Friday, 16 August 2013

Eqvvs - Fit Not Thin!

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while already know that this year I have set myself some fitness goals that I am very determined to achieve. Of course a wedding dress is an unparalleled motivator, but I wanted to overhaul my body not for merely one day, but for the foreseeable future. Even though I have never been overweight I have found myself creeping upwards slowly over the last few years and sitting at my desk for 10 hours a day my fitness levels were truly despicable. After one speedy climb up the escalators at Piccadilly Circus left me feeling like my heart was going to fly out of my chest I knew the time had come to start investing in my health.
Having joined David Lloyd and tried all (yes all) of their classes and weekly sessions with one of their trainers I can definitely say that I have toned up and gained muscle, though not necessarily in the right places. My body fat has dropped by about 8% and I have lost 7kg, but have remained the same dress size. Being tall I can fluctuate a lot without really changing shape. I am undecided if this is a good thing (when I pile on the padding in the winter), or a bad thing (when I spend months burning it off and see little visible result). Even though clothes do feel better I have found inches have come off the areas where I didn’t mind them so much (I’m sure you can guess!). Going to the gym 3/4 times a week and keeping to a healthy eating plan has become somewhat a routine, but even though I am still trying out lots of different types of exercise my weight/ fitness has stalled for the last few months.
I was therefore very excited when Glossybox informed me that I had won their recent Twitter competition for 3 personal training sessions at the exclusive eqvvs studios in Knightsbridge. Having been a regular gym bunny since February I am still very much at the beginning of my fitness journey and am looking to learn as much as I can about different exercises and what I can push my body to do.

Eqvvs is situated in a little cul de sac near Harrods that gives it privacy and ambiguity, so it is no wonder it is such a favourite among celebs. The studio is equipped with all the latest equipment and despite being fairly small there are never more than 2 trainers/ clients working at the same time so there is plenty of space to work up a sweat. They have a number of private changing rooms with your own shower and sink, complete with fresh towels and Aromatherapy Associates toiletries (yes I am still a beauty blogger at heart so I notice these things). The sessions themselves are an hour long and completely dedicated to helping you achieve your goals at a pace and intensity that challenges, but does not make you dread your next visit. The trainers are so friendly, patient and knowledgeable that they spend every moment encouraging you, while checking your form and making sure you are doing the exercises correctly to get the full benefits. While my fitness level has improved there are still some areas that I really struggle with (core!) and the trainers were great at modifying exercises so that I could complete them and still feel a sense of achievement. I’m sure you guys know the feeling of when you try something new and completely bomb, the last thing you want is to be told to forget it and move on, because that will never help you learn. At eqvvs the treatment is so bespoke that you never feel like you have failed at anything. Even though some of the exercises we tried (eg. hanging knee hugs on the TRX) were far too advanced for my little muscles I felt like I was really progressing even being able to do a few in a slightly different position. A modified stance or hand grip could make all the difference so it is always worth finding out from a pro!
Both of the trainers I worked with (George and Miad) really made the sessions fun, but I knew that I was getting a really good workout all the way through, and even if I wasn’t sure my heart monitor reassured me I was ‘in the zone’.  They mixed up cardio with weights (machines, free weights and my own hefty body weight) to make sure each session gave a whole body workout and targeted major muscle groups to get those calories burning too. My favourite part of each hour was the last five minutes of stretching. I felt like it really helped both my recovery time and prevent soreness the next day as after they had stretched me out I was bouncing out of the studio full of energy. Sometimes you just need that little extra bit of help, especially when it came to realigning my back and shoulders!
Whether you are looking to shape up for a special occasion, have decided to overhaul your fitness or just fancy a change to your regular routine I would highly recommend looking into personal training at eqvvs. Their amazing service doesn’t come cheap, but you definitely get what you pay for and I have no doubt that you will notice the difference. Eqvvs also have a number of special packages available, such as a pre-wedding package (eqvvsONE), or a total body overhaul (eqvvsthree60) that will transform you in 6 weeks, as well as a nutritionist, physio and partnerships with many amazing suppliers.
Even after 3 sessions I can feel a difference and have started incorporating some of the exercises I have learned to target new muscles into my routines. I will definitely be going back to eqvvs in the final stretch before my wedding to make sure all those wobbly bits are banished, but I also hope that I will be able to use what I have learned to maintain a healthier way of life in the future!
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