The 3-2-8 Pilates Method, Explained

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Pilates guru Natalie Rose posted a brief clip on TikTok hinting at her “not-so-secret” method that she said would “leave you feeling snatched and strong,” which teased the 3-2-8 Pilates method.

So, what is the 3-2-8 Pilates method? How do you do the 328 Pilates routine? What does the 3-2-8 Pilates barre workout routine involve?

In this 3-2-8 Pilates method guide, we will discuss what the 328 Pilates method entails, the benefits of it, and how 328 Pilates is different from a mat Pilates workout or Pilates reformer class.

We will look at the following: 

  • What Is the 3-2-8 Pilates Workout Plan?
  • How to Do the 3-2-8 Pilates Method
  • Does the 3-2-8 Pilates Method Work?

Let’s get started!

People in a barre class.

What Is the 3-2-8 Pilates Workout Plan?

The 3-2-8 Pilates routine also called the 328 Pilates routine or the 3-2-8 Pilates barre method, is not a standalone Pilates mat or Pilates reformer workout but rather a Pilates barre strength workout routine that involves numerous workouts per week.

Given the 3-2-8 Pilates method name, the 328 Barre Pilates workout plan includes three main components in your weekly workout routine:

  • You are supposed to do three strength workouts per week with weights.
  • Two low-impact Pilates or barre workouts per week.
  • Accumulate an average of 8000 steps per day.

Thus, the “3“ from 328 Barre Pilates method refers to the three weight training workouts per week, the “2“ refers to the two Pilates or barre workouts, and the “8“ refers to taking 8000 steps per day.

Although you can follow the 3-2-8 Pilates barre program indefinitely, this Pilates barre workout program is designed to be followed for at least three months.

A person lifting a barbell.

The concept of the 3-2-8 Pilates, barre, strength training, and walking workout program is credited to Natalie Rose, a U.K.-based Pilates and barre instructor and founder of the virtual Body by Barre Studio.

Her 328 Pilates TikTok video quickly went viral, racking up over 1.4 million views, and another of her 3-2-8 Pilates barre strength six-second clip on TikTok quickly saw 2.9 million views.

Natalie Rose said the 3-2-8 Pilates method would deliver results in just three months and was designed to help busy fitness enthusiasts get the most out of their workouts in an efficient way.

Further information about the 328 barre Pilates program on Natalie Rose’s Body by Barre website details that the 3-2-8 Pilates method is more of a workout plan or schedule than a specific Pilates workout.

Again, the Pilates 328 routine involves three weekly strength training workouts plus two low-impact pilates or barre workouts and taking an average of 8,000 steps per day. 

According to Natalie Rose, the benefits of the 3-2-8 barre Pilates strength method include decreased inflammation, better regulation of your menstrual cycle, toning, and weight loss.

Since the initial inception of the 3-2-8 Pilates program on TikTok, #328pilates and the search term “328 pilates” have amassed millions of views on TikTok, along with thousands of everyday TikTokers posting 328 Pilates videos attesting to the benefits of 328 Pilates.

A person lifting a kettlebell.

How to Do the 3-2-8 Pilates Method

As mentioned, the 3-2-8 Pilates barre workout routine involves doing three “weighted” workouts per week, two low-impact Pilates or barre workouts per week, and taking an average of 8000 steps per day.

Here are some additional guidelines for how to do the 3-2-8 Pilates plan:

3-2-8 Pilates: Weighted Workouts

The 3 to 8 Pilates weighted workouts are your strength training workouts.

Ideally, you should do full-body strength training workouts on the“weighted workout days.”

However, if you prefer to focus your 328 Pilates strength training workouts on different muscle groups, you can do one full-body strength training workout per week, one upper-body strength training per week, and one lower-body strength training workout per week. 

This will allow you to work all of the major muscles of your body at least two times per week, which falls in line with the guidelines of physical activity

Though the 3 to 8 Pilates method does recommend increasing the weight every 4 to 6 weeks, most strength training experts would recommend that you should bump up in small increments every week or two (5% or so) to prevent strength plateaus.

