1. Neurological stimulation a.k.a. Variety
The best bodies I’ve seen developed in my years of teaching fitness, yoga, and movement are those bodies that have benefited from training at a fusion studio. By best bodies I mean students who are well versed in movement; yoga, Pilates, body weight drills, suspension training and kettlebells to name a few. A by-product of being well versed in these different types of body language is the sought after visual impact of a six-pack and lean athletic body. I’m not advocating muscle confusion, which is the idea that by changing your workouts you confuse your muscles and thereby increase stimulation and adaptation. What I have seen and what is backed by evidence is that neuroplasticity of the brain can be directly affected by movement. Digging deeper, it appears that this may be because of neurological stimulation of the hippocampus; an area of the brain critical to imagination, which can enhance creativity and stimulate brand new brain cells. According to research scientist Dr. Jack Lewis, “By consistently challenging it with fresh mental activities, your brain will be continually forced to restructure, rewire and build new connections to cope with the new demands placed on it.” For example here at Set and Flow Yoga, the first fusion studio of its kind in L.A., we purposely chose movement disciplines that place specific demands on the body and adhere to principles that can be taught, learned and executed. Our Hot Pilates system teaches the Pilates method, the active plank principle is taught in our suspension training classes, and the body/breath connection is taught in our fusion yoga classes. Basically you won’t ever be bored because your brain will be continually learning new skills and as a result your body will reap the benefits of being fully engaged in the activity. Also, because a fusion studio such as ours hosts over 40 styles of movement it will keep you on your toes, in a good way.
2. You can “WAVE your training. “
I’m always asked how I approach my training. What and how I do it? What I do is everything we offer at Set and Flow. Pilates, Yoga, Kettlebells, Battle Ropes, TRX, Barefoot Bootcamp, etc. How I do it? I wave my training. What is that? Read on.
This credit goes to Scott Sonnon, the creator of TACFIT, which has been labeled the world’s smartest workout. I was heavily influenced by the 4 day wave concept that was taught in the TACFIT certification. By following this formula, I increased my lean muscle mass, was able to shred more fat, felt better overall, and I was able to get rid of long term injuries I acquired through years of pushing too hard. Okay, and now to what “waving” your training means and why a fusion studio is the best place to do it. The 4 day wave is a health-first fitness approach to training that maximizes performance and recovery through varied training intensity. This wave of cycling intensity fits perfectly into a fusion studio and will get you into beast mode in a safe and effective way. Here is the layout, I’ll give the description, followed by what I specifically do and recommend for my private students. The 4 day cycle looks like this:
No Intensity: Active recovery, joint mobility training. I like taking walks and or I will take a Yin yoga class. This class focuses on the fascia system, poses are held longer and there is very little movement.
Low Intensity: Compensatory movement that helps to decompress joints and release muscular tension. This primes your body for the next cycle. On this day I like to take a hot flow yoga class or a hot set class depending on what my peak day is going to be.
Moderate Intensity: Dedicated strength-training day. Heart rate should not exceed 85 % of heart rate maximum and exertion should be max 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. On this day I like to do Hot Pilates sculpt and I will specifically focus on technique, I’ll also mix in a TRX class or Cannonball Yoga sculpt class.
High Intensity: Metabolic conditioning and peak performance are emphasized on this day. Heart rate should remain between 85 to 95% of heart rate maximum and effort should be between an 8-10 on a 10 scale. On this day I like to double, take a 30 min. battle rope class in the morning and a Barefoot Bootcamp class going full out.
The Set and Flow Barefoot Bootcamp class is our signature class that includes cardio, core, bodyweight, kettlebell drills and power yoga. I’ll also cycle in a kettlebell class that focuses on the swing, clean, half snatch, full snatch, press and push press. Sometimes I’ll do a Hot Pilates Sculpt as well and just make sure to go full out in the cardio section of class.
I’ll repeat this wave for 28 days and then take a full 2 days off and repeat it again. This is what I found works best for me and if you are lucky enough to train at a fusion studio, then this wave can work perfectly, keeping you safe and mobile. Here at Set and Flow Yoga we created an environment where this cycle works. Having said that, please also listen to your body. If, on the 2nd day of the 4 day wave, you happen to just feel it and want to go full out then give your body what it needs, take that bootcamp or boxing class (coming soon) and on the inverse of that, if on your peak day, you feel like yoga would benefit you more, then by all means. We offer over 155 classes a week at Set and Flow Yoga, and we pride ourselves on being the first fusion studio in Los Angeles that brings you all the boutique style movement under one roof. If you are interested in becoming an instructor at one of LA’s premier fusion studios we will be having a Hot Pilates teacher training in January, please leave us an email.