Healthy HIT Pilates, ‘Hits’ The Mediterranean Coast
By: Sam Mednick
Editor’s Note: This Is Part Two of a Two Part Interview. Part One can be found at http://www.active-8.es/ejercicio-fisico-y-perdida-de-peso/hit-pilates/
Australian native, Shay O’malley has brought a unique and revolutionary workout to Barcelona. The forty-one year old Physiotherapist, Pilates instructor, Acupuncturist (and a host of other qualifications) has now become Spain’s first and only certified Healthy HIT Pilates Trainer. We had the privilege of sitting down one-on-one with the Aussie to get her take on this innovative new exercise program and its incredible benefits.
Quick HIT Explanation: Healthy HIT Pilates was created by Glenn Withers, a Physiotherapist and one of the co-founders of the Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute (APPI). This new workout regime is a combination of High Intensity Training (HIT) and traditional mat work Pilates movements. The class is approximately 45 minutes in length with 20 minutes of high intensity workout, which is a mix of 30-second cardiovascular bursts and a 30-second Pilates recovery moves.
Q: Is there a specific sport or reason where you’d recommend using HIT Pilates as the training method?
A: It’s great for sports with a lot of starting and stopping. For example: Football, Basketball, Skiing or anything that requires a level of endurance and power. The main thing though is to mix it up and try not to do the same thing every day. The body accommodates very quickly to the same sort of exercise, even with Healthy HIT Pilates you have to keep changing things up; like the spice of life, keep it fresh and different and keep introducing new things.
Q: What’s your favourite exercise within the work out and why?
A: I quite like the Burpee Reverse Lunge believe it or not and the Squat Cross Feet (squats, lunge, lunge squat). I like the plyometrics and I like the speed of those.
Q: What’s the most challenging exercise for you?
A: Squat Catch Kick. You have to jump forward, side, back, side and then side, forward, side, back and do this over and over.
Q: What do the majority of people find to be the most challenging part of the class?
A: People don’t love the Burpee Reverse Lunge but it’s different for everyone. Some people have better upper body strength and others lower body so it depends on what shape you’re in, everyone’s different. However, the Burpee Reverse Lunge usually gets people. It also depends on where it is in the segment of the five exercises; of course towards the end you’re feeling it a bit more.
Q: Who is the ideal candidate for HIT Pilates? Do you need to be in amazing shape?
A: There is actually a fitness test called the Five Key Moves Test and that determines whether or not someone is fit enough to do the class. Generally, if you work out a couple of times a week and have a bit of a background in Pilates then you’re a good candidate. Will it appeal to the geriatric population? Not really. You’re looking at people 60 and under. Of course there are people over 60 who can do it too if they’ve got good control and are in good shape. One benefit of this program and also something that makes it a bit different is that it’s not like your general aerobics where everyone has to move at the same pace. Everyone can move at his or her own rate as long as you’re controlling it and keeping the form and function, meaning that you’re doing it safely.
Q: Who should not participate in HIT Pilates?
A: With this course you can’t have any current problems, so if you have back or neck pain, or a knee injury, or are hurt in any way, HIT Pilates isn’t suitable because there is high intensity. It’s also not ideal for someone who is desk bound, sitting in an office and hasn’t done a lot of exercise in a while.
Q: How often does one have to participate in HIT Pilates in order to see and maintain results?
A: I’d say that a six-week program, twice a week, is enough to show benefits in your cardiovascular system. You’ll generally see an increase of 40-50% in your cardiovascular capacity.
Q: How long will those changes last you?
A: Well like anything, unfortunately, it takes longer to make your improvements and easier to lose them. If you don’t keep it up, you’re looking at keeping results for a month or so. But keep in mind muscles have a memory so once you’ve trained your muscles to a certain level it doesn’t take long to regain those benefits. You could do this program between 3-4 times a year to stay fit, but it doesn’t always have to be Healthy HIT Pilates. You could go do something else. The secret to fitness is mixing it up, keep it changing!
Q: What’s your elevator pitch for why someone should participate in HIT Pilates?
A: If you want to get the maximum benefits in a short period of time, for pretty much every part of your overall fitness including: Endurance, power, strength and stability.
Q: Do you foresee this becoming a popular work out trend in Spain?
A: High intensity training, especially the boot camp stuff is starting to emerge as a popular trend, so yes I do see it becoming more of a ‘thing’. HIT Pilates has been scientifically proven and I like that. This is a well thought out well-balanced regime it’s really the first of its kind. I think with the right marketing and right exposure it could take off in Spain.
Q: Why would this class appeal to women?
A: Primarily because of the fat burning benefits. It’s really good for getting the metabolism going. Sometimes guys want to bulk up and for women it really is a weight loss program. In 35-40 minutes (a short period of time) you have an entire work out, which you’re getting a lot out of and doing all four components of your fitness. There aren’t many classes that incorporate: Pilates, endurance, strength and power in a short period of time. I’d say that another aspect that attracts women is the fact that it’s safe.Read More