We’re incredibly excited to be launching our new programme, Matrix, in Oxford and Blackfriars next month, so we thought we’d sit down with our Head of Fitness, Dan Little, to find out a bit more. Read on to find out how this great concept will make you fitter, stronger and more mobile than ever.
Matrix is based on three key pillars: Run, Condition, Move. I place huge importance on every exercise you do having a purpose, so each element has its own purpose, and when you tie all three together in one session, the results are phenomenal. After a few sessions you’ll be feeling fitter, stronger, leaner and more mobile.
There are lots of primal movements, something I place huge importance on because it helps us be functionally fit. We’re all guilty of spending too long sitting down – at a desk, in the car or on the sofa – and it takes its toll. Those everyday aches and pains often come from a lack of variety in how we move.
Remember when we were kids throwing ourselves around all over the place, bending and moving in all sorts of ways which now seem impossible? That’s what we need more of in our adult lives, and you’ll be amazing at how a couple of weeks of regular, better movement will make those aches disappear.
Anyway, we’ll come back to Move later; for now let’s start with Run.
For this element, we have Technogym’s amazing SkillMills. These are unlike a normal treadmill because they’re not powered – the movement of the belt comes from your own legs. It’s an extremely versatile piece of kit, and we’re the first studio in the UK to be using them as part of a group exercise class.
The curve of the belt helps you run with excellent form, encouraging a forefoot strike with an upright posture, and you can add resistance to do other movements such as sled pushes and side steps. You might spend four minutes on a SkillMill in one round, gradually increasing in speed each minute.
Next is Condition. TRXs and kettlebells make up the condition element – two more really effective, versatile bits of equipment. This is where we work a specific area, such as the upper body with some TRX pushes and pulls, or the lower body with some kettlebell swings or TRX lunges. You’ll be feeling the burn after a few rounds here. The instructor will always make sure you have correct form and an appropriate weight of kettlebell.
And back to Move. Matrix will incorporate a lot of bodyweight exercises, getting up and down with drills such as cobras, spiderman press-ups and pop-ups. You’ll soon be puffing with this type of exercise, and they are amazing for improving mobility.
All three elements incorporate the seven primal movement patters: squat, lunge, push, pull, bend, twist and locomotion.Then there’s the bit which everyone will love to hate, the finisher, the last sustained effort. This is The Dig! We’ll finish every round with a team-focused challenge like a minute of bear walks or burpees. You’ll head to the showers with that satisfying feeling of having given it your all.
Everything we do in every Matrix class has a specific purpose. So many people go to the gym and end up not actually achieving anything because they lack motivation or knowledge. There’s no danger of that happening in our sessions.
If you want to be stronger, leaner and get rid of aches and pains, come and try it out. You’ll get all the benefits of a personal training session but at a fraction of the price and with a group of like-minded people cheering you on. What’s not to like about that?!
Matrix will run mornings, lunchtimes and evenings in Blackfriars and Oxford. Click HERE to see timetables.