Humble boast: I reckon I could spot a fitness gimmick from a mile away. AsWHAs a fitness editor, I spend most of my day reading and writing about the latest training trends. I'm also kinda addicted to TikTok where I came across this12-3-30 Training, Die25-7-2 Stairmaster-Trainingand for example the 3-2-8pole PilatesMethod.
Seek '3-2-8-Training"on TikTok and you will see that it has had 292.2 million views so far with users making big claims like 'It completely transformed my body', 'The 3-2-8 method helped me lower my cortisol reducing tummy and controlling my hormones." and "I healed my hormones, reduced inflammation and lost 14 pounds." Don't get me wrong, I know these are some very bold claims, but since so many people are posting about this, I decided to do some research.
Marsha Lindsay (Pilates von Marsha),The founder of Nobu Pilates and leading Pilates instructor gives the go-ahead, telling me it's "a very safe practice as long as you progress safely and gradually and get expert advice on form." With her approval in mind, I did me to practice the 3-2-8 Barre Pilates method for 30 days. Here's what happened and everything you need to know about the trend.
What is the 3-2-8 Barre Pilates Method?
The method is essentially a training plan. The premise is simple:
- 3 strength training sessions per week
- 2 Pilates or Barre workouts per week
- 8,000 steps a day
Alternatively, you could do the following:
- 2 strength training sessions per week
- 3 Pilates or Barre workouts per week
- 8,000 steps a day
The 3-2-8 Barre Pilates plan allows for both reformer and mat Pilates
It was founded byNatalie Rose, a UK-based Pilates and Barre instructor and owner of the virtual Body by Barre Studio. She first posted about the 3-2-8 plan in December 2022 and captioned the video, "My not-so-secret way to make you feel ripped and empowered." She added, "In 6 weeks you will." feel, in.' In 8 weeks your family and friends will be asking for tips, in 12 weeks you will be transformed.'
In another clip, Natalie adds the following detail:
- "You can do itTraining in the gymor at home'
- 'You want toincreasing overloadthe intensity of your exercise (increasing the weight of your exercises) every four to six weeks
- "You should include thatcompound exercisesin the whole bodyweight training, and you can split your weight training into full-body, lower-body, and upper-body sessions.
- "On active recovery days, do Pilates and barre to reduce inflammation, improve mobility, and improve core and pelvic strength, as well as for lymphatic drainage."
- "Take 8,000 Steps a Day to Help Burn Visceral Fat"
She also refers to the plan as "PCOS-friendly," with many of her videos touting the benefits for those suffering from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Attachment A:
The mention of PCOS rings a few alarm bells with me. Granted, there have been studies into the pros of both strength training and Pilates for improving PCOS symptoms, buta study in the Baltimore's Medicine JournalFind that exaggeratedExercise for PCOSIn general, your menstrual cycle could become even more irregular.
This is mainly due to increases in cortisol levels (which can persist and become chronic if you exercise excessively over a period of time), throwing your hormones out of whack. The 3-2-8 method seems pretty comprehensive, with five workouts per week + 8,000 steps per day, and as Dr. Rebecca Robinson, an exercise medicine consultant, tells me, 'Overdosing could lead to missed periods due to negative energy balance,' or worsen symptoms by further unbalancing your hormones.'
what's morestudieshave shown that just 30 minutes of exercise a day, three times a week, up to a total of three hours a week, can improve metabolic and reproductive symptoms associated with PCOS.
Other than that, the 3-2-8 Barre Pilates plan doesn't specify a workout duration. Although five workouts a week may seem overwhelming, you can make them as short as suits you.
8 advantages of the 3-2-8 method
1. It's all around
The 3-2-8 method includes strength and Pilates workouts and walking
Entsprechend derNHSAdults should "do strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups at least two days per week" and total "at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week." Provided your workout is long enough, the 3-2-8 method meets both criteria.
Marsha agrees, "The 3-2-8 method is a comprehensive fitness program that covers all major muscle groups, and incorporating Pilates and barre will help you achieve the connection between small and deeper muscles." This will be yours Improving Performance The larger the compound exercises in your training program, the more effective you are.
For example this onelearncompared a group of people with Pilates experience to those with very little experience. The group with more Pilates experience was better able to activate their core muscles and stabilize their pelvis and therefore perform exercises more precisely and effectively.
2. It conveys consistency
studieshave shown that consistency is more important than the length of your workout when it comes to results, and that's what the 3-2-8 method is all about. "It's all about exercising regularly, and that can help form new habits," says Marsha.
3. It underscores the importance of recovery
Although you're right if you think five workouts a week (plus 8,000 steps a day) is a lot, the 3-2-8 plan istutDedicate specific days to “active rest” (when you are recommended to complete your barre or Pilates training) and include two full daysrest daysper week. "Recovery is just as important as training to protect your body from injury and improve your ability to work harder the next time you work out," advises Marsha.
