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There is no short cut to success, training and training hard is necessary to make strength, endurance and performance gains in any sport. However, it’s not all about what you do in the gym that counts. Recovery is a huge part of the process.
1) Increased Blood Flow and Cellular repair
Arguably the biggest benefit massage is known for, is its ability to move cellular waste out of the body in a more efficient manner. When massage strokes are applied so they follow the return of blood and lymph to the heart, they can significantly improve the circulatory waste disposal systems of the body. What does that mean for you? Faster recovery – decreased lactic acid and therefore decreased delayed onset muscle soreness! Now that’s what we like to hear.
2) Improves Mobility and Flexibility?
This is a tricky one. Let’s start by defining the difference between mobility and flexibility. Flexibility refers to the ability of your soft tissue (muscles) to stretch. Mobility, on the other hand, is an umbrella term for the many elements that contribute to movement with full range of motion, including restricted muscle tissue, joints, the joint capsules, motor control etc. SO … where does massage help in all of this? Certain types of soft tissue work help to improve the mobility of a variety of soft tissue structures. Massage is one way in which these tissues can be encouraged to increase their mobility. However, if you are looking to increase purely the flexibility of your tissues, massage may not be for you. That is the domain of a variety of static/dynamic stretching and improve motor control! But that’s a conversation for another day ;)
Ok so this may not seem like an obvious way to improve your training, but let me assure you, relaxation and down time is ESSENTIAL for an effective training regime. Training is a stress on the body, albeit a good stress, it’s a stress none the less. Too much stress of any kind on the body has detrimental effects. There are a variety of ways to manage over training and continue to ensure you get the best results for your body and massage is one of them. The mind-body connection, endorphin release and general all round good vibes that you experience in a remedial massage are doing your body wonders on the inside.
So, there you have it. Massage is a very effective strategy to consider in your training program if you’re looking to train for the long term with great results!
Many people ask me “how do I get a lean, toned, summer ready body?” and while some of it is body type and genetics, a large portion of it is plastic … meaning it’s up to you and the types of movements and foods you eat!
Pilates was originally developed to rehabilitate injured dancer’s in NYC. Joseph Pilates realised that many dance injuries occurred when the dancer’s bodies weren’t strong enough to control both concentric and eccentric movements… um, in lay person terms please? … their bodies weren’t strong enough to control the lengthening phases of many of their movements. This lengthening phase known as ‘eccentric’ muscle work is one of Pilates best kept secrets!
All too often we hear people saying “I don’t want to do resistance training at the gym because I don’t want to look like a body builder I want to look like a dancer!” and while this is a slight exaggeration (you won’t look like a body builder doing the right resistance training) there is no mistaking a Pilates body is supple, lean, toned and lethal ;) and it’s all thanks to its use of eccentric control.
So, what is this ‘eccentric control’ all about and how can it help me create my ultimate summer body? To build muscle you first need to apply some stress to it, but it’s the type of stress you apply that effects how the muscle is built. Big loads, small ranges and little reps create big robust muscles. Whereas in Pilates the load is reduced (but the burn is still there!) the range is increased and the muscles are required to work both in a lengthening and a shortening phase. The result … muscles that are long lean and strong as heck!
Now you know our secret – Pilates will get you there this Summer and if that’s not enough we have a red hot offer for our new clients 2 weeks of unlimited classes for just $29 (which if your with a health fund you can claim 100% of it back!) SO … what are you waiting for? Make this summer your year and get your best body yet!
I’ll be the first to admit, group exercise is not always run well! If you’re like me you might be having visions of the person in the session who asks never ending questions, or the guy in the corner with cringe worthy technique. But it doesn’t have to be this way! In fact, there are numerous benefits to Group Exercise classes when then are structured and run correctly, and you don’t have to be the extraverted type to reap the rewards!
The most obvious plus side of group exercise is the motivational aspect. When fatigue kicks in and the little monkey in your mind says ‘give up, it’s too hard’ there is a lot to be said for the energy in the room picking you up and carrying you just that little bit further. It’s a lot harder to quiet when there are 9 other people struggling alongside you. Some of you may argue that a one on one trainer could have the same effect, and while this may be true for some of you, many people need that group energy and dynamic to help them fight fatigue and dig deep for those last 5 reps!
