Pilates? You got me.

“I do yoga and Pilates, and the room is full of hotties. So I’m checking out the bodies, and you know I’m satisfied,” rapped Her Madgesty on “American Life.” I can’t speak for downward doggies, but after just one 55 minute Signature Intense Cardio Circuit class at NOMI Pilates I can definitely co-sign Madonna on hotties with sculpted bodies and being completely satisfied. Walking into the chic boutique studio fitted with baroque trimmings, I admit that one peek at the heavy machinery - aka the reformer - intimidated my rubbery muscles. But owner Naomi Lowit’s coolness and the promise of longer, leaner limbs pushed my fear to the side. Who’da thunk that 15 minutes later a teaser would be kicking my ass while “Billie Jean” blared through the speakers.

The truth is, she’ll push you to the extreme to any song, because in addition to the core-strengthening ballet-ish moves associated with Pilates, Lowit adds cardio into the mix so I got a complete, high-octane workout. In fact, she says that after 2-3 classes a week for three weeks she can promise you a new bod. I kept this in my head as I climbed onto the reformer, a contraption resembling a guillotine. A true beginner, my body screamed as we went from running and cycling in a horizontal position to hoisting our legs over our head while pumping our arms south to squeezing a magic circle between my thighs. Ugh.

The small, concentrated class meant that Naomi could give me a move that worked my weak-ass triceps while the Granny to my left strengthened her aching back. In fact, the Israeli-Jamaican Lowit got into Pilates after a major car accident landed her in physical therapy. And now after training under the protégé of legend Joseph Pilates she teaches pros, beginners, teens, preggie ladies, and men how to practice the brand of fitness that fuses mind and body for optimal results. It sounds pretty, but hurts a bit and I haven’t even mentioned the Spinning room located to the left of the studio. And I won’t talk about what looks like cycling on meth because I don’t have the balls to try a workout that looks like it’ll push my uterus into my throat. Personal preference though, I hear it rocks.

In fact, my missing cojones are also keeping me from Naomi’s boot camp which consists of two hours of nonstop pilates, spinning, and toning for five straight Saturdays. Ay caramba. But I’ll gladly take part in the extras that NOMI provides. No, not the endless flow of Zephyrhills. It’s the partnerships with top nutritionist Dr. Elizabeth Trattner, therapist Craig Cohen, and Paula’s Salon. So after I get my new bod, I can get my health right, head right and hair right. Damn right. Call or visit www.nomipilates.com to get your flab on track.

-- Raina McLeod

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