Oh fitness, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: 1, 2, 3, 4,…. 500! Yes, that’s right, 500 ways to love fitness! …because when you burn 500 calories in one session, how can you not? I recently had the esteemed pleasure of attending a PHIT-ness class with the DFA at Beyond 500 in Dallas, Tx.
Beyond 500 is a PHIT (Pilates Hybrid Interval Training) program that combines three disciplines to create the most efficient and balanced workout program. It includes pilates-inspired functional movements, cardio intervals on their amazing self propelled treadmills which they’ve lovingly dubbed “The human hamster wheel”, and strength exercises utilizing body weight and kettle bells.
When we first arrived on site at Beyond, I took a moment to look around and inspect the equipment. I just love little studios like this because everything is so new and fun!
Just check out these awesome lockers!
Not to mention their stylish apparel….
I was a little puzzled with their equipment however. I’ve never seen a treadmill with a curve like the ones above.
I asked the instructor about it and he explained that they were “self propelling” treadmills. There is no motor to move the belt, it’s all self propelling. They actually promote better running posture too! As you lean forward into your stride, your speed increases. Likewise, as you lean back, you slow down. This style of treadmill is known to burn 30% more calories and you also target more of your hamstrings while running.
And then there was this thing…
I didn’t even know what the heck this thing was until someone explained it to me! It’s a Pilates chair! Spoiler alert: This thing is officially an instrument of torture in my book.
So after exploring the studio and learning more about the equipment, we all settled into a warm up routine. Our instructor took the time to go through some of the sequences for us to explain how the workout would run.
We would alternate in three stations. 1) the pilates chair, 2) the floor, for kettle bells and body weight exercises, and 3) the human hamster wheel. The intervals are designed to keep your heart rate up and really get your muscles burning. (and oh did they ever!)
Of course, I started my workout on the treadmill, running is kind of my thing. One thing I noticed was that the self propelled treadmill did wonders for my foot. I’ve been having some issues with my feet again and I really shouldn’t be running. I figured I would take it easy and just walk when I needed to and run when it was comfortable. The curve of the treadmill actually seemed to help alleviate some of the pain I’ve been experiencing.
As we moved through the stations I found that I was really getting a TOTAL body workout. These pilates chairs were super hard. The kind of burn that makes you wonder if you will actually be able to get back to proper stance without falling over! I’m not a very coordinated person so I really had to focus on balance and form. Which made it all that more difficult on my muscles.
The kettle bell and floor exercises were calming. We followed each pilates chair workout with a floor workout which gave my heart rate time to slow down. Believe me there was still lots of burning and sweating, but it was less intense than what I experienced in the chair. At least I didn’t have sweat dripping into my eyes!
Luckily Beyond 500 had several trainers and instructors on hand to correct our form at any given moment. There were several times I had to grab onto one of them for balance. ha! Everyone was great though. The instructors were very attentive which I feel was extremely important in the pilates chair. It would have been so easy for me to pull something or strain a knee. I also noticed that I’ve had terrible form with the kettle bells. I could really tell a difference after my form was corrected.
After our workout and a cool down we gathered for fruit gluten free waffles by Double Dose Bakery and mimosas by Royal Blue Grocery. They had the waffles cooking for the last fifteen minutes or so of our workout, which was pure agony. I could think about were the delicious carbs waiting for me!
I would totally do this workout again. I’m especially interested in the self propelling treadmills now too. I have never ready any research regarding the change in posture or form so I will be sure to look into that. Treadmills and running are so hard on the body, if these self propelling treadmills can alleviate some of that, I’m all for it!
Well, I hope you all are staying active! I’ve been out of commission for while but hope to get back to running this week now that I have a custom orthotic. Hopefully my next few posts will be race reports!