Of course, how hard you work doesn’t matter if you can’t even get to class in the first place! The second great benefit of group exercise is the accountability factor. When Sue, Jim and Sally are expecting you to be there on a cold rainy Tuesday night, even if your dreaming of your PJ’s and a hot chocolate, there is something about the group mentality which says ‘don’t let them down’ and almost against your will you find yourself pulling on your tights and getting pumped for a class you probably would have otherwise not attended.
Then there is the biggest plus side, fun! For most people a work out is simply more enjoyable done with a group of people. The banter, camaraderie and all round good time is much harder to create by yourself and one on one with a trainer. It is worth mentioning here that it takes a special kind of instructor to balance the fun times with serious training which requires concentration and technique. After all you don’t want the session to turn into an all-out comedy fest, but there is no denying it, exercise is more enjoyable when shared with friends!
Finally, and mostly because of the above reasons, it is often found that long term results are better when exercise is performed in a group. Providing your trainer is skilled enough to still deliver a specific and appropriate session to your body’s needs, the enjoyment factor means that participants often stay committed for longer and thus your results are better than if you were relying on ‘when you feel like it’ approach.
So, there you have it, group exercise, it’s not for everyone but when done well it has a whole host of benefits!
But why take my word for it, book your next BPS class here and start seeing the benefits for yourself!
“In 10 sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 sessions you will see the difference and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body” – Joseph Pilates
In the BPS studio, we are often asked questions such as “how many times per week should we do Pilates?” and “how long will it take me to feel X Y Z?”. And while there are differences for the individual there are definitely some global ‘stages’ that every Pilates student goes through. SO we thought we would lay these stages out for you below so you can see where you are, where you’ve been and where your heading! While you might not know it at the time, you might just be in the middle of a ‘jump’ about ready to hit the next stage of your Pilates experience!
Week 1 – Sessions 1 – 3. These first 3 sessions, whether they are done in your first week or over your first few weeks are usually characterized by a blissful sense of ignorance. You have made the commitment, you have bought your tights and grippy socks and you’re generally feeling proud of the new positive addition to your lifestyle. Little do you know what awaits you on the road ahead! There is a subtle sense of anticipation as you watch more experienced students performing elegant and downright jaw dropping feats of movement on the equipment and you think to yourself, ‘I can’t wait, that will be me soon – Master of my Body’. Of course, there was the initial confusion when you first walked into the studio and saw the medieval like Pilates equipment, but never fear you feel confident that soon it will all make sense!
Week 2 – Sessions 4 – 6. Now the work begins. Sessions 4 – 6 brings with it a reality check … this shit’s hard! The realisation that you have been completely oblivious to a variety of body parts, ways of breathing and variety of tight designs sinks in, and you feel as though you may be in a little over your head. Unless you were a dancer or a gymnast as a kid, you’re having serious doubts about whether this type of contortionism is for you or even natural? Fear not, this is just a phase and soon enough you will be feeling more in control of your body and damn proud of it!
Week 3 – Session 6 – 10. Dayam – you got this! Suddenly, as if the light bulb switches on you get it. Of course, those are your core muscles, obviously that’s your glute, you knew they were there all along. You feeling less like your instructor is speaking Swahili when they say ‘articulate your spine one vertebrae at a time’ and all of a sudden there is a glimmer of hope … soon you might be the student performing death defying feats upside down on the trapeze table – yes – you even know the names of the pieces of equipment, you’ve got this nailed! Joseph Pilates wasn’t lying when he said ‘in 10 session you will feel the difference’.
Week 4/5/6/7 – Sessions 11 –39. Just when you thought it was all butterflies and rainbows, another ‘leap’ … how does your instructor make it look so damn easy!!! The secret? Practice, practice and practice some more. The secret is there is no secret. Your instructor moves the way they do because they have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in the studio, practicing, failing, sweating, failing until finally … success! Dolphin – Parakeet – Jack-knife – Shoulder-stand. These exercises, the ones you gawk at in the studio, don’t come easily for good reason, they are damn hard and take persistence and dedication to master!
Week 8 – Sessions 40 and beyond. SO you have made it, you have stuck it out, you’re in the phase of ‘a whole new body’. Let me tell you this phase never ends. There is always more to learn, more finesse to create, more light bulb moments about how your body moves and the intricacies of every joint, muscle and neuron. And that is why we love it. Pilates like nothing else on earth, teaches you to master your body mind and spirit and once you are practising regularly we know you’ll get it and love it just as much as we do!
SO you have been running since you were a kid, it’s a natural inbuilt part of your physiology and you don’t see why you need lessons for such an innate skill?