4. It can be scaled for all fitness levels
As mentioned earlier, the duration of each workout in the plan can be customized to suit your needs and changed as needed. The intensity of your training is also entirely up to you; You can choose to do your strength training with bodyweight for a week or with the heaviest weights you can. Likewise, you can choose which exercises you prefer based on your experience and/or which ones you enjoy (I won't include burpees, thanks).
"The 3,2,8 method is an achievable regime for most people," says Marsha. "This could be very appealing to those who are short on time and find it difficult to fit fitness into their lives." You can look at your week and figure out how to fit the workouts into your schedule. For example, you can change the amount of time you spend each: 20 minutes, 40 minutes, or an hour. Consistency in executing the program based on the number of days is sometimes more important than the length of each day. Habits are built and consolidated through repetition and consistency; Over time, you can work to increase the length of the session.”
5. No equipment is required
The strength training sessions in your 3-2-8 plan can be weight or bodyweight, and Pilates workouts can involve some equipment (remember this).Pilates ball,Pilates ringsAndresistance bands) or nothing at all. A big bonus in the #cost of living crisis.
6. It can help you build strength
Strength training includes everything from weightlifting to Pilates andbothhave beenprovento increase muscle mass. Science has also proven that active recovery and rest days (both of which are implemented in the 3-2-8 plan) are essential for muscle recovery, giving them the time they need to regroup and then get stronger to regrow (a process known asHypertrophy).
7. It can improve flexibility
Pilates has been shown to improve flexibility and mobility
Several studies have shown that Pilates can help you improve your flexibility andmobility.Likehas even proven that you can “improve your muscular endurance and flexibility by performing Pilates exercises that are relatively low-intensity, require no equipment or a high degree of skill, and are easy to master and incorporate into your personal fitness program. “ Imagine that.
8. It can improve body composition
At rest, muscles are more metabolically active than fat. This means that by increasing your muscle mass through the strength training element of the 3-2-8 plan, you can burn more calories and fat at rest.
3 disadvantages of the 3-2-8 method
1. It is not related to diet
You may have heard the saying, "You can't beat a bad diet." It's true that a combination ofExercise and diet are essentialif you want to improve your body composition or change your physique, but the 3-2-8 plan doesn't have a mention of nutrition.
That's also something Marsha picked up on. "The 3-2-8 method suggests that you can transform your physique and appearance through exercise alone, but diet is essential if your desired goal is based on body composition or weight loss."
2. It does not include cardio training
Perhaps the greatest danger of all is that the 3-2-8 method does not involve any form ofCardio-Training. Depending on how you structure your strength training and Pilates workouts, they may well veer into the cardio realm (for example, if you limit your rest time and favor high reps over heavy weight), and you may well choose to do your 8- mile run Increase your number of steps per day by incorporating a brisk walk, but without it you may not be giving your heart the exercise it needs.
"Several studies have shown how important good cardiorespiratory fitness is to maintaining a healthy heart," says Marsha. "It might be a good idea to replace one of your Pilates/strength training sessions with running or cycling."
3. It promises unattainable results
We are all for sustainable routines and not for quick solutionsWHAs such, we're not a fan of the timelines given to get results with the 3-2-8 plan. It says, "In 6 weeks you'll feel it, in 8 weeks your family and friends will be asking you for tips, in 12 weeks you'll be transformed." But there isn't, and never has been, a one-size-fits-all approach to Fitness. It cannot be said that everyone who implements the plan will see results in the same period as everyone else.
How to integrate itprogressive overloadim 3-2-8-Plan
The 3-2-8 method involves incorporating progressive overload
The plan's founder, Natalie, recommends "gradual overloading" every four to six weeks. Here are Marsha's tips on how to do that.
1. Increase your reps:"Once you formulate your first program, start doing it on the same days as often as possible." For example, do a leg day every Monday. It's the best way to manage all the external variables that might affect your performance and you can really monitor your body's development. Maintain the same weight for two to four weeks, and after four weeks consider increasing the reps. Add 4-6 reps to each set.”
2. Increase your load:"After increasing your reps, after two to four weeks you may feel like the work gets easier. When that time comes, it's time to increase the weight.” Increase the weight by 10-20% (choose the lower percentage if unsure), then reduce your reps to the original Number you started with. Use this as a cycle that you monitor and update every 2-4 weeks.”
3. Increase Your Duration:"It's important to improve your endurance as well, and you can do that by increasing exercise time from 30 minutes to 40 minutes."
What is the difference between Barre and Pilates?
Natalie offers a choice of barre and Pilates workouts as part of the 3-2-8 plan; I stuck to Pilates throughout the challenge simply because I prefer it to barre training, but there are free workouts for both on YouTube. Here's a handy definition of each, courtesy of Marsha.
- polewas developed and inspired by strength conditioning in ballet. While it's a great workout, it's about more than thatinsulatingcertain muscle groups in every movement.
- Pilatesfocused onintegratingall muscles are activated simultaneously with every movement; In essence, you will effectively cover more of the basics in one session.
So is the 3-2-8 method safe?
