Her abs, her booty and her glowing skin. At 39 years old, Leah Simmons recognises the importance of pilates and how beneficial it is for muscle growth and development and posture. Her philosophy is simple- if you work hard, you get the results. Leah is showing us all that anybody can achieve what they want in their fitness journey.
Why do you think pilates should be apart of every woman's workout routine? Any myths you can debunk?
Well you’ve actually just given me the perfect platform to debunk a common pilates “myth” in the phrasing of your first question - “Why should Pilates be a part of every WOMAN’S workout?”. Why should it be limited to just a woman’s workout? Pilates should be a part of every workout… Male OR Female! There is a huge misconception that Pilates is just for women but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Pro surfers do it. Professional skateboarders do it. Rugby, soccer and basketball players do it. Almost every athlete at an elite level does it (in some form). WHY? Because the benefits that Pilates offers in terms of core strength, flexibility and mobility, postural alignment, deep muscle conditioning, rehabilitation, increased breath control and range of motion, as well as focused isolated muscle group work are endless. I believe that EVERYONE should be able to enjoy the benefit of Pilates!!
What does your day on a plate look like?
It varies!! But I usually start the day with a tonic of water, lemon, apple cider vinegar, raw honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Depending on what I’m training I’ll either have a smoothie or some rice flake porridge. Lunch consists of a big salad with some protein (usually chicken or fish). Dinner is much the same. I’ll usually have a protein shake after training and maybe a piece of fruit for a snack. I’m not a big dessert gal nor do I drink much alcohol.
What is your weekly workout routine?
I do 2-3 strength days, 2-3 circuits and at least 1 mobility session per week. I have also fallen in love with bike riding! I ride with my son to school in the morning then I’ll ride back to pick him up in the afternoon. I just love moving my body!!
What made you decide to start strength training? Were there any hardships or times when you wanted to quit?
It’s sometimes hard to look at yourself objectively, especially if you’re IN the fitness industry. I just assumed that because I was healthy and a Pilates teacher I had it covered. It was only when my lower back started to really irritate me that I started to investigate what the problem was and I was shocked to learn that although I had strong abdominals, I had almost zero strength in my back. Same went for my legs. I had well developed quads but almost no glute or hamstring strength. I realised that my whole body was out of whack. So I decided to do something about it!! Adding strength training into my routine has really transformed my body (as you can see!!)
What is one of the biggest things that you’ve learnt and want to share with others?
There are 3 things that I have learned and one of them is a bit of a bitter pill to swallow….
- THERE IS NO QUICK FIX (sorry guys!!!) That’s not to say it has to be a long arduous journey… but to obtain the results I did required CONSISTENCY. It will not happen overnight. You have to learn to enjoy the process so make it fun!!
- EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT. I hate to say it but even things like “what does your day on a plate look like” makes me cringe a bit. What works for me may not necessarily work for you. You can’t expect the same result as someone if your body composition is completely different. Which leads me to my next point…
- EDUCATION IS KEY!!! I know and understand my body. I know what works for it. I know what it responds to and I know what makes it thrive. That is because I tried different things and I educated myself around what works FOR ME. I don’t follow fads and I don’t diet. I just know what my body loves. But my body isn’t the same as your body. I would say to anyone serious about making change then speak to a qualified professional about finding a solution that works FOR YOU.