I Ditched the Gym for Pilates & Walking to Achieve the Dream Body I Love (2024)

Many people swear by gym workouts to achieve their best body ever. However, pumping iron isn't a slim-down magic potion for everyone. Sivan Tayer, a fitness influencer on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, claims that she couldn't achieve her dream body until she shifted her approach to fitness and found the perfect workout for her body. "If you're struggling to find your perfect routine and diet plan, my biggest advice is to first ask yourself what your biggest priority in yourself is," Tayer told us here at Body Network. "Is it weight loss? Muscle gain? Slim upper body and thicker lower body? Then comes the routine. The smaller you want an area, the easier you go on it. The bigger you want an area, the harder you go on it. In the end, we are working not only to get the body and health of our dreams, but to maintain that body as well."


She Was Doing It All Wrong

I Ditched the Gym for Pilates & Walking to Achieve the Dream Body I Love (1)

"POV: you realized that lifting heavy 4-5x a week was not it and all you needed to do was pilates, hit glutes, and walk to achieve your dream physique," she wrote in a post showing off her body. In a September 2023 TikTok, Tayer explained that it wasn't until she stopped following the advice of other fitness influencers that she got the body she wanted. She told us: "What I found traditional was lifting heavy constantly, and counting calories and macros. At first, I was losing fat, but I would constantly feel tired and I developed a bad relationship with food. Eventually, my looks started to not look the way I wanted. I looked puffy, and bigger than what I wanted because everyone always posted that 'lifting heavy' wouldn't make you get big, and it's the only right way to get to your goals. My gut began to not react well to processed/artificial 'protein' supplements, and honestly the list just goes on."

"My journey on getting slim and toned arms was not an easy one, but I'm going to show you what I did," she explained in the post. Tayer says she "held a lot of fat" in her arms, "so it was really tough for me to know what I had to do specifically through social media."

Related: 20 Foods That Strip Belly Flab


She Did the Opposite of What Gym Rats Were Saying

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"A lot of people said, 'Oh, lift heavy upper body, eat more, whatever. You're not going to gain so much. It's super hard for women to gain mass up there.'" However, "that was not the case" with her. "Me personally, I had to do almost the opposite of what these gym rats were saying to get this look of the slim and toned arms. And when I talk about it on social media, a lot of people tend to get at me about it, but this is my results and it worked for me and it might work for a lot of people," she added.

"I truly believe one of the biggest factors and my arms getting smaller was doing low weight-high reps, and I really feel like just lifting heavy was just not doing it for me," she continued, "So I don't hit upper body at the gym, but I do Pilates and replacement of that."


She Discovered Pilates

I Ditched the Gym for Pilates & Walking to Achieve the Dream Body I Love (3)

Pilates is "the best thing I've ever done for myself, you get smaller anywhere," she claims. "You do have to have a good diet, but I just felt like lifting heavy made me hungry all the time. So lifting lighter really did make a difference for me, not just in my looks, but my appetite as well. That's why I say lifting lighter can definitely help your super big appetite that came from lifting heavy."

We asked her about the biggest challenges or misconceptions she faced when she started incorporating Pilates and walking into her fitness routine. She told us: "The biggest misconception about pilates is that it's not enough, and can leave you 'skinny fat,' which is not true at all. A lot of people fail to realize that there are many forms and levels to Pilates. If done right, you can achieve amazing results with just pilates and some walking. Of course, your goals also depend. But for relatively any person who doesn't want to look like a big strong person, pilates and walking is the way to go. Most fashion models that you follow on socials do way more pilates and walking."

Related: I Lost 30 Pounds With These 4 Easy Exercises


And It's Working for Her

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"I just added Pilates into my daily routine. Since there are different levels and forms of pilates and it's extremely beneficial to walk every day, you don't really need to take rest days as often because you are never really overworking your body or muscles the way weightlifting will. It's also often less time-consuming and walking is something you can incorporate into your day-to-day life will healthy lifestyle habits," she told us.

A 2021 study found that Pilates helped reduce body weight and body fat percentage in overweight and obese participants. It also found that the longer a person performed Pilates, the more significant the weight loss. "Ultimately, I'm not trying to discourage people who have different goals or lift heavy. This is just my experience and I hope this helped some of you guys too, she concluded in the video.


Most People Benefit from Upper Body Lifting

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Philadelphia-based trainer Kendra Gamble of HIT Fitness explains that while it is true that it's really hard for women to gain muscle mass in rare cases, some people tend to bulk up more than others, usually due to genetics. However, most people will benefit from upper body lifting and this "shouldn't scare women from doing" these types of workouts.