But have you really been running since you were a child? Sure, as a kids, most of us grew up jumping off furniture, running after our brothers and sisters and kicking a ball around the local park. But how do we learn this skill? Evidence shows us that much of our biomechanics is learnt by watching. Watching our parents, older brothers and sisters, friends and play mates. This is great news if your social circle was full of elite athletes, but for those of us whose parents had knee problems, back pain, and a whole host of other chronic injuries, it’s possible that the technique we picked up was far from optimal.
So, in an effort to stop the bad gait cycle, we have pledged to help you learn the basics (sounds simple but it’s not always) of good running technique. Our hope is that you then pass these good visual genes onto your little ones, friends and family members and we go on to breed a generation of efficient, injury free runners who can enjoy running for what it is, a JOY not a struggle!
At BPS Tensegrity, there are many ways in which our amazing staff can help you improve your running technique. Please get in contact today! https://www.bpstensegrity.com.au/locations-contact
So you’ve put the months of hard work and training in and you’ve finally finished your big race…well done! So what now? Well what a lot people fail to put much thought into, is how to make sure they let their body recover as quickly (and painless) as possible after their race. If you haven’t then fear not, because I’m going to be talking about some helpful tips you can use to help speed up your recovery and leave you feeling great after your race.
Before we get into what we can do, let’s first try to get a basic understanding of why we get so sore after a race. Due to the repetitive nature of running over a sustained period of time, we experience tiny micro traumas in our muscles that lead to inflammation, which is what causes the soreness and stiffness we feel for up to 2-3 days after the race. This is completely normal and unfortunately there is no magic fix (not yet anyway) to stop this from happening after completing a long race as this is our body’s natural recovery response, BUT, there are some simple things we can do to minimise the discomfort and speed up the healing.
Now this may seem like an obvious one, but by rest I don’t just mean lying in bed for most of the day (if only that was the answer to all of life’s problems!), but some quality R&R time is needed to give our aching muscles some time to recover. It’s also a good idea to make sure you get a good night’s rest for the first few days after the race (at least 7-9 hours) as it is during our sleep where our body does most of the repairing of our body. Another great idea is to go for short, gentle walks to make sure we keep our blood flowing especially to those tired and sore muscles.
Re-hydrate and eat well
This may also seem like a pretty obvious one and you probably hear this advice all the time …’make sure you drink plenty of water’. This is because when our body is dehydrated it means there is less water/fluid is in our muscles, which can slow down the recovery process. So make sure you drink plenty of water after your race and the days following. Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles so it’s also important to get a good dose of protein to help repair your muscles following your race, the sooner the better. Meat and dairy products, eggs, chicken breast, protein bars and protein drinks/mixes are all sources that are high in protein and should ideally be consumed straight after your race and the next 1-2 days after your race. Eating plenty of carbohydratess and fruits will also aid in recovery by replenishing your energy levels and giving you plenty of antioxidants and Vitamin C to help boost your immune system.
Soaking in a nice hot bath on the day following your race can be an awesome way to let those achy muscles relax, the addition of Epsom salts to your bath can also help remove waste products from your body and help soothe the muscles that little bit extra. And while you’re in the mood of treating yourself, a massage is another great option to relax those tight and sore muscles, usually a good idea 1-2 days after your race. If you’re not really into massages, then using a foam roller or spiky ball to soften and relax those tender muscles can be a useful alternative.
This tip is particularly helpful for those people who have any recurrent niggles or problematic joints that may get sore or inflamed in the days following a run. Ice/compression clothing is a worthwhile way of minimising swelling and reducing pain and can be used immediately after you finish your race and for the 1-2 days following if it is still a problem.
By following these tips in the first 1-3 days after your race you should be well on your way to a speedy recovery. By day 4-5 your body should be feeling pretty good again and it’s usually a good idea to go for an easy run especially if you’ve got another race coming up soon.
If you are still experiencing any lingering pain that hasn’t settled following your race or if you simply want to treat yourself for a relaxing massage, then why not contact one of our helpful physio’s at BPS for a session today!
Barre, no it’s not where you head on a Friday arvo to wind down with your work colleagues and have a sneaky few … although maybe it should be!
Barre is a fusion of Pilates, old school cardio and Ballet all mixed together into a 60min heart pumping class - guaranteed to have you laughing, sweating and wondering why you hadn’t been doing this your whole life!
It solves the age-old question of ‘Cardio vs Weights’. The result - a lean and toned physique similar to that of a ballet dancer, minus the leotard (although you can wear leg warmers if you like!)
