Custom designed equipment, delivered by specially trained staff and rounded off with a scientific concept – Concept 10 10 is raising a few eye brows so we’ve tracked down Mellissa – Anne Smit, Director of Concept 10 10 in New Zealand for a round a questions.
Where did Concept 10 10 originate, and how'd you get involved?
Concept 10 10 originated in Denmark. I was working in Abu Dhabi with my kiwi husband as an architect and discovered Concept 10 10. I was involved in a major car crash 5 year earlier and have since suffered from immense back problems. Concept 10 10 changed my life. I woke up one morning about 10 weeks into the program and the pain was gone. My life slowly started improving from there. I knew that I had to change the way I thought about exercise and bring this to New Zealand and help change other people’s lives.
Concept 10 10 pitches that it's a "revolutionary philosophy" and the "future of exercise" can you elaborate for us.
Tradition dictates that for exercise to have any benefit, it must be undertaken for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. If that’s too much, you can have the alternative of 45 minutes, three days a week. For a generation who are working longer hours with less physical activity inherent in the work place, doing anything less than the quota seems like a waste of time. So we do nothing. The core principle of our training is to increase the client’s lean muscle mass. This is muscle tissue which is denser, leaner and has a high blood flow. Because our muscle tissue is always burning energy 24/7 just to sustain itself, it makes sense that the more of it we have, the more energy we burn; both at rest and when undertaking other physical activity. We train all the major muscle groups of the body within 20 minutes to an intensity that aims to trigger the body’s natural response to build lean muscle mass. As your lean muscle mass increases, so too does the amount of energy you burn: both at rest and during your future trainings.
So a 20 minute work out, once a week - That's all we need?
With any type of exercise where we are trying to see improvements, the goal is to push the body harder than it is used to working. Our set up is designed to reach that level of intensity as efficiently as possible. If we look at traditional weights training, we know that we must do at least 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions for each exercise. At the end of each individual set we may feel physically exhausted, but after a couple minutes of rest we are able to do exactly the same weight for exactly the same number of repetitions. We do this until we finally push ourselves to the point where even after a break; we are unable to cope with the same amount of load. By using very heavy weights and performing very slow movements (10 seconds each way- count it!) we eliminate the helping hand of momentum, gravity and compensation movements. This allows us to specifically target and isolate the muscles we want to train in each exercise, so that after just one set of two and a half minutes, you will be unable to perform the same weight at the same slow speed even after a rest. This signals that we have pushed the muscles to the point of ‘failure’, which is that familiar feeling of temporary stiffness, soreness or simply weakness after having a really good workout. This muscle failure is crucial to triggering the body’s natural response to begin the healing process, during which lean muscle mass is built. Because each and every workout with us is at this high level of intensity, it is vital that the body has adequate time to recover so that you can perform at your best on each session. This is why we train once a week, for 20 minutes.
Sounds easy, however I imagine the 20 minute workout might not be can you run us through it?
As well as providing the most efficient method of building lean muscle mass, we also have two very unique machines which target the cause of lower back and neck pain. Long work hours, physical inactivity and back or neck pain often go hand-in-hand. Although there are many different causes of back pain, the fundamental problem is muscle weakness of the muscles around the spine. The first and last exercises in our six machine set up specifically target these supporting muscles whilst taking strain of the joints and nerves. We do not push these muscles to the point of failure as we only want to make them work a little bit harder than they’re used to doing, so you can almost think of them as our ‘warm up and cool down’ exercises. Once we get going on the middle four machines, then things start to get interesting. We start with a seated leg press to work the thighs and glutes, then a frontal pull for the forearms, biceps and shoulder stabilisers. From there we move to a seated chest press for chest, shoulders and triceps, and finally on the high intensity menu is our abdominal curl. As you first push (or pull) against the weight of each of these middle four machines, we want you to feel as though you could only do 3-4 repetitions if you were doing it on your own. Of course as it is a one-on-one personal training environment, we will always encourage and support you to do more than you think you can. We are very strict on keeping to the slow 10 second timing in each direction, because its difficulty is what makes the training so effective.
The key to success for health, fitness and vitality or does Concept 10 10 need to fit in with a more rounded program?
Nutrition always comes up as the first important thing in health. You cannot expect to just train your muscles and let the rest happen. We have this little saying on site “Put down the fork” J Exercise is a very important part of the program. We have tried to put together a program that will help very busy people get to the exercise in their lives and build a system that would help them in their everyday lives. We always suggest that you do Concept 10 10 as your weekly exercise and play tennis or golf or walk the dog as your “fun” and “relaxing” exercise. Studies over the past two decades indicate that progressive resistance strength training produces increases in strength, mass, endurance and quality of skeletal muscle regardless of age. However, health-oriented strength training aims to increase muscle strength, tone, mass and endurance as opposed to strength, mass and power. This is what we provide to our clients. Health orientated strength training.
From a business point of view what's the uptake been like in NZ? Any challenges?
New Zealand has been great and yes of course challenging. The biggest challenge has been to educate the public about the benefits of high intensity weight training. Especially woman. The question “will I bulk up?” comes up every day. And we answer – “You will not ‘bulk up’ with health-oriented strength training. As muscle strength grows, your muscles will attain more mass. However, health-oriented strength training aims to increase muscle strength, tone, mass and endurance as opposed to strength, mass and power” Changing the way people think about exercise will take time has been the most challenging part of our new business.
You're currently based out of Newmarket, any plans for expansion?
We certainly would like to expand into New Zealand. As soon as we are happy that we have the first centre on track we will probably consider opening in one of the other big cities like Wellington or Queenstown.
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