Sweat It Out: OHSO Fitness

Last week while in Hamilton I hit up a personal training/small group training studio, OHSO Fitness, twice! I came to this studio through my friend and coach Kim Agostino, whose son Jon works at OHSO. Kim, along with her husband Ang, and my sister Nancy have been training here a couple times a week for the past year, so I was very excited to give it a try. (and also because it’s referred to as “Oh Sore” so I wanted to try it for myself.)

img_6403OHSO thrives on a philosophy of mindful movement. At OHSO, they claim to “sculpt a lean physique while instilling a life-long relationship with exercise and nutrition.” Their Locke Street studio is open-concept with five work stations each with their own set of equipment including rowers, free weights, resistance bands and TRX trainers. This means there are never more than five participants in each class.

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The studio operates Monday-Friday 6AM-8PM, and Saturday mornings for specialized supplementary programs. Week day classes run every half hour, with a new program each day. Each session will perform the same workout throughout the day, with modifications made depending on the group or individual. 30 minute classes are $15 for a single class fee.

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So far I’ve been twice and the workouts were very different. Both times I was greeted by their studio manager in a very personal way. I feel they really get to know their clients and stand behind their community claims as the class sizes are small. The first workout I did involved a lot of rowing and leg strength training during the 30 minutes, while the second workout had more of a focus on abs, arms, and back with only a few meters of rowing. All of the workouts are designed to challenge the body and mind, ensuring that all clients at any fitness level work with extreme focus and achieve maximum results. Workouts often include compound movements in combination with resistance training, high-intensity interval cardio, all while challenging core and stability.

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OHSO also offers personalized nutrition consultations, Mauy Thai, and yoga. The studio space includes showers and washrooms, but no specific change rooms. It is located on the second floor or a former church, so great windows bring in lots of nature light. Be sure to arrive a few minutes early during your first session to complete your waiver and intake information. To book at the studio you need to text 289 880 0727. You can also email contact@ohsofitness.com.

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Sweat It Out: Stott Pilates

A few weeks ago I was contacted by MERRITHEW, a Canadian company, and the parent brand of the renowned STOTT PILATES. I was very familiar with both MERRITHEW and STOTT PILATES through my involvement at Can Fit Pro and through their development of high-caliber Pilates Equipment, education, home workout dvds, and media worldwide.

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I was invited to attend a private Pilates session at the STOTT PILATES Studio at Yonge and Eglinton taught by their Master Instructor Trainer Wayne Seeto. Located in what appears to be a regular office building, STOTT PILATES has three group training areas and personal training spaces within the building on two different floors.

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Photo retrieved from BlogTO

I’m not new to Pilates, I’ve taken both mat classes, and reformer classes before (not here but at many other studios) however, I have never taken a class on the “trapeze” like machines, so when I given the option, the “cadillac/trapeze table” was what I wanted to try.

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Photo retrieved from MERRITHEW

The studio was a very clean and calming space. I attended mid-morning and a few other private lessons were happening within the same space. When I left, a group fitness noon hour class was just starting in another group training space using the reformer machines.

Wayne started off highlighting the five basic principles of STOTT Pilates. These principles were then applied to every movement over the next hour. Proper starting position, connection to breath, and proper alignment of the pelvis, rib cage, shoulders, and head and neck were constantly referenced.

This class was very unique when compared to my usual training. While I appreciated the body awareness and grace of movement this class was slow, and calming, and that created the biggest challenge – slowing down. I enjoyed the low intensity, but don’t confuse that with an easy workout, it wasn’t easy at all.

I feel that I have great body awareness, movement and observing that of others is how I’ve spent my life, it’s my education, and what I love to share, however here, working small muscle groups in isolation became my greatest challenge. The Cadillac contains a variety of spring loaded straps and bars which are used to perform a variety of different movements which focus on mobility, strengthening, and stretching. I enjoyed the challenge of the progressive movements, but also the great stretch. My hamstrings were very thankful to be lengthened and stretched with my ankle fixed in one of the hanging spring loaded straps. It was just what I needed.

Now if you can’t make it to one of their 60 weekly classes or have someone special who loves to move on your Christmas list check out their Holiday Gift Guide. The gift guide has a little something for everyone who is interested in mindful movement and fitness, from top-quality Pilates equipment to massage tools to stimulate the fascial system, wedges and Stability Balls™ to encourage wellness at the office, fitness products that are perfect for travel and much more. They’ve also added a fun interactive element to the guide. They have hidden a snowflake on random pages of the guide, and those who find the snowflake are eligible to win a special fitness basket from MERRITHEW™, worth CDN$239.

If you can make it uptown, prices at the studio vary depending on class style and level of instructor. Single group classes will cost you $26 and a private class with their highest caliber of instructor is $95 for the hour. For all class rates, click here.