Modern Pilates with Lisa Johnson Interview

Modern Pilates with Lisa Johnson

Modern Pilates with Lisa Johnson

Recently I had the pleasure of being able to review some great Pilates DVD’s that were created by Lisa Johnson. She has been a certified Pilate’s trainer since 1998 and has owned own Pilates studio, Modern Pilates, in Massachusetts since 1999. Doing modern Pilates with Lisa Johnson is such a great workout. I was naturally excited to have the opportunity to interview her.  I wanted to find out more about her start with Pilates, and delve a little more into the benefits of Pilates.

I was diagnosed a several of years ago with Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. My endocrinologist is a big advocate for Pilates and talks to be about it every time I seem him. I wanted to explore this and more with the Pilates pro.

Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got started with Pilates?

The short answer is I was pretending to be Janet Jackson in my living room and dancing like I was in a music video.  My knee didn’t appreciate it and I dislocated it!  During the rehab I discovered Pilates as a way to stabilize my knee cap.  The doctors said I’d dislocate it again and I’d definitely need surgery but I’ve avoided it entirely with Pilates and that was about 15 years ago.

Pilates seems to have become a popular fitness trend over the last few years. Who would you recommend Pilates as part of their fitness regimen?

The great thing about Pilates is it’s flexibility … there are over 600 exercises in the repertoire and that’s not including playing with all the small props that are out there.  If you’re going to a studio literally anyone from a car accident victim to a pro athlete can go.  If you’re using DVDs at home though you should be in good general health, no acute aches or pains, otherwise check with your doctor first.  Pilates is particularly good for bad backs but make sure you’re in a good place to start Pilates.

I suffer from Osteopenia, and have been told by my Endocrinologist that I need to do Pilates to help improve my bone density. How does Pilates benefit those of us with bone density issues?

We’ve had several people in my studio come in with osteoporosis and osteopenia and they have improved all the way back to healthy numbers by following doctors instructions, eating well and adding in Pilates.  We’re honestly not sure why it works so well, but if you do it twice a week as part of your overall plan you will see improvements.  I’m so happy to hear your doctor recommended it to you!

Have you worked with people with osteopenia or osteoporosis? How did they benefit from your program? How long did it take them to see some improvement?

You definitely need to be faithful to the workouts to see the best results, twice a week is really all you need, but you could do three times a week and you’d see results a bit faster. Listen to your body and give it what it needs, if three times seems too much than back down to two.  As for time, well, you’re growing bone!  So it’s not going to be overnight.  Usually my clients check with their docs either every six months or annually.  They always see improvements.  It does depend on how severe the osteo is when you start too.

What are some other benefits of Pilates?

We’re famous for curing cranky backs.  It’s really the “core” (pun intended) of what we do.  Every exercise relates back to the spine from an instructor point of view.  So you might think that you’re doing an arm exercise but the way I see it you’re destabilizing your shoulder joint forcing the shoulder and the spine to respond with muscle contractions.  See?  We’re sneaky that way … we fake you out thinking you’re getting tank top arms (which you are) but you’re actually getting a more flexible spine. ‘

How many times a week would you recommend Pilates?

80% of our clients do it twice a week and 10% do it once a week and 10% come three times per week.  It’s a form of resistance training, just like free weights or even yoga.  So you want to aim for some form of weight training twice a week.  Pilates can be all of it, or part of it depending on your preferences.  I personally do Pilates at least twice a week and then I do my HIIT training two to three times a week (just 10 minutes) and then I walk all over the place.  I’m blessed that I live ½ mile from my studio and even closer to my son’s school.  I drive less than once a week.

Do you recommend a cardiovascular workout besides Pilates?

Yes!  I developed my HIIT DVDs (High Intensity Interval Training) to keep my own weight and check and to stay heart healthy.  The science seems to be steering away from steady-state cardio programs right now and into short, intense bursts of activity.  It’s been hard to wrap my head around only doing a 10-minute workout but I’ve found them incredibly effective.  It’s great to save time and still be healthy!

Where do you see yourself going next with Pilates? Making more DVD’s?

I’d love to make more DVDs and we’re tentatively planning to shoot some more videos this fall.  We’re working hard right now on sales and it’s been quite a learning curve for us!  It’s been fun working with the social media community to spread the fitness love.  I’ll still be teaching in my studio, working on social media with my husband Greg, and having fun as a family.

Lisa Johnson has her blog, Lisa Johnson Fitness, that provides some great fitness information. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest.

A big thank you to Lisa Johnson for her time and the great information she shared in this interview.

About the Author

A Mommy blogger who loves working from home while raising her 9-year-old daughter and 5-year-old boy/girl twins with her husband. I have a passion for learning and enjoy anything having to do with the technical side of blogging. I am also always working on self-improvement and being the best mom I can to my children. I am also a bit of a coffee addict! ❤


  1. md kennedy says

    I pilates but find it hard to go to class because I travel quite a bit. This DVD may be perfect for me!

  2. Susan Alban says

    I think this DVD would be good for me too

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