Science (Strength & Conditioning) from Edith Cowan University. He is also the former KX Pilates Senior State Training Manager of South Australia. He currently teaches group reformer classes and helps other trainers and studios via workshops.

How to Connect with Aden:


About Raphael Bender:

Raph believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.

How to Connect with Raphael:


Purchase Raph's new book:

Strengthen The Person Not Just The Body Part here

Ways to engage with us for FREE:


Have Questions?

Book a time to talk with our team

DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast.



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