Pilates & Co isn’t just a Pilates studio. We offer a number of different classes, starting with Reformer Pilates, and we’re big believers in mixing up your fitness and particularly your Pilates practice with some cardio. And at Pilates & Co. that means MetCon (or HIIT – high-intensity interval training). Our head instructor, Dave Norman, explains how.
So… I was thinking about taking the Met.Con class but I don’t know what it’s about and heard it’s “hard” and not “Pilates”?
It seems a bit too “fitness” for me, and I don’t know if I’d like it or why it would be good for me?
I’m all up for fun and strengthening my body in Pilates but I don’t know what HIIT training is all about? Is this part of the reason Pilates & Co has the tag line ‘Results +Function’?
Have you asked any of these questions to yourself or not dared to try a class or ask for more information? Perhaps you just love Pilates so much that you haven’t considered trying something new? Let’s break it down!
MetCon stands for metabolic conditioning, which is based on the proven concept of interval based training that by design, raises your metabolism then keeps it elevated post-exercise. That means that your body acts like it is still working out (burning calories etc) when its long finished a class…have I got your attention? This fact alone is such a powerful concept!
The class is not necessarily “hard”, it is only as hard or intense as you make it. The exercises are designed to be scaled back to accommodate any person’s ability or effort, however results only come when ample time is spent at moderate to high intensity and that is why we track this with our heart rate monitors from time to time. Whilst the class is not Pilates, it was designed by Dave and Roz to complement the reformer Pilates workouts you all love. At times we mimic reformer exercises on the freeform boards and the class is designed to challenge the body in mobility, strength and cardiovascular response making it a well round addition to a weekly regime and a more balanced schedule than Pilates on its own.
MetCon and HIIT – The Hottest new fitness trend
If you didn’t already know, MetCon or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is actually the hottest trend in the health and fitness industry because it accelerates results! Yep, that’s part of our tagline at Pilates & Co. We want you functioning at your very best and Pilates alone just won’t always do that. So this class certainly was not designed to replace reformer Pilates at Pilates & Co, but is was introduced and adapted to target our members with what we believe is a fun, short sharp metabolic kick-start for the body that would differentiate our business and deliver a truly practical addition to members needs even if they didn’t really know it.
What to expect from a MetCon class
The classes hold up to 12 people and are split into 3 or 4 groups depending on numbers. The 4 activity stations change weekly but the time of work to rest is always the same so members learn the process of intensity and then rest. However, an important note… not every exercise at each activity station is performed at a high intensity as this runs the risk of injury, failure and perceptions of “hard” and is actually called high volume interval training (HVIT) not HIIT as our MetCon format is.MetCon activities are balanced with cardio challenges.
STATION #1: It’s on the air bikes. Also known as assault bikes, they are great for metabolic conditioning. If your aerobic capacity is not feeling as if it is improving, the air bike is a great way to incorporate interval training to build your aerobic capacity without losing strength and muscle mass.
STATION #2: We use kettlebells at our next station to work on strength and again users have a wide variety of weights to suit their level. The exercises are generally compound movements so like Pilates, it’s imperative to engage the core and have multiple muscles working collectively in various movement patterns.
STATION #3: We then have a floor-based body station, which is designed primarily for mobility, aka getting your body to move through greater range whilst in exercise. It’s based on the principles and movements developed in a training philosophy called “the ZUU”.
Lastly to make sure you fully know what you are in for we use a combination of smaller apparatus called BOSU, Axius Core, Power Reels and Freeform to work balance and co-ordination which are all too often forgotten fundamentals of exercise.
So…that doesn’t sound too “hard” after all does it?
Remember ‘Results + Function’ is all about a balanced regime, faster results and improved mobility that’s why we designed met-con for you! Oh, and I forgot the FUN part…well we think it’s fun, just ask some of our regulars what they think. We’ll get you thinking and moving outside the ‘typical’ square of Pilates and fitness, learning new things plus the camaraderie of exercising with others and pushing each other along, everyone loves a “high 5” right?
David’s background is a sports science degree and has owned fitness equipment businesses, award-winning fitness studios and co-founded Pilates & Co. You can follow him, with wife Roz, on Instagram at The Norman Life.
Want to kick-start your fitness goals too? Come and see us at Pilates & Co. We offer a number of membership and class payment options, and if you’re new to our studio you can take advantage of our free orientation class and our 4 for $80 Introduction offer. You could get really serious and join our 6-week Transformation Challenge.