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  • Writer's pictureLiz Hilliard

My Workout.

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

I created Hilliard Studio Method in my early 50s during the onset of menopause. As a certified Pilates trainer, I was already doing my traditional Pilates workout daily but was noticing an increase in belly fat and a decrease in overall strength in my body.

As an experiment I hired a personal trainer to break this plateau and specifically asked him to try to bulk me up by using heavy weights. I was using myself as a guinea pig for my new concept of using heavier resistance paired with my Pilates training. I specifically needed to see how much weight it would take to bulk up my body. I had been reading the newest research on strength training at the time which went against the prevailing myth that women would bulk using heavy weights. While every woman is different, most of us don’t have the amount of testosterone it takes to build large muscle mass. In my case the very first thing I noticed using heavy weights was an immediate shrinking of my waist. Mind you I had been teaching Pilates for several years which is 100% core centric but as soon as I picked up more resistance and incorporated it into my Pilates exercises, I not only saw my waist shrink but my arms and legs sculpt, my abs flatten, and my back cut. That was the birth of Hilliard Studio Method which continues to evolve today into the most cutting-edge low impact total body workout on the market.

Why is HSM so effective and why am I such a strength training evangelist? Because the results are proven. Strength training beats traditional cardio every time for maintaining a healthy weight and healthy aging.

My compound HSM exercises combined with 3 – 10lb weights takes strength training to the next level by efficiently sculpting lean muscle mass, which we all begin to lose around age 30, into a healthy strong physique. By building lean muscle I’ve increased my metabolic rate so that even at rest I’m still burning calories and maintaining my healthy weight.

At age 50 when I began adding heavier resistance to my Pilates workout the very first thing I noticed was the decrease in my belly fat and shrinking waistline, all of course during the onset of menopause where most women see an increase in both. For the last 19 years my workout has had an incredible benefit to my overall health. I’m not genetically lucky. In my family heart disease, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and osteoporosis traditionally strike at an early age. At 69 my VO2 max (an indication of overall health) is that of an elite athlete. I have a BMI of 19.5, excellent bone density and cardiovascular health all due to my workout and good nutrition. I share this not as braggadocio but to inspire you to add strength training exercises to your workout. Preferably Hilliard Studio Method. We mix it up at HSM with enough muscle confusion that I can do my workout 4 – 5 times per week to stay in peak shape. On the days I’m not in the studio I’m still moving my body preferably being outside walking or biking.

There’s a lot of things in our world we have no control over, but our health isn’t one of them.

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Nov 29, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Strength training is the key for sure. It beats cardio every time. I am not dissing cardio. I have run marathons and have done tri sprints. However…if anyone really wants to change their body, resistance training is gold. Muscle is your best friend and body armor because it protects your bones and vital organs. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn just sitting in a chair. Plus, muscle IS the fountain of youth. Liz, your workout is a wonderful combination of Pilates and strength training. As a certified trainer myself, I have realized that standard lifting isnt cutting it anymore. I am 60 and need to add Pilates or Yoga, which I have done. You a…

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