MISFITMETHOD x WEIGHT LIFTING | The benefits of moving your body in different ways

misfitstudio toronto

I've been a MISFIT my entire life. I seemed to have kept the same curiosity and sometimes annoying urge to ask why a million times, as 2 year olds have. Asking why is what has led my movement path in different ways, and has given me a broad view of the world.

I have never been attached to one form of movement. I know for a fact that movement heals not only your body but your mind as well. I know for a fact that bodies require a certain degree of flexibility and strength to function in this world.

I was introduced to yoga and meditation by watching my dad “sit” in the living room and stare at the wall for an hour at a time. I discovered martial arts at a park in Mexico City when my dad decided to teach my sister and I self defence techniques. We punched, kicked and got punched, for fun and for safety. I found sports when I fell in love with Michael Jordan and decided I wanted to do what he did (this is before the WNBA even existed). Can you believe there was a time women's basketball teams didn't exist? I was never a “gym person”, but then I moved to Canada when I was 22 years old. I wanted to continue teaching Pilates, so I ended up at the YMCA to become a personal trainer, which forced me to be in the gym. The classic body building-style workouts were the most boring to me, so I wondered about other ways to use weights. That's how I found kettlebell training and later on olympic weightlifting, which is now my biggest love.

When it comes to strength training, I realized that unless you are deep in the world of lifting, most people, including teachers, don't really know what strength training is. Spending a lot of time in the yoga/Pilates studio AND the gym I realized both environments had misinformed ideas of what each discipline could offer. The Pilates/yoga world thought holding weights for any movement is strength training and the lifting world thought Pilates was easy and yoga was boring and not accessible to non-flexible people. What a dilemma!! The world has changed tremendously since then, most people are informed, willing and excited to try new ways of moving which makes my heart jump with happiness. If you are still not so sure, let me share some fun facts about strength training.

Strength is defined as the ability of a muscle group to overcome resistance in one effort. Strength can be measured on the amount of weight lifted. There's this fascinating term “relative strength” that is based on a ratio of weight lifted to body weight, for example if you weigh 120lbs and your friend weighs 100lbs but both of you lift the same weight your friend is actually stronger because she's able to produce more force. Some people in the lifting world are able to lift 2-3x their body weight and spend their lives chasing higher numbers, whaaaat???

There are different types of strength training, each one when programmed correctly offers a wide variety of benefits. I won't bore you with definitions but maybe you want to know that, holding light weights while you move for extended periods of time like we do at MISFITSTUDIO is called strength endurance and it's sooo good for your joints (plus let's not forget the amount of fun we have!)

Have you ever wondered if you could lift yourself up aka do a pull-up? Or maybe you'd like to lift your couch over your head like the Wonder Woman you are? Well then you need to challenge your body in different ways, try ALL the classes, grab the heavier weights once in awhile, head to the park and play in the monkey bars.

Same goes for my gym rats, be a MISFIT, move your spine in different ways (dragon waves anyone?), do all the side bum (your heavy squats will thank you) and if you are still not convinced at least come watch me struggle holding my arms at shoulder height while doing a million circles :).

– Paluna Santamaria, MISFIT teacher

Now – come MOVE with Paluna! Find her in the MISFITSTUDIO schedule

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