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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!
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
What are your Pilates Goals for 2017. Get rid of pain, tone up, master the teaser, or just have a routine that ensures you wake up every morning feeling outstanding! What ever your goals, as 2016 comes to a close it's time to start thinking about how to make them happen.
What are your Pilates goals?
The first question should be what are you trying to achieve with Pilates Alexandria? If your a beginner to the world of Pilates our advice would always be to start with a 'studio session<' (i.e. using the equipment). This will allow you to get a good feel of the Pilates moves as the equipment can be perfectly adjusted to suit the resistance, range and control your body currently posses. If you are more experienced in the Pilates perhaps a mat class if more up your alley. The level of difficulty increases significantly when it's just you, your body and the mat!
What is your Pilates budget?
The next question is your budget, how much can you afford to spend. Obviously private , semi-private and studio (3:1) sessions decrease in cost in relation to the amount of 1:1 attention your receive from your instructor. Classes are cheaper again as more participant share the teachers attention. When deciding on session types its always good to consider a couple of things;
- How much attention do you need? Sometimes its worth spending a little more in the beginning to get your bearings, so that as you transition into classes down the track you have a strong base of knowledge and understanding to work from
- Will your health fund cover it? If you work with an instructor who is accredited and/or is a movement practitioner such as a Physiotherapist your private health insurance may cover the majority of the session type, making it win-win! You get the benefit of expert guidance and the cost to you is very minimal!
- Do you have an injury? Injuries are important things to consider, as while Pilates is 'hailed' as a great rehabilitation tool, it again come back to the level of experience of your instructor and the amount of 1:1 time they can spend with you to ensure you are doing movements that are beneficial to your rehabilitation process and not harmful!
How do I know if my Pilates is working for me?
You should be able to feel, see and 'know' that Pilates is working for you. It's like Joseph Pilates always said “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.” If you are not experiencing these changes then the chances are the type of session you are doing, the way your instructor is working with you or the number of sessions you are doing are not be right for you! Don't dismay, there are probably one or to things you are doing that are just not quiet right, our article '7 fatal Pilates mistakes' might help you to realise this yourself! By finding a class or instructors that suits your personal needs is actually easier than you might think, you just need to know what your aiming for! We can help ...