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metcon hiit cardio Pilates and Co Fitness Studio Gold Coast

MetCon & HIIT – How We Do Cardio at Pilates & Co

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”.

STATION #4:

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.

Not a Gold Coast resident but planning a trip to the Burleigh Heads or nearby? Purchase our 4 for $80 class visitor pass (valid for two weeks)Contact us if you need to find out more.

Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

5 Tips to Keep you Active and Healthy this Winter

It’s easy to feel in a rut during the colder months, here are some winter health tips that are easy to fit into your daily and weekly routine to keep you active and feeling great.

1. EAT REAL FOOD

When you eat food, ensure that it’s not just empty calories but nutritious, whole foods that will support your immune system. Include garlic, ginger, and onion to warm foods and make sure you include lots of fresh, organic produce. Stews, casseroles, curries, and soups are the obvious winners for winter.

I found this awesome new product from Brio Emporium which is a sure-fire winner for my busy family. It’s Mead & Marrow Bone Broth Concentrate which you mix up in a cup of hot water – instant broth! How amazing is that? It’s made from grass-fed beef, made here on the Gold Coast and comes in a couple of flavours.

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2. KEEP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE GOING

Yes, it’s cold – especially this week! Getting up at 5:30 am to get your workout in before work feels insane when it looks like nighttime outside, right? If you stick to your consistent workout routine, your body will love you for it. Getting your body moving early in the morning will kick-start a cold, drab day and keep your motivation up. If you can move your schedule back an hour, awesome, otherwise consider working out in the evening if you think it will be more achievable to stick to your workout routine.

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3. MAKE THE MOST OF THE SUNSHINE

Catch some winter sun rays whenever you get the chance to boost your vitamin D levels. Winter sun on the Gold Coast is pretty glorious so soak it up! You’ll not only build up your immune system but also increase the oxygenation of your blood cells and tissues, lower blood pressure and lift your mood.

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4. TRY DRY BRUSHING

Tried dry brushing? Before you shower, right before you step in, take a medium bristle shower brush and vigorously brush your skin starting from your feet, up to your heart. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and it’s continuously shedding (bleh!). A regular 5-minute dry brush removes these dead layers of skin effectively leaving your skin fresh and vibrant, plus it helps to improve your circulation, warming your body all over. It’ll also stimulate your lymphatic system which helps eliminate toxins from your body!

Spa bath setting –brush ,towel and nature soap

 

5. STAY SOCIAL

Avoid hibernation this winter by making regular meet-ups with friends and family. Happy humans socialise, so take turns of catching up at a warm home – around a fire preferably. Socialisation helps to keep your mood elevated and has been proven to improve mental vigour and longevity.

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Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation for new members.

Osteopathy Pilates & Co. Gold Coast Pilates Reformer & Fitness Studio

Benefits of Osteopathy: Good to the Bone

Along with Pilates, another amazing modality to assist in pain relief and getting you on the road to recovery is Osteopathy. In fact, the benefits of osteopathy are plentiful, so we thought we’d talk to a pro about how the practice works. One of the best Osteopaths on the Gold Coast is Tracey Spruyt from Osteozone. Pilates & Co‘s Belinda Survilla asked Tracey about what it is that she does and how she does it.

The thing I’ve come to learn is that the majority of us all have injuries. From issues that might cause infrequent discomfort to injuries that are a constant pain in the neck. Many of you love Pilates because of the support it offers, strengthening the small stabilising muscles and the bigger supporting muscles allowing greater movement, strength, and flexibility.

 

P&C: What does an Osteopath do? 

Tracey: An Osteopath specialises in musculoskeletal medicine and treats a range of conditions and injuries through manual treatment and exercise.  The key complaints I see in practice are chronic lower back pain with sciatic symptoms, neck pain, headaches and migraines, sporting injuries including rotator cuff and shoulder impingements, tennis elbow, ankle sprains and knee pain due to muscle instability and weakness.

 

P&C: What would a general Osteopath appointment involve?

Tracey: The Osteopathic appointment (45min consult) includes a brief discussion of the patients presenting injury or condition, including the patient’s history and other pre-existing conditions.  The majority of the consultation is comprised of manual therapy to alleviate the patient’s pain symptoms, and prescription of simple exercises and advice such as ergonomics to prevent further injury.

 

P&C: Who can benefit from seeing an osteopath?

