I am hot and cold on Pilates. I respect Joseph Pilates as an innovator and a trainer of athletes. Dancers getting into Pilates kind of feminized it and men tend to avoid anything it might offer. Pilates books are the same way, girl stuff and leotards.
Daniel Lyon Jr. offers an alternative. He is a former Jits guy and former powerlifter. Like many, he was pretty bruised and beaten by these hobbies and the mileage showed. He tried Pilates and it basically cured anything that was ailing him. No magic, just understand structure, movement, etc. etc. Daniel like many of us cut to the essential by locating Joseph Pilates oldest living student. The text that follows is a result of that study and application.

The book uses detailed drawing vs photographs and this is a huge advancement in visual communication. It includes the matwork, then the adaptation of the Reformer work to the mat. This is where the old master showed the young lifter and jits player that less is more and if you understand the concept the need for complex tools is minimized.

The weak point is more time should have been spent on program design. There are training courses, but you have to refer back to the list again and again. The strength is the variety of movements. These include standing motions and MENS ONLY moves, not taught to women by Pilates. The Swakate Series is one of those. Even neck bridging, Joe Pilates style is taught since he trained boxers. Many of the movements will be familiar to those who indulge in modern training that includes mobility, and bodyweight training programs. Joe Pilates proceeded all of the current guys by decades. You can see where their material is synthesized from.

I think this is an excellent book for your library. The program in whole or the individual exercises are VERY well thought out. I hope they do a series of DVD’s. Finally the book recommends staying athletic and doing all sports and using Pilates to maintain balance. This is a breath of fresh air since may practitioners tell you this is the only workout you will need.
A+ in my book. –Tom Furman
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