Contrology: Complete control of body, mind, and spirit.
I use the term "integrated fitness" a lot but what does it really mean?
I have a lot of experience with different types of exercise such as Classical Pilates, cardiovascular training, weight and strength training, powerlifting, and kettle bells. My approach to training is to find the combination of these different modalities that will help my clients work towards achieving their health and fitness goals.
In the OPT model I found the perfect framework for building a program that incorporates all of those pieces in a safe and effective manner.
I was initially drawn to the OPT model because I saw how similar it was to the approach of Joe Pilates and the Classical Pilates Method.
When Joseph Hubertus Pilates began developing the work that would eventually become known as Pilates in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, he called it Contrology.
Contrology was developed to teach the body how to work in its ideal way, to realign the skeleton, find symmetry in the muscles, and find the balance between mobility and stability; between flexibility and strength.
Pilates teaches you how to overcome imbalances in your musculature and the structural asymmetries that occur as a result. It literally teaches you how to control your body's movements and motor functions.
Having started my training career teaching Classical Pilates, I was essentially teaching the OPT model before even knowing what it was.
One must build a solid base of alignment and core stabilization before moving on to more complex exercises and movements.
Without that base, none of the exercises you do following that will benefit you. In fact, you will most likely end up injuring yourself if you attempt to strength train without properly aligned joints or a stable and supported core.
That's not to say that while we work in the stabilization level of the model we won't be developing strength and endurance. The exercises we use to develop stabilization are strength training exercises that increase the endurance of the muscles that create and maintain balance, stabilization, and alignment.
The strength level of training emphasizes maintaining what was learned in the stabilization phase while increasing the overall full-body strength, muscle endurance, and muscle size.
The main goal of the power phase is to develop speed and power while executing a traditional strength training exercise. This stage is helpful for anybody from the professional athlete to the recreational runner who wants to cut down his sprint time.
But the true genius behind the OPT model is that you never stop working on one level just because you've moved on to the next. Each piece of the model is equally important to successfully reach your goals.
No Pity Personal Training is Emily Hoffman.
I was born with a spinal defect called spondylolisthesis, a congenital spinal defect that causes the spinal column to shift and the discs between the bones to degenerate. I was completely unaware of this until I was 15 years old.
When I was a teenager I loved running but my spine didn't. It was the impact of running that eventually revealed my spinal defect and led me to have my first of two spinal fusion surgeries at the age of 19.
But it was thanks to my first surgery that I began to do Pilates and it was through the strength that I developed through Pilates that I have been able to go on to live a full and active life.
In 2008 I completed a Pilates mat certification at Core Pilates NYC to help improve my own practice and started teaching friends for the fun of it. I quickly fell in love with teaching people all the ways Contrology makes lives better. Always being concerned with helping others, I was pursuing an MSW when I realized that just as my intention was through Social Work, I could also improve peoples' quality of life through Pilates.
Shortly thereafter, I earned my comprehensive certification through Romana's Pilates.
I spent nearly 10 years focusing solely on Pilates as my main source of fitness and physical activity until I discovered a love of strength training and powerlifting. I realized that I was missing out on a world of fun and challenges by only practicing one type of fitness. The body is meant to be challenged and moved in a myriad of ways. Using an array of fitness modalities for myself and my clients gives the body new and challenging ways to grow and change while never getting stuck in one type of exercise.