Club Pilates owner Kevin Cropp is a former rock climber with a passion for outdoor activities and sports. For years he scaled high boulders in Colorado, Arizona, Canada and other mountainous locales, pushing for increasingly harder climbs. He now devotes his athletic energy to golf, a sport he says is also super challenging.

Cropp’s enthusiasm for physical activity led him to a career transition from working as a computer software developer to owning a specialized fitness studio.

Nearly a year ago, Cropp and his wife, Hadley, opened Club Pilates in Biltmore Park Town Square. Now the couple is planning to open a second fitness center on Charlotte Street in Asheville this coming summer.

Cropp says he was drawn to Pilates because of its many physical benefits. The techniques and equipment used in Pilates classes are designed to build strength, mobility and stability in low-impact, full-body workouts. Strengthening the core of the body is an important aspect of Pilates as well.

Pilates has been around for a long time, Cropp says. Its benefits have become so well known that Pilates is now used by professional athletes who incorporate it into their workouts, he adds.

German immigrant Joseph Pilates developed these exercises based on natural movement in the early 1900s when he began helping professional dancers in New York rehabilitate and strengthen their bodies. A bodybuilder and gymnast, Pilates also created exercise equipment such as the Reformer, which is currently used in Pilates studios along with his EXO-chair.

Club Pilates has other exercise equipment in its studio, including the Bosu ball, TRX Suspension Trainer and springboards to maximize the effectiveness of exercise sessions. Mat work, a fundamental element of pilates, is incorporated into workouts as well in varying levels of classes offered.

Club Pilates offers eight signature classes from introductory ones for beginners to cardio workouts and sessions focused on toning and sculpting, stretching and balance.

The CP Restore class is designed to reduce cellulite and muscle soreness as well as increase performance and reduce the risk of injury. And the CP Teen class aims to build healthy habits in young participants along with self esteem, strong muscles, and coordination.

To be effective, Pilates workouts need two essential elements: good teachers and good equipment, Cropp says.

The instructors at Club Pilates have extensive training, which takes from nine months to a year to complete, he explains. And after completing training, instructors continue developing skills in studios before leading classes.

Club Pilates has a strong education department and trains instructors before they work in studios, Cropp notes.

Although it may appear easy to do, correct technique is essential for Pilates to be effective, Cropp says.

“Pilates is easy until you do it right,” he remarks.

Another important feature of Club Pilates is that participants receive individual attention, Cropp says. Staff members also help newcomers decide on the level of class to that is best for them.

Pilates is one of the fastest growing concepts in physical fitness in this country, Cropp says. Club Pilates, a national franchise founded in 2007 in California, is also expanding and now has more than 400 locations in this country.

Club Pilates, at 28 Schenck Pkwy., is open Monday through Thursday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information visit the website at https://www.clubpilates.com/location/biltmorepark/ or call 828-318-8800.

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