On joining a new pilates session in Harrow-on-the-Hill, you may be surprised to find the instructor is a 17-stone, bald, bearded, 6ft-tall bodybuilder.

Don’t let that put you off, trust me. I went along to the first of Christian Cochrane’s new class held in St Mary’s Church hall every Wednesday at 7pm.

Christian has a sharp wit that might catch you a little off guard at first, but his company and instruction soon make you feel comfortable.

His soft demeanour and palatable passion for pilates gave way to a well-constructed and informative session.

He began the class by giving some background on himself, explaining that he was always into his fitness and strength training, but never anything that conditions the body like pilates. His mother, however, was a big fan and one year, insisted Christian join her for a class on her birthday.

He admits to being completely taken aback at how much he struggled.

But he soon became a fan and subsequently trained as an instructor, offering lessons in Kingsbury for 10 years, as well as leading a boot camp course and working as a personal trainer.

Christian also explained the history of pilates and the principles of practice before getting things started. As it was his first class in the area with all new participants - many of whom were first-timers - he went through things with great care and attention to detail with each individual.

His classes are small, with just 12 people, and after demonstrating the positions and concisely talking us through the breathing technique, he then circled the room to adjust where necessary and offer alternate positions where they might be desired.

Despite being somebody who swims, runs and weight-trains, unknown muscles tensed and wriggled out of the woodwork in my otherwise fit and fairly strong body.

Much like I imagine Christian would have been in his first class, I was astounded by how much a small and seemingly simple movement caused my muscles to tighten and limbs to shake.

On the flip side, the relaxing music and low-lit room meant I left the hour-long class feeling both soothed and relaxed.

Whatever your age, strength, flexibility and fitness, I would highly recommend it. Whatever your ability, I’m sure Christian will push you to your perfect limit.

More info at christianmcochrane.wixsite.com/trifitness