In 2015, Chicago Cubs ace Jake Arrieta enjoyed one of the finest seasons of pitching in baseball history. He credits his comeback from the baseball dead to Pilates.
In an excellent Sports Illustrated profile on the Cubs ace by Tom Verducci, Arrieta revealed that he became obsessed with Pilates after happening upon a studio in Austin one day with his wife, completely by chance.
Pilates? Sounded interesting. Arrieta figured he would take one or two classes a week. He walked into the studio and signed up for a class with an instructor named Liza Edebor. “I pitch for the Cubs,” he told her.
It took him one session to get hooked, and how he's a total Pilates junkie:
After Arrieta’s first session with Edebor he told her, “We need to train together. This is life-changing.”
He took sessions three times a week. He ordered a custom-built reformer for Wrigley Field and put it in the only space available, a cramped storage room that doubled as manager Joe Maddon’s media interview room. Last season Maddon conducted media briefings while Arrieta ground through his Pilates workout just a few feet away.
Arrieta has since turned his garage into a Pilates studio, and his trainer works with him six days a week.
"Jake went from a regular-sized athletic guy to just ripped," Edebor told Verducci. "And the only thing we did was Pilates."
You can find the rest of the story here. Or watch Arrieta himself demonstrate a work out below.
Photo credit: Robert Beck /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images.