Hilliard Studio Method


Unlike many HSMers, I didn’t grow up a runner, dancer or athlete. In fact, I did not really exercise AT ALL for the first 34 years of life. I was naturally active as a child, playing in neighborhood creeks, woods, and swimming at the pool. Although my activity level lessened during my teen/young adult years, I remained slim and coasted on those genes for years. Horror set in after having my second child when I realized my body wasn’t bouncing back like it had after having my first child. I could no longer mindlessly eat the same foods as my husband and toddler without paying the price. The party was OVER. I was poofing up in my midsection…the area between my waist and knees…and it wasn’t pretty. Clueless about nutrition and exercise yet too vain to ‘let myself go’, I began working with a personal trainer who put me on a very high protein, heavy weight-lifting program. I also picked up tennis as a supplemental exercise/recreation activity.

Fast forward a few years and I was a beast…in more ways than one. Sure, I could do some serious lifting in the gym and overhead smashes on the courts, but I had bulked up from the intense lifting, felt toxic from the unbalanced diet (which included drinking lots of diet coke!) and was spending hours each week on the tennis courts. Outwardly I appeared to be in great shape, but inwardly I was in a lot of pain and seeing an array of doctors, physical therapists and masseurs for severe tendonitis, cortisone injections, acupuncture and physical therapy. On top of that, I was spending WAY more time than I wanted in a competitive environment when I’m not even a competitive person! I was not returning to my former easy going self, I was turning into a machine. None of it was resonating with me and I was unhappy.

Luckily I found a new trainer who incorporated more cardio and got me off the heavy protein regime. I leaned back out and felt much better. This transformation awoke me to the importance of being very intentional on how and with whom I exercised. At the time I was the editor of a community magazine and was often coordinating with Clary. She always invited me to test out HSM and I promised I would if I ever took a break from tennis. I was definitely impressed by what I was hearing about HSM. And, I personally knew several trainers and clients who were in amazing shape. Tennis wasn’t doing that. My curiosity was piqued.

I finally decided to back off tennis and give HSM a try. Confident in my fitness level, I thought it would be a cake walk. The only thing that intimidated me as I strolled into that first HSM class was having to bare my naked feet (not cute). About 10 minutes in, my arms were toast and I had dropped from 8 to 5 to 3 pound weights and was now using no weights and wondering if this was some kind of sick joke. The subsequent plank series was just plain brutal and the spider and pretzel leg work had me begging for mercy. The final insult was the ab session.

Although I really hated that first class, I like a challenge, so I boldly purchased a 10 pack. As I struggled through those 10 classes, an amazing thing happened. The poofiness between my waist and thighs really toned up. My muscles became more defined, my thighs were slimmer than ever and my abs were rock hard…I could bounce a coin off those bad boys. My husband, family and friends noticed as well. As I walked out after that 10th class, I knew I was part of something special. An efficient and goal oriented person, it just made sense…great results, less time. Added perks included great upbeat music, a beautiful studio and knowledgable/encouraging trainers.

I’ve been doing the HSM program for almost 2 years now and have yet to see a chiropractor or orthopedist. The wonderful HSM trainers constantly instruct me on proper form and how to modify if needed, as well as stress the important of listening to my body. I also LOVE the positive and encouraging synergy of the classes…a welcome change from the competitive, often negative, energy of competitive sports. And, the efficiency can’t be beat…in one hour, ALL areas of the body are addressed and toned. I love the challenge and the results. I look forward to the weekly HSM newsletter for the latest tips on health, nutrition, fitness and fashion. On top of all that, I especially appreciate HSM’s commitment to good causes and giving back to the community.

I still tucker out towards the end of biceps, silently suffer my way through plank and beg for mercy during fold over, but I’ll keep going, keep trying to master it and keep reaping the benefits of the HSM program.

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