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Absolute Blogging
Absolute Blogging is a place you can find all sorts of useful information that will keep you informed on tips and advice in keeping your body mind and soul in the best shape possible. In addition our in house DJ LMBB (Little Miss Beat Box) bringing you Ab
tom@absolutepilatesplus.com

9 Benefits of Reformer Pilates

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What do Karlie Kloss, Alessandra Ambrosio, Kelly Brook and Vanessa Hudgens have in common? Awesome bodies, yes. But how do they get it?

These stars are all fans of reformer Pilates. It's no news that Pilates is an amazing type of exercise, but what exactly are the benefits of this type of practice?The Reformer is a piece of equipment that further aids the practice with different spring options for more resistance, equipment such as light weights and the magic circle. The classes are usually 50-60 minutes long and will include breathing exercises, stretching and sculpting work, using your whole body, all while listening to select playlists with good tunes to get you going. We've listed 9 incredible reasons for you to discover some of the benefits of doing reformer pilates - let this inspire and encourage you to come and try a class at our beautiful Parsons Green Studio!


1. Everyone can do it!
Some forms of exercise may seem daunting if you're unsure of your own physical capabilities, but Pilates really is something everyone can do. The classes are small - only 9 reformers at Absolute - and the teacher will always give you individual attention to assist you with any problems you may have. It is the most gentle, safe and effective way to exercise, and the beauty of doing it on the reformer is that you can adjust the level of intensity to suit your own body, using the springs.

2. Tone and Reshape.
If you've done mat Pilates before, you're likely to know what amazing core-strengthening work it is. Now add on the resistance of the reformer as well as the light weights and you got yourself a whole new artillery to tone up your body with! It is unquestionable that reformer Pilates is a way to - literally - reshape your body. You will never bulk up with Pilates- instead, you can expect that envious long, lean, graceful tone. “In 10 sessions, you feel better, 20 sessions you look better, 30 sessions you have a completely new body.”- that is a quote from the founder of the practice, Joseph Pilates. We can testify to the truth of this saying. Don't believe us? Come and try our intro offer - 3 classes for £24 - and see what you think!

3. Rehabilitate
The reformer is a great way to start exercising after an injury. The equipment is so gentle, and this combined with the fundamental principles of Pilates - precise movements performed in a safe way - will help you regain your strength and posture. If you have back injuries or muscular imbalance, it's a great way to regain your strength. The focus on postural work during class will help your spinal alignment and continued practice will help decrease the risk of future injuries.

4. Pregnancy Friendly
During pregnancy, it can be hard to find workouts to suit your changing body. Pilates is excellent for expecting women, as it incorporates core, pelvic floor and posture exercises. Doing Pilates while you're pregnant will significantly help you recover after giving birth - not only will you have an easier time physically caring for your new bundle of joy, you will also bounce back quicker to the shape you were before. If you have questions about working out during pregnancy, don't hesitate to ask at reception - we offer 1-1 consultation on exercise and nutrition, which can help you during and after your 9 months!

5. Weight Loss
Strengthening exercises are imperative to any weigh loss regime. You already know the reformer can work wonders to tone you up, but it can also help you shred. During class, you will definitely feel your heart racing, and depending on the level of the class and your own fitness, practice can get positively sweat-dripping. For an extremely intense cardio workout, we offer amazing Cardio Pilates classes. These 50 minute classes offer you a variety of intervall, HIIT type training - on and off the reformer - as well as the classic sculpting work. This type of class is incredible if you want to switch it up and take your fitness routine to the next level.

6.Flexibility
Not only will you strengthen and slim down - you'll also get more flexible from doing reformer Pilates. Being more flexible will reduce any stiffness and soreness as well as aid that quest for those long, lean muscles.

