I absolutely adore my gym.
I love the staff, the facilities, my fellow members, the 24hr pass, the ability to go to other venues if I need/want to, the classes, the training programs… everything. The only two things I wish they had are a swimming pool and reformer pilates classes.
Alas, for these two things I must look elsewhere.
We’ll talk about the pool later, today is about my other adulterous workout love- Reformer.
Reformer Pilates is about performing traditional pilates exercises using a machine called a “reformer”. It looks kind of like a medieval torture device and it sometimes feels like one, but it’s also a damn good workout and feels delicious while you’re stretching out afterwards.
It uses springs and pulleys to increase the intensity of the exercises, and you can always add extra challenge by adding more tension to your bed or decrease the challenge by removing springs. You can also use weighted balls or dumbbells to up the ante even more.
Most reformer classes combine a mixture of strength, balance, core work, stretching and even a bit of cardio.
There are plenty of providers but my favourite is the tiny but beautiful studio at the Knox Health and Sports Clinic on Stud Rd. The clinic also hosts mat and barre pilates, physio, osteo, dental, hypnotherapy, a psychologist, counselors and a whole host of other health and wellness services.
The studio itself is light and warm, lined with mirrors (so you can watch your form) and backed with a beautiful mural of a forest glade. It’s all very zen, especially while every muscle in your body is pulsing against the weight of some VERY tight springs.
The instructors are super lovely and dedicated to their art. I’ve never felt like they’re just going through the motions but instead, have felt challenged in every class I’ve done. Because they are such small classes, the instructors can get to know you and your strengths and your needs. In yesterday’s class, for instance, there were 3 of us, all doing a slightly different version of the same exercise: My springs were tighter, my legs and hands were more elevated and on more precarious footing, while one of the other girls who had a wrist injury was performing a just as challenging exercise but on her elbows instead, and the other girl was somewhere between the two of us.
It was personalised, it was challenging, it was free from judgment, it was all about strength. It was a credit to the instructor and the culture that the clinic has fostered. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend you check it out and utilise the 5 for $50 deal that’s available for new clients.
And now for a quick little workout for you guys if you can’t get to a reformer class!
Today, I did my usual strength session (in which I achieved a pb on my deadlift!) and in between each of the exercises, I decided to get some cardio and core work in. I decided to use the EMOM method- Every Minute On the Minute you perform one or a series of exercises as the minute turns for a designated amount of time. Once you finish the exercises you can rest, do a cardio exercise, a holding exercise… whatever. I’ve even done a EMOM AMRAP which is a whole other thing.
Today’s EMOM was 12 minutes long.
The way it works is you perform 12 of the designated exercise the first minute, 11 the second, 10 the third… you get the gist. For the rest of the minute, you perform a holding exercise. So, while the cardio/strength section gets easier, the hold gets harder and because you’ve been going non stop for 12 minutes, it’s ALL a killer.
Give it a go and let me know what your favourite/most challenging combo was!
EMOM perform 12-1 descending Burpees/Wallsit (with added weight on lap if desired)
EMOM perform 12-1(each leg) descending Jump Lunges/Plank
EMOM perform 12-1 descending Push Ups/Side Plank (alternating sides)
EMOM perform 12-1 descending (each leg) Mountain Climbers/Glute Bridge (with legs elevated on a ball if desired)
EMOM perform 12-1 descending (each leg) Bicycle Crunch/Superman and Handstand (alternating to help with head rush)