BYU student Megan French has mastered a way to make tough workouts pleasurable for hundreds of people around Provo.
French, who is studying business marketing, has turned her passion for exercise into a fun activity that many can benefit from. Every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. she teaches a free Pilates class in the lounge at The Village at South Campus.
Commonly known as “Hottie Pilates,” now changed to “Beach Body Pilates” due to trademark issues, provides young adults with a fun, social way to stay active.
When French started weekly classes in fall 2014, only about 10-15 people were showing up. Now, a year later, the class average is about 40 and has even reached a total of 50 attendees at one point. The ratio of males to females is about 50-50.
Rebekah Elton, a senior at BYU, goes to the Pilates class for a good workout and a good time. “I usually go to Pilates with a few friends,” she said. “We have a great time because Megan has a great music playlist that pumps us up during the workout.”
French grew up with a great appreciation for fitness and taking care of her body while encouraging others to do the same.
“I started teaching free fitness classes out of my garage in California about two summers ago,” French said. “Friends in Provo suggested I teach here, and I am grateful The Village at South Campus has allowed me to do so. I have put together a set song list for each class and a set routine of workouts to each song.”
French received her Pilates certification through the Stott Pilates program in Salt Lake City. She is currently in the process of getting her Group Fitness Certification through The American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Healthy habits are important to French for more reasons than personal appearance. “Our Heavenly Father has given us one body, and we are in charge of taking care of it,” French said. “Through personal experience I have found that I am happiest when I am eating clean and taking care of my body through fitness and healthy living routines.”
Xtend Barre Pilates instructor Alisha Hobbins explained how Pilates has different effects on the body than other workouts. “Pilates improves posture and balance while sculpting muscles,” Hobbins said. “It is good for all ages and all body types. Everyone can go at their own pace and improve throughout time.”
When asked why people around Provo should attend the Pilates class, French replied, “Because it’s like a dance party for your abs!”
For those who wish to follow the class Instagram account, the handle is @beachbody_pilates.