Real athletes do Pilates

I am posting this article from  May 2016  Article is written by Tanya Paty

… “One day after the 2013 season (wife) Brittany and Jake were leaving a French bakery in their hometown of Austin when he noticed a Pilates studio next door. Arrieta has always been a workout omnivore, devouring any discipline that will make him better: yoga, Olympic weight training, visualization, sports psychology…. Pilates? Sounded interesting. Arrieta figured he would take one or two classes a week. He walked into the studio and signed up for a class with an instructor named Liza Edebor. “I pitch for the Cubs,” he told her.

“Oh, that’s great,” she said. “I never heard of you. Let’s see what we can do.”

In the first half of the 20th century German-born Joseph Pilates developed a series of controlled movements to improve strength and flexibility throughout the body. Many of the movements involve the use of pulley systems on a machine called a reformer. After Arrieta’s first session with Edebor he told her, “We need to train together. This is life-changing.”

He took sessions three times a week. He ordered a custom-built reformer for Wrigley Field and put it in the only space available, a cramped storage room that doubled as manager Joe Maddon’s media interview room. Last season Maddon conducted media briefings while Arrieta ground through his Pilates workout just a few feet away.
In the off‑season Arrieta turned his Austin garage into a Pilates studio. Edebor trained Brittany and Jake there for an hour and a half six days a week, starting at 6 or 6:30 a.m. “Jake went from a regular-sized athletic guy to just ripped,” Edebor says, “and the only thing we did was Pilates.”

“It’s an incredible experience,” Arrieta says. “Pilates has been around a long time but maybe was taboo in this sport. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see a reformer in every big league clubhouse.”

The Cubs finished remodeling their clubhouse facilities this off‑season, giving one of the game’s most cramped quarters the second-largest footprint in baseball, behind only the Yankees’ facilities in square footage. The new Wrigley digs include a room devoted to the latest in training devices. It is known as the Arrieta Room. More reformers are on the way.

“What I noticed from Pilates last year was that I have much better control of my body,” Arrieta says. “I repeat my delivery consistently. My balance is much improved. And the mental and physical toughness Pilates requires to complete movements the correct way have directly helped me on the mound.”

Arrieta stretches two hours every day. He does yoga. He meditates. He undergoes mobility training called Functional Range Conditioning, which stresses his joints to ward off injuries from sudden movements, such as reacting to a bunt.

He starts every day with up to 24 ounces of water and 24 ounces of cold-pressed juices. He eats four to six eggs for breakfast and then has small meals throughout the day. Before starts he prefers marinated chicken, quinoa, roasted vegetables and other “foods that will lead to clarity of mind,” as he puts it. Steak and potatoes? “Never before competition,” he says. “There’s no way I’d put that food in my body. It will directly correlate with my performance.”

About two hours before every start Arrieta climbs on his reformer. He runs through a progression of movements designed to awaken and stress parts of his body for competition: obliques, lats, shoulders…. This goes on for about 20 minutes. When he is done, he pulls on his uniform and headphones.

In Baltimore he would play heavy metal such as Pantera or Metallica to get his heart rate up. But now he plays mellow ambient music such as Fleet Foxes. He has learned that it’s better to calm the body and mind to conserve energy. When he steps on the mound, Beast will be there.”

You can find the full article in the March 28 2016 edition of Sports Illustrated or here
How cool is that!!! 🙂
Below is the video-clip interview from ESPN’s  Body Issue.
(Yes, there is a commercial that runs before the video)


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