Our BNI Chapter is blessed to have an amazingly talented and grounded fitness coach as one of our members. Coach K, from Restore Human takes a refreshing approach to the fitness training offered at his facilities in Kitsilano. With more on Restore Human’s philosophy to getting in shape, here is a recent article that Coach Kesh wrote.
Our short answer to the question of what we offer at Restore Human is “sustainable fitness”. But what exactly do we mean by this? In our view, sustainability in fitness can be broken down into three categories: longevity, community, and methodology. Let’s explore the main concepts around each of these and the ways we put them into practice in our classes and personal training sessions.
Longevity is not something we often discuss in the fitness community, where the emphasis is normally placed on the intensity or performance level, yet it is the idea that ultimately holds the key to training that can be sustained over the course of our lives. For example, if the only performance markers during each training session are the “how fast/much and heavy”, the training stimulus becomes the reason for the body’s constant state of inflammation – this is natural with the increased workload. Problems arise when the athlete cannot recover quickly enough and is subject to yet more punishing workouts (of many types, no form of training is exempt).
At this point, the athlete’s wellness can come into concern, whether through joint injury, ill health, poor mood/libido, etc., and it becomes obvious that such workload cannot be sustained over the long-term. The ability to enjoy physicality throughout the age spectrum seems like a worthy target for us. Far too many people work at intensities that drain them and end up not enjoying the training any longer.
At Restore Human we make it our goal to provide solutions to this by exploring elements of mobility, breathing, recovery, nutrition and sleep within our sessions along with ways they can be integrated into our members’ lives on an individual basis for longevity. Similarly, the training itself has markers of skill, balance, play, and cooperation with partners, as well as of the traditional strength and conditioning. By providing a problem-solving and adaptive approach to training in this way, where hard work is mixed with recovery and maintenance of health, we are seeing many members make great strides in pursuit of training for the long-term.
Community is another key sustainability variable from our perspective. The ambient sounds in a lot of fitness environments are loud, almost to the point of being deafening. With senses constantly ramped up in this way interaction with our partners can become a challenge.
While there is, no doubt, time and place for solo practice, building a sense of understanding, awareness, and interaction with a group of people can elevate the physical aspect of training into a social experience, similar to a movie night, celebratory night out or event. Music, talk, physical work, laughter and camaraderie add layers to exercise, help sustain your social needs and bring a sense of fulfillment to physical tasks. Seeing your friends improve spurs you on and vice versa; watching and discussing options to solve problems and complete shared tasks during class enhances your capacity to explore and think.
This culture extends to the events we host at our studios; information nights, workshops, parties, dialogue groups, and movie nights. The opportunity for people to get together, share food, movement, thoughts and laughs is one we value immensely. Our final consideration for community is seeing the skills our members build together in our studios being put to the test outside. Getting into the great outdoors and helping people connect to nature and other like-minded humans is one of the highlights of what we do.
If longevity and community are the heart of the operation, the methodology is the nuts and bolts of it. We want to emphasize progressions of various types and be able to direct different people towards the same general point. However, if an idea is to appeal to a wide variety of athletes, diverse methods need to be used.
Restore Human coaches follow a framework that allows for different ideas to be overlaid, thus ensuring a degree of consistency in our classes and personal training sessions. By looking at fitness ideas on a continuum, as opposed to absolutes we avoid getting bogged down by the numbers aspect of training, as over-emphasizing it can affect the longevity of the practice.
Sharing information, using common language and methods to ensure consistency means that the coach is able to bring their own flavour to each session – contribute unique experiences and knowledge while still advancing our members further along the sustainable fitness route. Having a basic structure also allows new coaches to get a handle on delivery and exercise standards early on in the process, making it easy to deliver material that they may not have worked with before.
With the interplay of longevity, community, and methodology we create an environment where members understand how to connect over shared tasks and help their partners, are pushed to grow in a variety of ways, and are ultimately able to prevent injury and stay healthy and vibrant for life.