This is the Biggest Thing She Learned

"A lot of people forget the part where diet is about 80% of your results and when you think about it, if we are running marathons or doing some pretty intense activity, our bodies tend to want to eat much more," she told us. "Most times, we tend to eat more calories than what our body lost even during those intense workouts because of how 'hangry' we get (especially for people who struggle to lose weight). The BIGGEST thing I learned is that you need to more revolve your life around healthier eating habits, especially when it comes to portion control, and what way to make it much easier than not stressing your body out as much."

Related: This is the #1 Carb You Could Eat For Your Body


Here's Her Advice to Others Looking to Lose Weight

"Whatever you do, try it out and if it doesn't work, do your minor tweaks until you've cracked the code for YOUR body," she told us. "Cortisol levels are also something not talked about enough so definitely try to make a note of how your body reacts to certain workouts and foods over a week or more of doing that!"

She added: "Never feel like someone knows your body better even if it's more popular to weight lift and do intense HIIT workouts or someone told you what works best for you. You know your body, so listen to it."

@sivan.tm feel free to ask questions💕 #gymjourney #workout #pilates ♬ original sound – sivi౨ৎ

💪🔥Body Booster: While most women won't bulk up from heavy weight lifting, some people are more genetically predisposed to gaining more muscle mass. If you are one of them you could benefit from doing a low impact workout like Pilates.

I Ditched the Gym for Pilates & Walking to Achieve the Dream Body I Love (2024)


Can you get your dream body without going to the gym? ›

You don't need special equipment for general strength training. You can get a powerful workout just using your own body weight for leg squats, pullups, pushups, and abdominal crunches.

Is Pilates and walking enough exercise? ›

If done right, you can achieve amazing results with just pilates and some walking. Of course, your goals also depend. But for relatively any person who doesn't want to look like a big strong person, pilates and walking is the way to go.

Is 20 minutes of Pilates a day enough to lose weight? ›

Is 20 minutes of Pilates a day enough to get results? The short answer is… absolutely! Keep reading to learn how to incorporate 20-minute Pilates challenges into your routine for a consistent and beneficial Pilates practice.

How long does it take to achieve your dream body? ›

“If you're consistent about working out and dieting properly for a full year, and you weren't significantly overweight to begin with,” said Fauci, “then after 1 year you can expect to sport a lean, muscular physique with a visible six pack.”

Is it possible to get a good body without a gym? ›

It's definitely possible to build muscle without weights — here's what to do. Bodyweight exercises are just what they sound like — strength-training exercises that you do with just your bodyweight and zero equipment. Since no special equipment is required, you can do bodyweight exercises just about anywhere.

Can I get my dream body at home? ›

To mold your dream physique at home, incorporate more weight-lifting and high-intensity cardio into your routine. Weight-lifting builds muscle, while high-intensity cardio burns fat. For optimal results, do both! If your goal is weight loss, remember exercise is only one piece of the puzzle.

Can you get in shape just doing Pilates? ›

It's possible to strengthen, improve flexibility, and sculpt with Pilates—but as we'll soon see, it's typically not enough on its own to achieve significant muscle gains. At any rate, Pilates helps to maintain muscle since it's a form of resistance training, Aditi notes.

Should you do Pilates or walking first? ›

Do the cardio first to get your muscles warmed up, then do Pilates to improve the muscles' strength and tone. Some Pilates classes incorporate cardio directly into the workout. So, this may be an option as well.

Is Pilates enough to get toned? ›

Pilates, a form of exercise that emphasizes controlled movements, breath, and alignment, can indeed contribute to toning your body. By targeting specific muscle groups and engaging your core, Pilates can help you develop long, lean muscles and improve overall body composition.

Can I get a toned body without going to the gym? ›

You can get benefit from a variety of activities and exercises. You can run, do exercises that use your body weight, yoga, walk, or ride a bike to name just a few of many activities that will tone your body. What you eat is very important in getting toned. A good balanced diet is critical in getting the results.

Can you get a fit body without exercise? ›

You might look and feel healthy without ever doing exercise, but the opposite can be true inside the body. Going without exercise will negatively affect your health and fitness in the long run. Thankfully, there are endless ways to get exercise and activity into your life, no matter how busy your schedule is.

How do I get the body of my dream? ›

10 Simple Tips to Help Build Your Dream Physique
  1. You Can't Out Train a Bad Diet. ...
  2. Give Your Body a Reason to Change. ...
  3. Set a Goal. ...
  4. Include Protein at Breakfast. ...
  5. Fail to Prepare and be Prepared to Fail. ...
  6. Reward Yourself. ...
  7. Planned Periodisation. ...
  8. HIIT Training.
Mar 16, 2022

Is it necessary to go to gym to make body? ›

Exercise leaves you feeling energized, but you don't need to go to a gym to get a great workout. Exercising at home can be just as effective. While gyms provide dedicated space, home workouts offer more flexibility. Using your time and equipment to maximize efficiency is the key to a great workout.


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