Varied and extensive exercise equipment; a spotless, bright, open yet private space; years of expertise; and personalized attention to your fitness needs and goals all in one place.

It is a gym, but it isn’t some high-dollar, big “box store” workout world where you work out alongside people who manage to run miles on a treadmill and then still look like they could do a magazine shoot when they finish.

Pilates Works is the next Wayland Patch Hidden Gem, and it offers just about everything a big gym can offer without the things that make big gyms uncomfortable for some people.

The 1,200 square foot Pilates Works gym is housed on the first floor of Debra Goldman’s Wayland home that she shares with her husband and son. The entire floor is devoted to Goldman’s life work: Helping people achieve their individual fitness needs and goals through individualized coaching and attention.

“This isn’t cookie-cutter fitness,” said Goldman, a personal trainer for more than 30 years. “It’s really important to me that people get the help they need.”

Goldman knows a thing or two about unique fitness goals. Over the years, she has done battle with a thyroid condition that caused her to gain (and then need to lose) 60 pounds; she has recovered from back injuries sustained in a serious car accident; she has regained her health after cervical cancer and kidney disease diagnoses; and she’s a better personal trainer for it.

“I get physical limitations and needs,” she said.

Which is why Pilates Works is about more than just Pilates. Goldman is certified in the Stott Pilates method. Today she coaches clients in both apparatus-based and mat-based Pilates classes – the mat classes, she said, are not necessarily for everyone, though anyone can work out on a Pilates apparatus – but she also has standard cardio equipment such as an elliptical machine and treadmill as well as new wave fitness gear, namely the Power Plate.

The Power Plate, Goldman said, is “the wave of the future” when it comes to exercise.

“[The Power Plate] is a tool for a trainer to do acceleration training,” she said, adding that exercises performed on the Power Plate will reap results in about half the time of doing those exercises apart from the machine.

The Power Plate uses vibration technology to make muscles contract and relax unconsciously far more rapidly than a person could ever accomplish consciously. Users stand, sit or prop themselves on a small vibrating platform and do everything from leg lifts to balance exercises to drills designed to increase their heart rate.

Goldman’s gym is equipped to meet the needs of all her clients – from children through her 87-year-old client – and she said she is increasingly receiving referrals from area doctors and physical therapists who send her patients so she can continue getting them back on their feet.

“I’ve taken people through everything from cancer to surgery,” said Goldman, who admits she sees herself as much as a caregiver as a trainer. “I’m the bridge between medicine and fitness.”

When new clients come in, Goldman does an individual assessment first. From there she develops not only a program at her gym, but also provides each client with an at-home fitness system they can follow.

“My job is to make sure that everyone who comes in here gets what they need.”

For some people, that at-home fitness routine is enough, with only occasional stops at Pilates Works to check in. Other clients, however, Goldman has been seeing for decades.

Goldman herself exercises to help maintain her own mood – she said for her, “movement is medicine.” But she knows that for many of her clients, her biggest obstacle is finding the exercise that client hates the least and thereby “eliminating the excuses” to doing it.

In the end, though, Goldman knows she is only as helpful as her clients allow her to be.

“Fitness does not reside in me, the trainer,” she said. “It resides in every person.”

More information about Pilates Works is available on the website.

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Originally Published in Patch