Tracey: Those who suffer from acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain as a result of sporting injuries, poor posture or ergonomics, pregnancy or post-pregnancy, overuse injuries, or stress and anxiety.  People of all ages can benefit from Osteopathic treatment, particularly those with a sports background or those wishing to increase or return to an active lifestyle.

 

P&C: How hands-on are you with clients? 

Tracey: As an Osteopath, manual therapy is the key component of the treatment which is individualised to the patient’s specific injury or condition. The types of hands-on techniques include soft tissue manipulation, articular mobilisation, stretching, balancing, dry needling and sports Kinesio taping.

P&C: How do you feel Pilates and Osteopathy work together?

Tracey: I believe that Pilates is an amazing adjunct to Osteopathic treatment as it addresses many of the muscle imbalances and weakness (especially core stability) which I see in practice every day.  Osteopathy can also benefit those who practice Pilates by addressing muscle tension and articular restrictions which may cause pain or repetitive strains.

 

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation for new members.

Good Sleep

Sweet Dreams: How to Get Good Sleep

So, how’s your sleep, are you getting enough? Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning, preparing your brain for the next day and forming new neural pathways to allow you to learn new stuff and remember it!

GETTING GOOD SLEEP

I for one am a huge lover of sleep and have no issues popping right off, but I know a staggering amount of people who suffer from insomnia or who have kids that wake them continuously through the night.

We’ve all had a crappy nights sleep before and we all know that foggy brain next day feeling. The effects of sleep deprivation are pretty startling and affect us both mentally and physically.

 

Mental effects of sleep deficiency

  • you may have trouble making decisions
  • you may have trouble solving problems
  • you may have issues controlling your emotions and behaviour
  • you may have trouble coping with change

Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

 

Physical effects of sleep deficiency

  • ongoing sleep deprivation is linked to heart disease. Your blood vessels and heart undergo healing and repair during sleep!
  • increased risk of obesity
  • lack of sleep causes hormonal imbalance. The hormone in charge of making you feel full (leptin) drops with lack of sleep and the hormone in charge of making you feel hungry (ghrelin) goes up!
  • changes how your body reacts to insulin
  • deep sleep supports healthy and normal growth and development in children and teens
  • deep sleep also helps to repair cells and tissues and build muscle mass
  • our immune system is compromised by lack of sleep

How much sleep should you be getting?

Generally, for adults, 7 – 9 hours is recommended. For teens, 8 – 10 hours and children age 6 – 13, 9 – 11 hours is recommended.

Here are some achievable tips on how to get (you and your kids) to sleep and stay there –

  1. Keep to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and rise at the same time, every day of the week
  2. Put down those laptops, phones and iPads a good hour (at least!) before your bedtime and make sure they are at least 2-metres away from your bed while you sleep
  3. Don’t have any caffeine after lunchtime
  4. Take part in regular exercise. Pilates anyone?
  5. Use essential oils to help create a peaceful and relaxed state of mind. Lavender, ylang-ylang, and chamomile activate the alpha wave activity in the brain. Try a roller with some diluted essential oil in carrier oil on your temples, the back of the neck or diffuse it in your bedroom.
  6. Make sure your bed and pillow are top notch. You spend a lot of time in your life in bed (hopefully) so get the best you can afford.

 

Belinda Survilla is the Pilates & Co. studio manager and takes regular classes at the Miami studio, including orientation for new members.

Healthy Food Lentil Soup

Healthy Food: Spiced Lentil Soup

This delicious and nutritious lentil soup will satisfy even the fussiest in the family. It’s quick and easy to prepare and make ticking all my boxes!

RECIPE FOR HEALTHY LENTIL SOUP

INGREDIENTS

Here’s what you’ll need –

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup dried red lentils (or puy lentils if not pureeing soup)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

METHOD

Here’s what to do –

  1. Heat oil or ghee in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, then add ginger, garlic, and spices. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add stock and lentils and bring to the boil. Cover pan and bring to simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  3. Remove from heat. This is where you have the option to blend to a smooth soup (kids will prefer this option 98% of the time). Blend mixture (1/2 at a time) in your blender or use a stick mixer until smooth. If using a blender, remove the centerpiece in the lid to allow steam to escape and place a piece of paper towel over the hole. Once you have blended your soup, pour the mixture back into a clean pan.
  4. Stir in remaining ingredients over a low heat
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Check out more of our healthy recipes on the Pilates & Co. blog.

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