7. Everyday
The beauty of reformer Pilates is that, unlike some other physical activity, it can be done everyday. It is gentle enough that it wont tear our muscles, yet can be challenging enough to keep you excited. One important difference between mat Pilates and reformer Pilates is that there are so many more movements and exercises on the reformer - without even getting too into the equipment, there are over 250 movements! The variety of the classes teamed with the skill and focus of the trainer will ensure that your class will always be different, hitting your body and your mind from all different angles :)

8. Breathing
Breathing exercises are always part of the class. Your breathing is absolutely fundamental for your well being, and if you come to class, you'll discover new ways to utilizing your breath to maximize your energy. Building on the concept of core, back and postural strength, the breath links it all together and if you know how to breathe right, you can reduce stress levels and find focus easier in your daily life as well as during class.

9.Energy
Exercising is one of the key players in getting that extra energy we all want and need. It is just incredible how much just a little difference in your physical habits can make - after a class of reformer pilates, you will immediately feel better - exercise releases endorphins, also known as the happy hormone. But you wont only feel it after class - regular exercise will help you gain more energy everyday, even on days you're not working out. So you can ditch the redbull - do some Pilates instead!

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tom@absolutepilatesplus.com

Pilates Clothes - What Do I Need?


Back in the day, gym clothes used to be ill fitting garments we all dreaded to put on - some of the sports fashion in recent history has been straight up appalling. However, today's fitness market is abundant in choices when it comes to clothing. So much so that it can get a little confusing - what exactly do you need during a Pilates class? Stepping into the sports department of a store can be stressful unless you know what you're looking for, so let's break it down: What should you look for when buying workout gear for Pilates?

1. Fit. This might seem obvious - of course it should fit well. But let's dig a little deeper - what does fit actually mean? When doing Pilates reformer classes, it's good to wear clothes that are soft and supportive at once. If you wear trousers or tops that are designed to look very lose or oversized, you run the risk of the fabric getting caught in the reformer machine. Also, it's important for the teacher to be able to see your body movement, so anything to large and floppy might make this hard. Comfortable leggings are always a good bet! If you're unsure about your size, get someone at the store to help you - the right size can make a big difference! Sometimes, we like to buy clothes a size smaller in the hopes that we will fit into them soon, but what about...

2. Comfort. In order to get the most out of your practice, choose clothes that make you feel comfortable, confident and strong. Do you want to wear leggings so tight they are see through? Not really, unless you're Sofia Vergara. Is blue your favorite color? Go for it! Do you love working out in shorts? Do it! This is your time to work on your mind and body, so make sure your garments will make you feel your best!But it's not only about what everyone else see's you in, but also about the...

3. Undergarments. Excuse the intimate tone here, but it really is very important to wear underwear that will make your practice easy and comfortable. Stay away from underwear that doesnt stay in place. Wear natural fibers. And of course - it's all about the sports bra! During a class of pilates, you spend a lot of time on your back. Therefore, many people find it uncomfortable to wear sports bras with clasps in the back, since they can 'dig in' to your skin whilst exercising. We recommend a seamless bra with medium support, unless you're doing a cardio pilates class, in which case you'll need high support. During cardio classes, the time is split evenly between floor work and work on the reformer, so the issue with the clasps in the back might be less irritating. Alright, then, so that's the undergarments. How about some....

4. Socks. Whether you use socks or not during class is completely up to you. Some people prefer having special Pilates socks with a bit of rubber underneath for better grip on the reformer and floor. This can certainly help, but it's not a necessity during class. Last but not least...

5. Style. There are SO many amazing labels who make beautiful clothes aimed at fitness. They're so nice, you can actually wear them everyday! Brands like Sweaty Betty, Manuka, Lululemon and Every Second Counts (The latter is pictured above) make clothes that will make you feel like a million bucks. In fact, we love Lululemon and Every Second Counts, you can find it here at the studio!

If you feel inspired, why not come and ask us at reception for more info on what clothes we sell here at Absolute? We have a feeling you might want to change that Christmas wishlist... ;)

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tom@absolutepilatesplus.com

Spin? Absolutely!



How do we feel about summer being over? Being back in the ol’ routines? With the arrival of fall, why not spruce up your energy with some Absolute Spin classes! Let’s have a little look at just why Spinning is so good for you.
 
Spinning has long been a favorite type of workout for celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Scherzinger and David Beckham. Wait a minute, you think. These people are celebrities, whose whole life is more or less dedicated to working out. What about us mere mortals? I asked one of our new Spin instructors, James, what you can expect from a spin class.

