Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Fitness: Metcore at Form Studio in Notting Hill

When I heard that a new fitness studio opening in Notting Hill was promising to be a 'one stop shop for your fitness everything' I signed up straight away! Last Sunday I popped down to the Form studio with high expectations and I was not disappointed.
(spot the tangerine blogger ;p)

The brand new and exclusive workout concept METcore takes reformer Pilates to the next level in a dynamic 50 minute workout. Designed to fit perfectly around your busy lifestyle, the classes are specifically structured to make the best of your precious time by combining the strength training of Pilates with HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training).
At the heart of the METcore workout, Form Studios is proud to be the first London fitness studio to introduce the MOTR - an innovative and versatile piece of fitness equipment, proven to challenge the core muscles more intensely than any other form of Pilates.

The class began with a warm up using the MOTR to get us used to balancing on the large tube. This was then kicked up a gear as we began to do more dynamic movements such as squats and lunges while maintaining balance. Following this we incorporated the straps attached to the side of the MOTR to get a full body work out. One of my favourite moves was a sumo squat with one leg on the MOTR followed by circling your arms up above your head with the straps as you push up to stand tall and raise one leg up sideways (like a star jump). This one definitely helped to get my heart rate up! Other moves included donkey kicks with one knee on the MOTR and your foot in the strap to provide resistance and side leg lifts and circles, which burned so much (happily letting me know that even the laziest of my muscles was engaged).
While many movements concentrated on the arms and legs the challenge of balancing on the MOTR was great to make sure the core was involved at all times. This was not your average Pilates class, and though I recognised the foundation of some of the movements being on the MOTR made it that much more fun and challenging. This section definitely works to improve flexibility, build strength, develop control and endurance, improve coordination and balance. The emphasis is on alignment, breathing and developing a strong Powerhouse (core). As someone who has had a myriad of back problems I found these extremely helpful, especially as my form was gently corrected to make sure I was well positioned.

The last part of the class was the SPEED 8 cardio blast incorporating High Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT). This section lasted 8 minutes - 40 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 20 seconds of rest, repeated non-stop 8 times. This form of exercise is scientifically proven to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity, more than an hour of steady cardio. The bursts of intense, fat burning, cardio conditioning exercises used the SkiErg (Nordic skiing simulator), TRX (suspension training), and Kettlebells (functional training). During this period not only do you get an amazing, fat burning cardio boost, but your body will also receive an all-natural, anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing chemical release! A powerful cocktail of all natural hormones that rebuild and repair your body and brain. Sounds pretty fantastic!
I was lucky enough to have Elissa, the founder of Form, taking our class. Apart from being absolutely stunning she is a wonderful teacher. Most of us were novices and she made sure to show us each move in detail, while being super enthusiastic and really encouraging. Due to my awful sense of balance I struggled with a few of the movements and Elissa was really helpful while getting me back on track. She gently corrected our form when we needed to lift a little higher or go a little deeper, but she made us feel like we were doing really well throughout with her constant encouragement. One of her favourites being 'You look gorgeous girls' which is very far from what I am usually told while working out and sweating, but it definitely helped to keep me positive and try that little bit harder!
I would love to return to Form for more classes as I really felt that I had worked muscles I hadn't worked before in my normal gym routines. I also really enjoyed Elissa's guidance and found her to be extremely inspiring and motivating! If you are interested in trying out Form I would definitely encourage it... especially as your first class is free so there is absolutely nothing to lose!!
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