Pilates With Bob Bernier
Welcome to Bob Bernier - our newest Pilates instructor! Bob coaches hockey and was a machinist for more than 30 years – not a typical path to Pilates. Bob began practicing Pilates more than 20 years ago. A car collided with him while he was riding his bike. Bob decided to try Pilates to recover his strength. At first, he questioned that choice, but as he gained body awareness and strength -- and his hockey game improved, he was hooked.
“Pilates helped me more than most weight training, because of the body awareness and body control. It was amazing. Pilates taught me that body awareness is equally as important as pushing weight around,” Bob said.
Bob was certified as an instructor in 2008 and ended up leaving his machinist career because of his passion for Pilates and helping others. Along with teaching Pilates, Bob is a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and hockey instructor and coach.
Bob uses his machinist background by seeing muscles as a series of linkages and uses this knowledge to teach his students how to increase their body awareness. In his classes, Bob makes his instruction as accessible as possible, using imagery and visualization frequently so that students understand the exercises completely and can use good form.
“I really, truly believe that with motion and stability, we can heal parts of ourselves that we wouldn’t be able to heal through just power and strength,” Bob said. “An example is a person with a shoulder dysfunction, and they can’t quite get their shoulder up. If you have them stabilize and engage the opposite side, then often all of a sudden, ‘wow that can move’’ – and it’s not physical therapy – it’s just using your body and your muscles to learn to move your body.”
His style is a mix of classical and contemporary Pilates, and also brings his flair for both personal training and hockey training to each class.
Bob’s students range from people recovering from injuries with limited mobility to competitive athletes. His advice is, “Don’t get caught up on the level number.” With a limit of five or six students per class, Bob individualizes exercises so that students at different levels can all be appropriately challenged.
Ultimately, students gain body awareness, get a great workout and have fun in Bob’s classes.