Hello AFM, and welcome back to the Ambassador’s Corner.
We are coming to you with another review highlighting a couple of Austin’s best and brightest health and wellness professionals and continuing our aim to broadcast Austin’s mecca of training and recovery options available for you to elevate your performance to the next level.
If you recall from our January review, for each workout and recovery session completed, we are highlighting Central Texas Food Bank to support their efforts to respond to the ongoing presence of food insecurity in Austin. We are grateful for your donations to help feed our community, and every dollar counts as we work to increase food access to those who are in need.
Jason’s chosen nonprofit: Central Texas Food Bank
Click here to donate!
Alright, alright, alright! If you are seeking a full-body, shake-worthy workout guaranteed to make you sweat, then get over to VBodies — stat. This truly is Pilates, fitness and rehabilitation for everyone. No matter your skill, strength, stamina or injury, VBodies is a worthy home for all of your training and recovery needs and more. Regardless of one’s training goal — whether it’s developing speed, endurance, power or flexibility — the common denominator for all of us is either limited or propelled by our success in learning to control our core muscles. Think of your core muscles as some of the most important sections of your body. Strengthening one’s core helps with balance, agility and more. These are part of your postural muscles, positioned deep within your abdomen, pelvis and back.
A huge shout-out and thank you to owner and coach, Mary Flache, and her 5:40 p.m. Powerformer class that welcomed me into a Pilates session like I have never experienced before. I can say that, because I have some knowledge of reformers, and incorporating Pilates into past workouts gave me comfort in acclimating to the Powerformer (Pilates reformer + weight-stack machine) but was wise to respect the amount of resistance the Powerformer is capable of producing. We’ll just say I was enlightened. Words will not do it justice; go and take a Powerformer for a ride to feel all of the feels as I did … all of them, and you will be better for it.
What I liked: First and foremost, the class camaraderie. And Mary’s coaching cues are top-notch. Listen, I hurt so good (once again), and for these reasons. Mary delivers cues that allow you to systematically ignite all the muscles of your core. Sounds great, right? Well, it’s humbling, and I was drenched in sweat 10 minutes into the initial activation, and I developed shaky legs about 20 minutes into the fun. Mary took us through a methodical, full-body session that flowed as we worked with varying levels of resistance, range of motion and isometric holds. All our muscles were targeted, even the ones I didn’t know existed (oh, but I felt them).
What I learned: The Powerformer is a more than worthy adversary of all feats of strength. Folks, it is intense in all the right ways. It is modifiable for your needs, and at the completion of my workout, I felt rejuvenated. Sure, I waddled out of the studio, but completing a full-body workout while promoting spinal decompression was an unexpected and pleasant surprise that will keep me coming back for more.
The leg press was the exercise I found most challenging, especially completing a set of 10 of these with my heels raised, ankles together and knees together, followed by half pulses (thanks, Mary!). Also, our set of V-ups with an overhead pull is one I’ll remember for a while. The benefits from this experience were well worth the fight. I got my sweat on, I got my stretch on and I challenged my strength in more ways than I could ever imagine.
VBodies COVID-19 Considerations:
This month, I chose to reset my body and recharge for my next workout at Restore Cryotherapy with store manager Dustin Young.
Think professional sports athletic training lab merged with a five-star resort and spa, and that is how I am setting the stage for this first-class hyper wellness and recovery endeavor.
Folks, this operation is clean, and they take their recovery seriously! Following a quick orientation to the facility, Dustin walked me through a few of their offerings from compression sleeves, IV therapy, infrared sauna and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to name just a few. All were enticing — but I held out for the cryotherapy.
I experienced a fully enclosed cryotherapy session, where the air temperature reached -202 degrees Fahrenheit. This was three minutes in duration and, wow, it was a treat. Also, the cryotherapy chamber is equipped with surround sound, and per Dustin’s recommendation, we went with an upbeat track (great call).
Cryotherapy is another option to supplement our recovery process, and a couple of benefits include reduction of pain and inflammation and an increased release of endorphins. The majority of my day followed my cryotherapy session, and afterward, my body felt like it does whenever you wake from a perfect night of sleep. I was alert, refreshed, there was a bounce in my step and I was ready to work. I felt brand new, and I’m thinking this needs to become a regular part of my recovery regimen to reset for future training sessions and take on the everyday grind.
AKA near-infrared light (NIR) … yup, I Googled it! I’ll be honest, I didn’t know this form of therapy existed, and Dustin put me on to it (thanks, Dustin). NIR utilizes infrared wavelengths to reduce inflammation and pain on a cellular level. Plus, it warmed me up. My NIR session lasted about 10 minutes, and it absolutely was a zen experience. It’s my understanding that regularly undergoing NIR sessions provides the best results — so I guess I’ll just keep coming back.
Restore is all about hyper wellness being accessible to our community. The list of services offered is jaw-dropping. All staff and customers wear masks throughout the duration of their visit, and this is a world-class recovery lounge that you deserve, and your body will thank you for this treat. With locations in South, Central and Northwest Austin, as well as online scheduling and a wealth of services, Restore is going above and beyond to make the experience available.
Shout-out to AFM, VBodies and Restore Cryotherapy! Thanks for supporting the health and hyper wellness of our community!