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Variety is what I thrive off and it’s what we are focussing on here at CONTOUR this Autumn. We want to help you mix things up and bring a renewed energy to your works outs and your life. For me, variety makes things interesting, keeps you on track and helps promote new ideas and it’s especially important in your exercise routine.

When I dreamed of setting up a studio, I had no idea after only two years we would be able to offer such a variety of classes and this is something that makes me very happy. If you are looking to shake up your exercise routine, we can help you. I often get a few questions about what each workout session involves and what it will help with, so I thought I’d collect all my thoughts together so we can help you mix things up and choose the best variety of sessions for you!

 Barre

The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles) combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements. Also, don’t be surprised if your class incorporates light handheld weights to bring the burn during all those reps, as well as mats for targeted core work. Our instructors also offer different workouts. One will throw in a different couple of exercises each week. The other will take you through a routine for around 8-10 weeks and a tough endurance challenge as well. Its great fun, and tough at the same time.

Reformer Pilates

This is the core of what we do at CONTOUR and it’s all about your core too! But how do you choose between mat and reformer? The good news is you don’t have to, as we offer both and a bit of a mixture may be beneficial to your routine.

The difference between mat and reformer is the use of the machine itself. The reformer helps your body achieve the right position and by switching around the springs, we target large or small groups of muscles to strengthen or mobilise. The spring and pulley systems also mean that the reformer machines offer an increased variety of exercises in comparison to the mat.

Dynamic Reformer Pilates

This is our reformer Pilates class but faster and more intense. It’s a whole body work out that focusses on dynamic movements, bringing in movements that you may have tried in circuit classes or as part of gym routines. Emphasis is on effort, focus and results. In the same way as classic Pilates, this class will strengthen and condition but with the added benefits of increasing your fitness and improving your cardio vascular conditioning.

Cardio Jump Reformer

A spring on a Reformer Pilates machine

This was one of the classes I was most excited about when we started. It is a high intensity, fun workout combined with strength training. Its main purpose is to get your heart pumping and it’s a great choice if you are interested in gaining fitness and losing weight. You’ll use the reformer in the same way as before, but with an added extra; at the base of the machine, where your feet go, we’ll add a ‘jumpboard’ converting your reformer into a horizontal spring board! It’s fun, it’s fast and burns more calories.

With September being our ‘new New Year’, we are looking at ways to shake up your exercise routine. Perhaps you fell off the exercise bandwagon over the summer holidays? Or perhaps you decided to take some structured rest time. Giving your body a break is a great way to re-charge and re-set ready for new beginnings, but maybe you feel it’s time to get back into it? Or maybe you got stuck in a rut over the summer and need to find your exercise mojo again. An exercise routine can be really helpful, but the key to a great routine is variety. At CONTOUR we are here to help you shake up your routine this September!

A regular exercise routine will increase your fitness and energy levels, you’ll tone up, you may start to sleep better, and we can guarantee that you will feel better. But we all get to that stage where the huge and positive gains you saw at the beginning start to plateau. Without visible or measurable change, it is easy for your motivation to flatten off too. Mixing up your routine is the key to a good exercise plan, keeping you focussed and allowing you to see continued improvements. A varied routine also means that you give your body a bit of a break, muscles you recruited in the last work out can rest while you use and strengthen new areas. This will help you get stronger all round and means your body is less prone to injury.

Signs you are in an exercise rut:

1. You are lacking motivation

Finding you don’t have the same motivation to get to your class or complete your training is often related to boredom. If you are doing the same routine over and over, your body will no longer feel pushed. An exercise routine should be stimulating for your brain as well as your body, making it an all over challenge.

2. You are making excuses not to exercise

I get it, I’ve been there! At the moment for me, it is usually related to disturbed sleep as my littlest one seems to want to party in the early hours instead of sleeping. But if it’s not lack of sleep, I’ve been guilty of many more excuses; it’s raining and I’ll get wet on the way to the studio, I don’t have the right gym kit ready, I’ve got too much work on. The list of excuses are endless, this is a sure sign you need to mix things up and get yourself excited about exercising again.

3. You get busy

Sometimes we can find ourselves arranging other activities that make it difficult to exercise. If exercise is one of your top priorities try to think ahead, maybe that extra glass of wine the night before might make it more difficult to get up for your class? You don’t need to punish yourself, it’s just about staying motivated and deciding what will move you closer to achieving your exercise goals and what will stand in your way.

4. The same muscles are always sore

This is a sure sign you need to mix it up and recruit some of your other muscle groups by trying out different activities or routines.

5. You are not seeing improvement

In many sports, improvement can be quantitively measured, you might beat your PB in a 10k race for example, but can the same theory of measurable results apply to Pilates? Yes! You should definitely be seeing visible progress. Perhaps you are getting more toned, proof that

your muscles are developing. Perhaps you can do more reps than you previously could, or are you using more resistance now? Maybe your posture is improving, or you have the strength to hold moves for longer. If you are not seeing these kinds of improvements, you have most likely reached an exercise plateau.

Variety is the key to a good exercise routine. It makes it much more interesting for you and means you are much more likely to make exercise a habit. Most of the time any workout is better than none (unless you are injured or overtraining) but why not use this time in September to have a fresh start and really examine your workout routine. Is it taking you to where you want to be? Are you enjoying it and are you seeing improvements? If you have any doubts, have a look at where you can spice things up a little, are there any repetitive areas you could look at changing or developing?

Next week on the blog I’ll be looking in more detail at the variety of classes we offer from beginners reformer to mixed ability reformer, Cardio Jump Reformer classes, Dynamic Power Pilates and Barre classes. Maybe it’s time to try something new and really mix things up!

September is the new January

September 19, 2018

Make September your new January

There is something special about September. Summer is coming to an end, colours are changing and leaves are beginning to cover the pavements. Autumn is definitely creeping up on us. It’s the time of year I love the most and for me it feels like the perfect time for a quick check up on where I am in life and where I want to be heading in the year ahead.

Perhaps that new school year feeling never leaves us. I get excited now as our familiar routines are restored after the long summer holidays. For me, September lies in stark contrast to New Year’s Day, where I am often partied out and tired, guilty of setting grand resolutions for the year ahead which are destined to fail within the first few weeks of the year. In September however, I feel fresh and ready to go, I want to make positive changes and reflect on where I am in life. It’s a time of new beginnings, but without the pressure that comes with the start of a new year.

For the next few weeks on the blog, I am going to focus on small changes we can make in our daily routines to make us healthier and happier. Are you looking to get back into exercise after a break? Perhaps you want to build up your exercise into a more regular routine, or need help with a training plan? We can help you! Over the next few weeks the blog will be looking at exercise, nutrition and self-care. We want to help you use the September energy and the positive vibes that come with this time of year, to forge new healthy habits and renew your energy levels so you can achieve your goals.

September is all about possibilities! Get involved on the blog or come chat to any of us in the studio. We can help you make realistic plans and stick with them. And if you are ready to get your exercise routine kick started already, check out our fabulous September deal. We’ve brought back our January offer of 50% off all monthly memberships, as I truly believe September is a wonderful time to re-assess what’s important, change habits and set achievable targets for the year ahead. Come join me and make September the start of your new year!

 

For more information on the September offer please go to – HERE

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