“Spinning really is a fantastic workout for everyone, regardless of your fitness level. Since people can adjust the level on their own bike, it’s an excellent way to build up strength according to your own need, while still in a dynamic group environment. Remember- this is YOUR workout! I’m here to guide you, and makes sure that you get the most out of your workout in a safe, fun and sweaty way!”

James definitely knows what he’s talking about – with a first diploma in Sports Exercise Science and an F.A Coaching License, he’s been in the fitness industry for over 10 years. In his class, he’ll make you forget about your daily stress and worries and instead focus on getting the very best workout You can get on a bike in 45 minutes, and afterwards he will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your own workout routine or how to get the most out of his high-in-demand classes.

So, get ready to sweat! Because sweat, you will: when you walk out of that class, you’ll be dripping but smiling. Really, smiling? Yes! Here’s the thing: exercise releases endorphins, also known as the Happy hormone. When you really push yourself with exercise (which you will, in our Spin classes) the brain releases this hormone that can make you feel almost euphoric after a class. I asked our other new Spin instructor, Nadia, about some of the benefits of spinning.

“Spinning is great because it is a high intensity cardiovascular exercise which allows you to burn up to 400-600 calories per session. When you exercise on your own, it’s so hard to push yourself that extra bit which is necessary to see real change in your body – this really is a great way to tone up your legs and glutes as well as getting that amazing interval training with climbs, sprints and out-of-the-saddle work.”

Nadia has been teaching Spin since 2007 and she loves it! She is a welcomed addition to the Absolute team, with her fun and charming personality and music that will be sure to get your heart rate up. Because that’s another thing about Spinning – it’s all done with awesome music that will help motivate you during the class.

So, why not hop on one of our 11 stationary bikes and add some extra cardio to your workout routine? Ladies and gentlemen… ready, set, SPIN!

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Roya

HIIT & The After Burn Effect

HIIT

 

Absolute Spin and Absolute Pilates Cardio classes both follow the belief of HIIT. Understand why they work better than your regular cardio sessions. Yes we are going to get a bit technical!

 

HIIT is a high intensity interval workout performed at such an intense level that your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover from the training.   This recovery period or ‘after burn’ is called EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from the exercise bout than you would have if you'd just done a steady-state workout.  This is because the body needs additional fuel to return to its resting state.  Requiring more fuel means additional calorie burn.

 

Take a look at the diagram below to see the difference between a steady state cardio workout (60 minute run on treadmill at steady pace) and a high intensity workout (Spin class and/or Cardio Class).

After Burn Effect

 

The white section of the graph displays your metabolism after going for a 1 hour jog at a steady pace. As you can see your metabolism drops back to its regular level after about 3 hours. 

 

The yellow section of the graph displays your metabolism after doing a HIIT session (i.e. spin class or cardio pilates class). As you can see your metabolism is raised for a much longer period. It's only after approx 36 hours that it drops to its regular state!

 

BENEFITS OF HIT AND EPOC

  • EPOC raises the body’s calorie consumption post-workout in order to return itself to the pre-exercise state. This increased level of metabolism last for up to 36 hours. (See above)  
  • Muscle fibres rebuild and this increased muscle mass leads to an increase in calorific burn each day. So not only do you tone up you will also be burning more calories just sleeping!
  • You are kick starting the enzyme “hormone-sensitive lipase” (HSL) which orders the cells to release the fat content that is stored within them.  
  • HIT also stimulates production of testosterone and your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 % during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. 
  • Anabolism (muscle building) is also improved with high intensity training. When muscle tissue is pushed to the point of failure or exhaustion it then rebuilds and recovers to its maximum potential in order to meet that type of intense stress again.  

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tom@absolutepilatesplus.com

Is HIIT really just a cheat?

 

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Lose 5 stone in 5 minutes. 60 seconds to a 6-pack. The 1 diet tip that you all need to know. RUBBISH!

We are constantly inundated with ridiculous claims from ridiculous companies about how to get fit/skinny/sexy fast. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is…..but is that true for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)?

