MAXIMISE YOUR RESULTS AT OPUS
When Sarah and I set out to create our studio concept in 2017 we had 4 main principles in mind; providing you with expert trainers, sourcing top of the range equipment, curating an inspiring environment and building a like-minded social community. We believe that providing you with each of these things sets the scene for you to reap the physical, mental and social benefits of training at OPUS. The critical element we had to consider was of course the training! We want you to get the most out of training with us, and we want you to see results. A structured training programme is the key to this, and that’s where our studio concept was born.
Over the years I have worked with so many clients with so many different goals, and one thing I noticed was how often they said their training had become stagnated (...and their results!). So many of them ‘went to the gym’ or ‘went to Pilates’ without really understanding what the likely outcomes were going to be after years and years of doing the same thing.
Our bodies are designed to move regularly, and they are designed to be active in a variety of different ways - each type of training bringing about different benefits. After working with hundreds of clients on a 1-1 basis, I was able to listen to their goals and design a specific plan to help them achieve them. However, personal training isn’t for everybody, and we wanted to create a space where everybody could achieve their goals, and a space where I could share this knowledge with as many people as possible - this is why I created the class concepts you see today at OPUS.
COMPOUND - STRENGTH TRAINING
Building and maintaining a certain level of strength is a fundamental element of being healthy, and regular strength training is a huge part of our philosophy. Aside from the aesthetic benefits, regular weight training can improve bone mineral density, increase cardiovascular health and help to control blood sugar levels. If building strength is your goal, you should complete a minimum of 3 strength training sessions per week, and your programme should consist of a variety of exercises with a real focus on technique and the amount of weight lifted. Our COMPOUND class will help you do just that. We’ve built a programme which will see your trainer taking you through a full-body strength training programme over a 12-week period. Each class promises to be varied, and each four week block will build in intensity to ensure you are always moving forwards.
PERFORM - RUNNING + HIIT INTERVALS
Another of our key principles is cardiovascular health. When I work with personal training clients I often assess this in the first consultation. We measure blood pressure, lung function and complete a fitness test. Naturally we can’t offer this to everybody in a class environment - but I want you to remember that your heart is a muscle, and it needs to be strengthened just like any other. For me, our PERFORM class is much more than a cardiovascular workout. It’s about trying new things, it’s about working alongside your classmates and sharing the post-workout endorphins which are flowing freely by the time you’ve walked out of the studio. To get the most out of the PERFORM classes and to increase your fitness levels, aim to hold your heart rate above 75-85% of it’s maximum for prolonged periods of time, at least twice per week. Your trainer will ensure each session is unique, with a variety of equipment including the Skillmill, TRX, Plylo boxes and Dumbbells.
REFORMER PILATES - CORE STRENGTH AND POSTURAL IMPROVEMENT
I took to reformer Pilates following a period of injury to my hips. Not only did the reformer help me to recover and increase the strength and mobility in my hips, it also helped me to build my core strength to levels I’d never previously experienced. I learnt how to use the machine to its full potential by combining traditional Pilates moves and strength training exercises. If you’re yet to try a reformer class, you’ll see your body change in a number of ways. You’ll start to stand taller and be more aware of your posture, you’ll find muscles you never knew existed and you’ll feel your joints become more stable and resilient.
As I said at the beginning of this article, I want to encourage you to find the classes you love, but urge you to get the most out of our studio by combining our class concepts to move towards your goals. There isn’t a one size fits all approach to training - but what I can tell you is that you need to consider the following when you’re thinking about what you want to achieve;
Frequency - How many times you train per week. It’s not always about doing more, it’s also making sure your body is given enough time to recover between sessions. My general advice would be to train 4-5 times per week, with a couple of days to rest.
Intensity - How hard are your muscles being pushed? Strength training is more than picking up the nearest set of weights and lifting them as many times as you can. An intelligent strength plan is progressive, with varied sets and repetitions to suit your goals, and this is the same for cardiovascular training. Using heart rate to understand intensity is a hugely useful tool, which is why we encourage the use of Myzone belts at the studio.
Time - How many minutes per week are you training, and more importantly, how consistent are you? The government guidelines for physical activity are 150 minutes per week, and this should be moderate to vigorous. I personally believe this should be higher, but it’s a good place to start.
Type - As discussed above, one of the biggest considerations is the type of training you’re doing, as this will have the biggest impact on the result. Avoid getting stuck in a routine, and make the most of our studio...we’re all here rooting for you!
After three national lockdowns, myself, Sarah and the team are desperate to open the doors and welcome you all back. We have been preparing our class plans (and our playlists) and we are as motivated as ever to help you achieve your goals. Not sure what they are just yet? Let’s discuss next week.
See you soon,