Have you ever spent painful hours at the gym, on an ongoing basis, without seeing the results you wanted?
I have! I spent most of my 20’s working out two hours a day with cardio and weights lifting and struggling with the fact that I just did not see the body I desired taking shape.
I will start with the caveat that no matter what training you do, you will need to take care of your diet. The body needs real food to give you back the results you expect! I can help you there with my coaching and expertise, but of course, no diet will shape your body; so this is where the right workout comes in.
In 2011, I started practicing yoga religiously. Although my journey into yoga commenced in 2007, I was not very dedicated because I did not think that I had the right body for yoga. Moreover, working out two hours a day already, left little time for other classes.
When I picked up yoga again and I had my food under control, I started seeing some changes; positive changes. I saw that my body was gaining more of the shape I so long wished for and also I felt a lot more in balance.
I occasionally still lifted some weights and did cardio to add more to my routine, but I was letting go a little.
Lately, however, on our holiday to Greece, I realised that although Yoga does tone the body nicely, I needed more and when I returned from our vacation I stared doing functional workouts daily.
I don’t have a lot of time and spending two hours at the gym, as I used to when I was younger, is impossible! Now I run my business, look after our dog and my partner and have a home to care for; so workouts need to be practical.
But also, I noticed that by dedicating myself to my body each day for thirty minutes to an hour, and consolidating cardio and weights in a functional manner, my body is responding a lot better than it ever did before – this, on top of yoga, which is still my core practice.
So, what does functional mean and why does it work better on the body? A functional workout is meant to engage different parts of the body together, instead of isolating a muscle group, in one go. One of the reasons for this being better for the body is that naturally, whenever we are physically active, we should be allowing different body parts to work together. This is what we naturally do when we walk, run etc.. We don’t just use our legs but our core and back are engaged too.
By working out in a functional manner, we are targeting the dynamics between different body parts with purpose and allowing some cardiovascular movement to pair up with resistance training.
Another tip in making functional workouts more efficient, is adding intensity for short periods of time, but often, with little rest in between. This keeps the body going from active to relaxed on an ongoing basis and going at 100% when engaged into the activity.
Needless to say the body is smart and easily gets used to timing and exercises, so mixing it up is key!
One of the best functional workouts I have ever come across was at Heartcore.
I came across this wonderful company a few months ago as one of my yoga students introduced me to the founder, Jess Schuring. She started Heartcore nine years ago, after spending half a decade in LA, training celebrities and athletes.
On a side note: Jess is the perfect example of what her programs can do to the body because she has a wonderful physique and looks amazing! It’s even better that her external beauty is supported by her wonderful personality and energy!
Heartcore has developed organically since Jess started it and now they have nine studios across London, with the latest opening in Bayswater in September, bringing Cycle and Yoga under one roof .
Heartcore is famous for their Pilates and high intensity workouts and since I had the pleasure to attend Pilates last week, I understand why and I would say it was a high intensity Pilates class – WOW
Last Tuesday morning, I spent 55 minutes moving and working my body in ways I have never experienced before. Some of the moves we were practicing are things I consistently do in Yoga, but by bringing the body on the Heartcore‘s Coreformers (machines designed by Jess as well) the entire dynamic of my body was tested.
What I loved about the class is how challenging it was to step out of my comfort zone and even when I was familiar with a pose or move; I could still push the body to new limits! This is exactly what I needed and why I was in pain for the next few days (good pain, that pain that makes you feel proud you worked out)
I have been to Pilates classes before, both mat and reformer and what I liked about this concept at Heartcore, was the accuracy of the Coreformers Jess created. They are made to test the body and push boundaries; and I get it: her experience with people who needed to have the perfect body quickly, gave birth to the perfect tool! Also, it is one of the safest workouts ever.
Heartcore teachers are highly skilled and trained and the machine used for the training was the perfect platform to support the body in its movements.
So now, I am a Heartcore addict and I would recommend it to anyone who really wants to change his or her body.
You can easily sign up for a trial class on their website and try for yourself. I completely endorse the experience and it is a great investment towards YOU.
I also feel that by seeing results with your body, you are encouraged to take care of yourself better, which means you will naturally want to make better food choices and be dedicated to what you are trying to achieve. Also, be inspired to making along term commitment towards your health!
Happy training and I might see you there!