Blast that big (muffin) top: Mancunians urged to roll up, roll up and tackle circus-themed fitness routines

By Josh Nicholls

Mancunians looking to shed some festive pounds are being urged to roll up, roll up for circus training, yogalates and fitness boot camps in a bid to blast fat and get fit this January.

The average Brit piles on a trouser-tightening 5lbs over the Christmas period, British Dietetic Association statistics reveal.

But shedding this holiday weight no longer has to consist of soul-destroying hours pounding a treadmill or feeling inadequate trying to lift weights while standing next to muscle-bound gym bunnies.

In a bid to reclaim your pre-Christmas body Sian Haslock, founder of circus training centre The Circus House, explained to MM that people in Manchester can now do just that in a much more unusual way – by working out on a trapeze or peddling on a unicycle.

Miss Haslock said:“Our trapeze and aerial classes are very popular and we currently have around 100 members.

“Circus training gets you lifting your own bodyweight, which is more effective than the gym because there is a limit to what you can do there.

“All our classes start with a cardio warm up, stretching and a cool down which is great for getting your heart rate up.”

The Longsight centre gives members of all abilities the chance to be coached by professional circus performers.

“We have members who can’t touch their toes to begin with, but when you start anything new you are going to blind to it,” she said.

“Circus performing isn’t a very competitive sport – the only person you’re competing against is yourself.

“Our members get on outside of classes, so there is a nice social vibe to it as well.”

Another option open to fitness-loving Mancunians in 2014 is Yogalates, a fusion of yoga and pilates.

Intimate classes of no more than eight people per session are run by 28-year-old former professional Irish dancer, Marie Lynch, whose clients like the personal nature of her classes.

NAMASTE! Tutor Marie with a yogalates-loving friend

“My clients like that classes are quite personal and it’s not over-subscribed, in  a lot of classes you’re pushed in like sardines so it’s quite a nice personal class,” she said.

“A lot of people who come have never done any kind of yoga before so they don’t feel intimated coming along to the classes and it’s a nice atmosphere and a nice friendly class.

“Yogalates is good because you get the strengthening and the core work of the pilates and then you get the stretching and we do a lot of the breaths and the relaxation in the yoga.”

Miss Lynch was inspired to teach Yogalates after it helped her overcome the injuries she sustained as a dancer.

After being trained by one of Yogalates’ pioneers, Louise Soloman, in Byrom Bay Australia, she was delighted to share its benefits with others.

“Because I found it so beneficial to me, I thought: ‘well if it does for wonders for me and I’m putting all this strain on my body being a dancer, then for normal people it will be amazing as well’,” she added.

“So that’s why I decided to share it with the good people of Manchester.

I think there are a lot of people starting to do the fusion because they can see the benefits of doing both yoga and pilates rather than just one.”

But if namaste and deep breathing exercises don’t float your boat and you’re looking to burn fat fast, fitness consultant and Nike-sponsored trainer Mike Bach may have just the thing.

ABC Fitness camp involve group sessions taking place in Didsbury parks and the surrounding area.

Mr Bach insists that the 45-minute sessions include only the most efficient fat-burning, high-intensity exercises.

He said:“For many, myself included, the gym can be quite dull in terms of the environment and maybe training on your own.

“The fitness camp is very popular partly because of the group environment and feeding off one another.

“People are all wired in the same sense, whether they’re Mo Farah or a regular Joe, when they have a big enough reason, people are motivated to take the actions.”

Featured picture courtesy of Mark Dumont via Flickr, with thanks

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