Yes. "As long as you're making safe, gradual progress, listening to your body's needs, and taking advice from fitness experts, it's a safe regimen," Marsha agrees.
What happened when I used the 3-2-8 method for 30 days?
1.3 strength training sessions per week are not right for me
The 3-2-8 method involves at least 2 strength training sessions per week
About a week later I really felt like I was going to die from exhaustion (dramatic? Me?). One of my biggest weaknesses is that I will give it my all in training (I wouldn't recommend it - I'm working on it) and my strength training has been killing me.
So on day six, I went from doing three strength training sessions a week to two. When I ask Marsha if I'd see less results (both mentally and physically), she reassures me, "No, you need to evaluate what's best for you." More frequent Pilates and Barre balance may be individual to you work better. This can be for aesthetic reasons, energy levels, how best your body gets its endorphins, etc. So no, it's not necessary to stick to three strength training sessions if you're not feeling the positive effects, and you absolutely should Adjust according to how your body responds positively or feels most comfortable with the method.'
I also reduced the intensity of my strength training. I started the plan by lifting the heaviest weights I could, but after the first week I narrowed it down to bodyweight training and a single weight training session. From that point on, I managed to keep the weight pretty high, but two or three times I decided to go lighter and do higher reps because I wanted to sweat a little more.
2. Morning workout is much easier
Throughout the 30 days, I found it much easier to complete each part of the plan: strength training, Pilates workouts, and walks, much easier in the mornings than at night. I know that with some people it's the opposite; They prefer to work out in the evenings because it helps them unwind from the day at work, but I have just enough energy to cook dinner, let alone go to the gym. Marsha tells me that's not unusual.
"Your energy levels are at their peak in the morning because you're rested and regenerated from sleep." This means you have renewed energy reserves, are more alert, and have greater stamina to get through your workout. You're ready to go in the morning, both mentally and physically.
"However, I like to mix it up with both." That's mostly due to time constraints, but I also find that evening workouts (particularly Pilates) help clear my mind from the day's events and help me sleep more deeply."
Find what works for you - I'll stick with the morning sessions, but you could be a Marsha.
3. It is easier for me to stay motivated in group courses than in individual training
I have chosen to do Reformer Pilates with every Pilates workout
I did every Pilates training in a group at my placeReformer PilatesStudioPower-Pilatesin Beckenham and any strength training alone, either in the gym or at home. I would be counting down the days until my next Pilates class, but there were a few occasions when I really had to force myself to do my strength training. That's very different from me - if you've read mineweightliftingYou already know that I love training, but sometimes I really have to push myself. Marsha tells me that most people find it easier to train in a group session.
“There's a sense of responsibility, morale and an extra drive to perform and push harder,” she explains. "Plus, accompanied training is fun, coupled with the fact that you're in a place where you can count on a trainer to guide you thoroughly and safely." When you train alone in the gym, sometimes you lose orientation, gets distracted or feels unsure about what to do. Combine that with a tendency to keep track of time (which you can't do in a good class) and it can make solo workouts boring for some.
"To stay motivated during one-on-one workouts, there are so many apps and platforms that you can use to boost morale and stay current." Also, try changing your mentality and looking at the sessions as a time when you being able to focus on yourself and your own body, which you rarely get to do during the day.” Some very wise words and it seems like a treat. i downloadWeGlow- an app founded by super trainer Stef Williams and find it much easier to stick to my routine.
Check out our edition of thebest fitness appsto find what suits you.
I didn't tackle the plan for aesthetic reasons, but I did notice a big change: my posture. I've been doing Reformer Pilates weekly for almost two years (mat Pilates can be just as effective for results if that's not an option for you, FYI) but after upping it to three times I'm really surprised by how much taller I stand and how unrounded my shoulders are.
"Pilates isn't designed for you to experience weight loss or any drastic change," says Marsha. "It adds to your core strength and foundation, which can have tremendous benefits for your posture and strength." Even my friend, who likes to call me the Hunchback of Notre Dame when I'm hunched over my desk, commented.
Am I going to carry on like this? elements of it, yes. I loved getting 8,000 steps a day and it's easier to get through that than the 10,000 steps we all think is the "golden number" so I'll definitely try to put that in to stick to my routine. I will also maintain a combination of strength and Pilates workouts. This is something I've obviously been doing for about two years now, since strength training and Pilates are my favorite sports (after all, whatever workout you enjoy is what you'll stick with), but there's no way I'm going to maintain the frequency of training sessions.
As already mentioned, three strength training sessions is not energetically sustainable for me and a total of five training sessions per week is also very demanding. I work 9pm to 5pm and commute 3 hours a day twice a week. Also, I'm in the process of moving and planning a wedding (a note to anyone who actually has time for social life/housework). I probablycouldI can do five shorter workouts if I try, but I like to schedule at least 45 minutes for a session so I can schedule at least a 10-minute warm-up and workout sessioncooling down.
Conclusion: The 3-2-8 method definitely has its advantages, but the perfect training routine does not exist. Choose the parts of the plan that suit you and execute them.