There was a time when Cindy Pieronek spent the bulk of her days sitting in front of a computer screen. Now, running her own business, Your Body Pilates, she is always on the move and there is nothing bulky about her.
Her lean, muscular build is the visible result of Pilates, the all-over workout she offers to clients for weight management, performance training, injury rehabilitation and to develop power, agility and grace.
"I just love doing it - it just makes me feel so good," said Pieronek, adding that she even fits in a few quick exercises before she goes to sleep at night.
Pieronek, who has a master's degree in electrical engineering, used to work as a systems analyst for Qualcomm.
"I became very sedentary just by the nature of my work," Pieronek said.
After adopting two sons from Vietnam, she became a full-time mom, which gave her a little more time to work out in between the drop-offs and pickups.
Pieronek worked out hard and as a result suffered from many injuries, two major ones to her shoulder and knee. As she considered surgery, a physical therapist suggested that she try a Pilates mat class.
"Then it was all over," Pieronek said of that first mat class. "I just felt so good."
Pieronek got certified through John Gary Pilates in Long Beach and STOTT Pilates before opening Your Body Pilates in her home. She also teaches at Time to Shine in 4S Ranch.
Pilates allows her clients to reach deep layers of muscles and lengthen as well as strengthen. The exercises are so efficient that they only take five to 10 repetitions to work the muscle, Pieronek said.
Pieronek's clients range from an active equestrian to a 60-year-old that has had hip replacement surgery. Sessions are tailored uniquely for each client - she knows about 700 exercises, each with about three to eight modifications so there is lots of room to "mix it up" and not let muscles get used to what's coming next.
The goal for all is to "feel lengthened, toned and connected from within," Pieronek said.
In her Carmel Valley home studio, Pieronek teaches on all Pilates equipment, including the reformer, chair and even stability balls. The equipment provides resistance and instability, forcing the client to find control and balance, engaging their abdominal core muscles.
Pieronek also cycles, runs and dances, but does Pilates every day and is always looking to further her knowledge.
"I really want to be proactive in getting the latest information," Pieronek said.
"Everything I offer is fresh because I'm getting trained; that's really essential as a trainer so you can offer new methods."