In all seriousness, this class is great for those who are looking to improve their cardiovascular fitness but at the same time want to strengthen the small core muscles of their spine, pelvis, hips, shoulders and feet. With its roots in ballet and Pilates, Barre class focusses on teaching you how to use your connection to the floor to create strength throughout your body. While the assistance of the barre enables you to work on your balance and control – ultimately aiming to be able to perform the class without the assistance of the barre.
A word of warning, this class is not for the faint hearted. The blood pumping tunes, thigh burning squats and general ‘no rest’ choreography means you will need to bring your best cardiovascular fitness. Not to fear – if you’re still working on it, the barre is the place to challenge it!
Ready to give it a go? Book into a Barre class today!
Stationary and sedentary jobs, the majority of us have them, and unless you have been living under a rock we all know the health risks associated with them. It seems like there are more and more diseases both mental and physical that are being linked to sedentary lifestyles. Depression, Lower Back Pain, Cancer, Increased levels of Stress and Anxiety, Poor Work Performance, the list is endless.
We have seen the rise of the stand-up desk, workplace social events, health insurance for employees all with the aim of improving employee’s productivity and their mental and physical wellbeing. But when push comes to shove, the only thing that has proven to combat the negative impacts of a stationary work environment is … wait for it … activity! Who would have thought!
So, while we all know an active lifestyle is the way to go, it’s not always easy to increase your levels of activity day to day. If you’re like the majority of Australian’s, the building pressures of work, family and social life tend to get in the way of that hour walk after work, the Saturday morning bike ride or the mid-week game of golf.
So, in the interests of your health, physical and mental wellbeing here are 5 easy ways to increase your activity when you’re at the mercy of a sedentary job!
1. Be Active to and from Work
This is a simple one and it has been said time and time again, but if you want to increase your step count, think about the ways you get to and from work as opportune times for adding activity. If you catch public transport, get off one or two stops early and walk the rest of the way. If you drive park a few extra blocks away from your destination and get a brisk walk in before you reach the desk. Is your desk in a high-rise building? Choose to take the stairs instead of the lift or escalators. Once you start actively looking for ways to move more on your way to and from work it’s amazing how many creative options you can come up with!
2. Be Active in your Lunch Break
More and more workplaces are realising the importance of this little gem. Not only for the health of their employees but also for their productivity, creativity, and general workplace moral. Encourage your employer to bring in external companies who can run a Pilates class in your lunch break. Sign up for a local session at a studio near you – many will run a high intensity 45min lunch time session that will have you back in your desk before the bell rings. The great thing about Pilates? You can work hard and still be sweat-free enough to head back to the office without your colleagues needing to move up wind from you on your return!
3. Actively look for opportunities during the day to leave your desk
Offer to do the Office Coffee Run, answer the phone, do the photo-copying or any other task that allows you to get up and out of your seat. Why not even throw a few wall squats in while you’re waiting for page 59 to scan? Re-fill your water bottle more times than you would normally, this has the added benefit of getting you to drink more water and use the bathroom more often, another great excuse to get up from your desk!
4. Enrol in a class that forces you to pay up front
The trouble with good intentions is that often they remain just that. “I intended to go to class after work / get up 45min earlier / enjoy that Sunday morning session”. However, all too often the pressures of work deadlines, family and social engagements are just that little bit more pressing and before you know it, Monday has rolled around again into a new week and you’re no closer to increasing your activity than you were last week. As much as it hurts to admit it, sometimes making a financial commitment to a class in advance helps to nudge the importance of this tasks a little higher up the to do list and soon you will find yourself in a routine of heading to your exercise class 3 times per week. Added benefit – most studio’s will give you a discount for paying in advance so not only are you committing to your health and wellbeing but you’re also helping your purse strings in the process!
5. Quit your job
Ok so this may not be a reality for many of us. However, there are a few of us who really could consider this. Perhaps a career change has been on the cards for a while and this might be the opportune time to look for a position which allows a little more movement flexibility. There are more and more roles available with flexible hours, work from home options and opportunities for scheduling your own activities around your work schedule. Have a think, you might be surprised at how you can still earn your keep while making work fit around you so your health doesn’t have to suffer. After all … what is wealth, money, or the ability to enjoy your life?
At BPS Tensegrity we offer a wide range of classes to work in with your busy lifestyle. Visit our classes page today to book: https://bpstensegrity.com.au/classes