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Health and Wellbeing

31 May 2016

Power lifting, Olympic lifting and cross-fit styles of training are all hot ways to train these days for both men and women.

Why? Primarily because you can get great results with significant gains in strength, power and speed when you train in this way. The downside, unfortunately, is that you can really hurt yourself if your body is not ready for this type of training.

No one ever joined a gym to walk out with an injury, so it falls within our duty of care as trainers and operators to ensure you, our members and clients get great results, enjoy challenging workouts but avoid injury.

Power and Olympic lifts such as the deadlift, full squat, snatch and clean with heavy weights are only suitable for experienced exercisers and elite athletes. But that doesn’t mean you should never lift.

What it does mean is that you must prepare your mind and body first. It’s also not all about being just strong. You also need advanced levels of mobility and flexibility to match your strength.

If you are interested in this type of training, you should consult an elite personal trainer or strength and conditioning coach who can teach you the fundamentals from scratch.

There is a very fine line between your 1RM max and a serious joint, muscle or spinal injury so please be careful, even if you are experienced.

Small group training is great!

Somewhere between your solo workout or personal training (PT) session and a group fitness class exists the concept of small group training (SGT).  So what’s the difference between these three ways of working out and what are the benefits?

PT session – A personalised, specific, goal-focused, customised workout for you only.

  • Pros – Safe, effective, results-based, on your terms, portable, flexible.
  • Cons – Cost, only when compared with other formats.

Group fitness class – You workout in a class with other members.

  • Pros – Fun, energetic, variety, regular workouts, great instructors, cost effective and often included in membership.
  • Cons – Bad or late instructors, fixed location, hygienic factors.

And now we come to the small group training experience. What makes it so great?

  • Pros – Its fun. You can workout with your friends and/or colleagues. You decide the content. It might be yoga, pilates, body pump, functional training or boot camp. You schedule the time and location. And finally it’s cost effective because you can share the trainer fees with your friends equally.
  • Cons – I can’t think of any!

Pilates is for everyone

Pilates has been around long enough now that pretty much everyone knows how to pronounce pilates properly. It has been a long time since I heard someone call it pie-lates.

What we are seeing recently is an increasing amount of men participating in pilates classes. In some cases, half the participants in some classes are men. This is a very pleasing trend and reinforces that pilates is indeed beneficial for all.

What are the benefits of taking a regular pilates class?

  • Balanced strength and conditioning for both sides of the body. You might favour one side, have a dominant leg, play an asymmetrical sport like tennis, all of which unbalance the condition and development of the muscles and negatively impact your alignment. Pilates will help correct this.
  • Improved flexibility – Many pilates exercises are dynamic and help improve your co-ordination and mobility.
  • Rehabilitation – Many physiotherapists integrate concepts and exercises from pilates into their rehabilitation programs for joint and spinal injuries.
  • Improved body awareness, concentration, muscle tone and condition.
  • Helps improve and regulate breathing, helps aid in relaxation.
  • Helps reduce back pain, neck and shoulder tension.
  • Improved posture, balance and control.

Try an incorporate a pilates class into your weekly routine to improve your overall wellness.

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