What is HIIT?   Intense bursts of anaerobic activity (usually at a very fast pace using numerous global muscles) followed by fixed periods of less-intense activity (eg walking). The time spent on each activity is set and usually works at a ratio of 2:1 active to rest but can vary.

*Example: 30s Burpees + 30s Jumping Jacks + 30s Sprint = 1min 30s active. 45s walk. Repeat 4x.

These short sets of explosive exercise are repeated only a small number of times meaning very short sessions and lots of time saved! A 10 minute HIIT session would potentially replace a 60 minute jog. Surely that’s too good to be true!?

Does it work?   Numerous studies suggest yes! HIIT can be just as effective, if not more, in improving athletic performance as a long aerobic session. The main benefits are improved cardiovascular performance, lung capacity and heart health, and increased fat loss! So why is it so good?

It saves you time: Gibala et al found that 2.5 hrs of sprint HIIT training produced similar muscle changes to 10.5 hours of endurance training and similar endurance benefits. Bingo J

It keeps burning calories up to 24 hours after exercise: King found HIIT increased Resting Metabolic Rate for up to 24 hours post workout. 

It eats into fat reserves:  Shown to burn more fat than a lengthy aerobic workout.

It doesn’t reduce muscle mass: HIIT uses fuel stored as fat in the body, giving muscles a wide berth.

Reduces Diabetes risk: Studies suggest this is due to its effect on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.

Slows aging process: Stimulates the production of Human Growth Hormone by upto 450%.

Its fun: It really challenges your stamina and pushes your willpower. 

Note; Although you should feel that your fitness levels improve quickly, HIIT should never really get easier. In your ‘high intensity’ sets you need to push yourself to around 90% of max heart rate. This will feel like you physically can’t carry on (or in me I want to be sick). 

So work hard, but for less time, and win! Convinced? Try one of the cardio classes at the studio!

By Hollie Grant


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tom@absolutepilatesplus.com

Why don't Londoners walk up escalators??

 

 

 

 

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Shit it grates me. Like really niggles me!!

For me, escalators are there for the elderly, heavily pregnant, disabled/injured and to help us speed up our commute time. Yet the majority of Londoners aren't capable of walking their own bodies up a flight of MOVING stairs!

The development of technologies is one of the greatest achievements of our species, and what sets us apart from others in the natural world. However, allowing these technologies to interfere with our natural function and taking some people to, what was once unimaginable, poor health is one of the saddest side effects.

The fact that it is now normal and acceptable for people to stand on moving walk ways, or drive a block to purchase take always (often with out getting out of the car) is why we (in the western world) have the highest ever levels of lifestyle diseases. You've all heard it time and time again. Heart disease, cancers, diabetes and on and on the list goes, all related to diet and sedentary lifestyles. Yet STILL people stand on escalators!!

How are people not making the connection?!?! This is not putting on gym clothes, or paying to see a trainer or trying to find the time. All it is is putting one foot in front of the other!

 

Here's some basic facts you might not know about the body. If you don't use yours muscles they weaken and tighten. Weak muscles and tight muscles equals pain. When you move your body it burns energy. The more you move it, the more it burns. Your body stores energy as fat (it is very good at doing this due to our evolutionary history i.e. food used to be much harder to find). Too much fat is bad for your health (and for the vain ones, your self esteem). So let me do the maths for you. Too much energy in (food and drink) and not moving, equals poor health. 

Now to those who stand on escalators, and do not have any of the viable reasons above (and don't give me the excuse that you might trip. I've tripped many times. I've stubbed my toe, scrapped my shin, but I've got another fact about the body, it heals.) I say, you have lost any right to complain about your body, or your health. Oh what? You are sick again? You have a fat bottom? You stand on escalators. Self inflicted.

 

p.s. Absolute clients, don't let me catch you taking the lift up to our studio!!!

 

written by Nick Morrison


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tom@absolutepilatesplus.com

Aren’t we all forgetting about……water!?