A person holding onto a barre.

3-2-8 Pilates: Low-Impact Pilates or Barre Workouts

Although the 3-2-8 Pilates method has “Pilates“ right in the name, making you think that it is a Pilates-centric workout program, the 328 barre Pilates method actually considers the two low-impact Pilates or barre workouts per week to be the “active recovery” days.

The Pilates and barre workouts can be done at home on off days from the strength training workouts.

You should still be taking 8000 steps per day on the 3 to 8 Pilates days.

3-2-8 Pilates method creator Natalie Rose says that the benefits of the Pilates and barre workouts are reducing inflammation in the body, increasing core strength, improving flexibility, and aiding lymphatic drainage.

This, she says, helps with bloating associated with the menstrual cycle and your period in particular.

Two people walking.

3-2-8 Pilates: Walking

The daily step goal during the 328 Pilates routine is to accumulate an average of at least 8000 steps per day, which Rose says will help you burn an average of “300 extra calories.”

Because research indicates that most people take about 2000 steps per mile, walking 8000 steps per day equates to walking about 4 miles per day.

For most adults, the number of calories burned walking 4 miles per day or taking 8000 steps per day is closer to 400 to 600 calories, depending on your body size.

However, depending on how many steps per day you are already taking, bumping up to 8000 steps per day may not necessarily add a full 4-mile walk since your daily life likely accumulates at least a couple thousand steps per day without deliberately focusing on walking. 

Therefore, perhaps Rose means that increasing from baseline walking of a couple of thousand steps per day up to 8000 steps per day will burn an additional 300 calories over the calories you are already burning per day walking a few thousand steps per.

Two people walking.

Does the 3-2-8 Pilates Method Work?

Before embarking on the 3 to 8 Pilates routine, most people ask questions like: Will the 3-2-8 Pilates method help me lose weight? Is the 3-2-8 Pilates routine good for health and fitness? Does the 3-2-8 Pilates method work (according to the touted 328 Pilates method benefits)?

Ultimately, there are pros and cons of the 3-2-8 Pilates method or various strengths and weaknesses of the 3-2-8 Barre Pilates routine as a fitness plan.

Here are some of the benefits of the 3-2-8 Pilates Barre workout plan:

  • The three strength training workout per week will help you build muscle, which supports functional strength, optimal body composition, and an improved physique. 
  • Walking 8000 steps per day will help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic health conditions, as well as the risk of premature all-cause mortality.
  • The Pilates and barre workouts will help improve flexibility, balance, coordination, core strength, and mind-body connection while reducing joint impact stress and reducing your risk of impact injuries and overuse injuries from high-impact exercise. Pilates and barre exercise can also decrease stress and improve mood.
  • The overall variety of the 3-2-8 Barre Pilates Strength training plan can help prevent boredom and provide your body with a range of workouts for more well-rounded fitness.
Three people walking.

Although there are certainly 328 Pilates method benefits, there are also some drawbacks or weaknesses to the 3-2-8 Pilates method as written.

Some of the potential problems with the 3-2-8 Pilates routine include the following:

  • The lack of vigorous cardio exercise will limit improvement in aerobic capacity (VO2 max) and may be insufficient for reaching the minimum recommendations for aerobic exercise.
  • Some of the purported benefits, such as improvements in lymphatic drainage and the regulation of your menstrual cycle, do not seem to be based on science and might fall under the category of “over-promise, under-deliver.”
  • While it is possible to lose weight on the 3-2-8 Pilates barre method, the relatively low-intensity workouts and lack of longer cardio, HIIT workouts, or general interval training will limit caloric expenditure in the 328 barre Pilates workouts. 

Therefore, if you are doing the 3-2-8 Pilates method for weight loss, it is essential that you pay attention to your diet and the number of calories you are eating, and you may want to swap some of the walking workouts for HIIT workouts to boost caloric expenditure, fat burning, and afterburn. 

Interested in trying another trending workout routine? Check out our guide to the 12 3 30 treadmill workout here.

People running on treadmills.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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