Most men have an unfounded fear that Pilates is a female pursuit. “Guys think that they’re going to get twisted into a pretzel, and they become very hesitant, and that’s not the case at all,” says Michael Feigin, producer and co-host of Fitness Guru on Sirius Satellite Radio. In reality, classes leave students more flexible, refreshed, and incredibly sore, but with their masculinity intact.

Your First Session
Plan on doing tons of isometric contractions, focused primarily on your torso. Think short, slow, precise movements with exacting form. “For guys, that can be a little difficult, because they become very goal-oriented,” says Feigin. “It’s not a question of how fast or how many, but it’s always a question of how.”

Try This at Home
Before taking your first class, Feigin recommends mastering this warm-up, the abdominal clock. “Twelve o’clock would be right under the rib cage, 6 o’clock would be right under the navel, and 9 and 3 would be right at the obliques,” he says. Simply move your finger around the “clock,” and flex each part of your abs as you go. Try it once clockwise and again counterclockwise, hitting each hour on the way, and rest for 30 seconds in between each set. Then go back and work on your problem “hours.” This will get you used to the kind of core activation that you’ll need to finish a