Accessible Wellness

Instructor Dominique Lyons.

IM=X brings rejuvenated pilates to Louisville

Story by Remy Sisk

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

A year and a half ago, Deborah Kaufman wanted to invest in a new business. Her life as a realtor was a little unpredictable, and it was always a seven-day-a-week job. Kaufman was interested in working in fitness as she used to be an avid runner herself. A fan of pilates, she narrowed her search, and in September 2017, she signed the paperwork to bring the first IM=X Pilates to Louisville. As of mid-April, her Holiday Manor studio is up and running, bringing what’s been dubbed “the next evolution of pilates” to Louisville.

An abbreviation for Integrated Movement Xercize, IM=X takes the traditional muscle toning and lengthening benefits of pilates and injects the workouts with cardio and strength training, creating a workout with unparalleled benefits. “The combination of strengthening, cardiovascular and lengthening exercises develops long, lean muscles, improves posture, increases metabolism and adds flexibility to the spine,” Kaufman says. “IM=X changes body composition (muscle to fat ratio). It attacks excess bulk in the hips and thighs and tightens the body’s core muscles for rock-hard abs. And since IM=X targets the pelvic floor, it can prevent and/or help urinary incontinence (UI). Our members consistently report a significant loss of inches from attending three sessions weekly.”

Crystal Jahn

The spectacular results people see combined with the fact that the company and its founder, Elyse McNergney, are genuinely passionate about what franchise owners bring to their communities, solidified IM=X as the investment Kaufman was looking for. So far, it’s looking to be the right choice as she’s already seeing steady growth in class attendance and interest.

For many, in fact, IM=X has been just what they’ve been searching for. Crystal Jahn, for example is a recent transplant from California, who met Kaufman while house hunting. Jahn was used to training in MMA fighting and was looking for a studio that met her needs here in Louisville. She was unable to do so until she walked into IM=X.Jahn can now be found at the studio nearly every day. She maintains that this, in large part, is due to the employees and their level of instruction. “All of the trainers at IM=X are amazing,” Jahn enthuses. “The environment is very clean, it’s fresh, the equipment is very nice, and you don’t always get that in gyms. But the team is so great, and they are so good about really making sure you are doing movements correctly and not just telling you what to do.”

Indeed, one of the central focuses of the brand is to ensure clients are adhering to proper form outlined by the IM=X five fundamentals of pilates technique. This is partially what makes instructor and 10-year dance teacher Dominique Lyons such a perfect fit for her position. “Being a ballet dancer, I like to go back to the basics a lot,” she emphasizes. “I think it’s so important for the clients to have the correct form and the correct posture to get the most effective and efficient workout.”

What’s more is that this kind of workout can be done by anyone. Jahn noticed its accessibility as soon as she got deeper into pilates, and she maintains that it’s something that truly distinguishes IM=X on the Louisville fitness landscape. “For me, what IM=X provides is a workout that really does benefit every demographic – men, women, young, elderly – because the workout is as intense as you want it to be while also not affecting your joints,” she explains. “So, it is beneficial to any age range. For me, other than IM=X, I haven’t come across something that would be beneficial to so many people, and it’s cool to be in an environment that feels fresh and new. It’s a fun place to be but also beneficial for all age ranges.”

Results don’t lie. Not only can anyone participate in what IM=X has to offer, but there’s something for everyone to get out of it. Lyons says that the moment class is over, clients are already feeling better. “Immediately after the workout, it’s – no joke – all smiles because you feel so good after you do it,” she affirms. “You’re constantly thinking about sitting up straight and lifting up and having the correct posture. It’s been very gratifying because I’ve had a lot of people come in with back pain and other injuries and issues like that. With this, you see results pretty quickly, which is so rewarding.”

Crystal Jahn, left, with instructor Dominique Lyons.

Looking to the future, Kaufman hopes people in the community will discover IM=X and understand that it can be a wonderful complement to a workout regimen that may already be in place. “People love an intense workout, but they need to recover,” she says of routines like CrossFit. “People love to go out and golf, but they need some place that will balance out that workout. We just want to be the premier place where they know they’re going to get a great workout, but they know they’re going to feel better as well.”

As summer heats up, stop into IM=X and see what may appeal to you out of all they have to offer. With strong, streamlined and sturdy equipment as well as a dedicated staff, a passionate client base and an authentic interest in bettering lives in her community, Kaufman is poised for success. Though opening her own franchise was nerve-racking, she’s already certain she made the right choice. “When you make a decision, you can feel like ‘Oh, did I do the right thing?’” she admits. “But with every step from the beginning of our training in January, I started feeling like, ‘Oh, thank God I did the right thing!’” V

IM=X Pilates

2226 Holiday Manor Center, Unit 6    502.384.7818