In our search for the best sports drinks, our love affair with coconut water (thanks Rihanna) and the influx of information on nutrition, are we forgetting about the cheap, freely available and oldest drink in the book…Water!?water

 

The body is composed of around 60% water. Almost every process in the body requires/uses up water. This must be replaced! By the time we feel thirsty our body is already dehydrated and the consequences of this are far reaching. On average we lose 6 pints of water a day through sweating, breathing, urination and bowel movements.

 

The multi-tasker that is water:

  • Speeds up metabolism - Studies have found that drinking water literally burns calories as the body works to warm up the water for use.
  • Regulates body temperature - Particularly important when exercising to reduce overheating.
  • Prevents fatigue – just a 5% drop in body fluids = 25-30% loss of energy. 15% loss = death.
  • Reduces headaches/migraines -the Brain is made up of a huge 90% water! Dehydration causes a drop in blood volume to the brain. Headaches when hungover are due simply to dehydration!
  • Lubricates the lungs during breathing - we lose 1-2 pints of water a day simply breathing.
  • Protects and lubricates our joints - Particularly important in the load bearing spine!
  • Helps flush out toxins and the by-products of fat breakdown - important in protecting the kidneys and liver.
  • Prevents constipation - dehydration causes the body to remove water from the colon leading to hard stools. Embarrassing for all involved.

 

Symptoms of dehydration:

  • Thirst is the body’s last signal to tell you it needs more water, by this point you are already dehydrated. Don’t leave it this late!
  • Dark urine, which smells. Urine should be almost clear with little to no odour. 
  • Hunger – often when we think we’re hungry we are actually simply thirsty. Try to drink a glass of water before food to help take the edge off and avoid over eating.
  • Fatigue – the body needs water to break down energy stores in the body for use.
  • Dry skin - the skin is approx. 70% water. It will look dull if dehydrated.

 

Benefits of upping your water intake:

A reduction in all side-effects stated above but my favourite one …..

*Studies suggest it can reduce the risk of bladder and colon cancer due to its toxin removing properties.

Men should aim for around 3 litres per day, ladies 2.5. If exercising aim for a little more.

What more could you want!?

 

Drink more, live longer. (water that is)

 

 

Written by:  Hollie Grant  - Pilates Instructor


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Roya

Welcome to Absolute!

IMG_SpinHi and welcome to the Absolute blog. 

 

We plan to use this as a forum to share our knowledge and ideas on living a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. Our expert trainers will all contribute on topics that are of particular interest to them. You can expect to read about such topics as, injury prevention, fluid consumption, nutrition, exercise for pregnancies, exercise technology, some of our favourite tips and tricks and many more informative articles on exercise and well being that our experience and education has taught us.

 

We hope that this blog becomes a regular source of inspiration, motivation and education for you, and a place you can share with us your questions and experiences.

 

 

Just to shed some light on Absolute I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a little about us.

 

The studio is located  on the top 2 floors of an office building in Parsons Green, London, UK. It was first opened in January 2010. Since then we have been providing our awesome clientele with a place to come and stretch, tone, strengthen and condition their bodies to their potential bests. Although we have flirted with some other modes of exercise (boxing, kettle bells etc) we have now concentrated our expertise into, stationary cycling, Absolute Spin classes and  reformer based, Absolute Pilates classes and Personal training . We feel these forms of exercise are a perfect match in terms of cardio vascular and calorie burning with postural correction, injury rehabilitation/prevention, flexibility and strengthening. With our powers combined we offer every individual the chance to achieve their individual health and fitness goals. See our testimonials  for some of the super people we have helped so far.

 

The studio is small in size ( currently 9 reformer beds and 8 spin bikes) but large in personality. We are a fun and lively bunch who get a great deal of enjoyment from the work we do. We have a fantastic clientele who are a real pleasure to work with. We love our work, but even more we love having a good time...

 

We make great efforts to provide a place where people can come and enjoy their exercise, feel safe yet challenged, educated and inspired. We hope this blog reflects our values and can reach out to those who have similar interests as ours.

 

Thanks for reading and we really look forward to hearing your feedback, questions, jokes, ideas and experiences on our brand new Absolute Blog!!

 

“Smile, people will think you know something.” -Unknown

Written by: Nick Morrison  - Head Trainer.

 
 

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