December 9, 2017
The Essentrics technique has been growing in popularity in the past years. It has seduced hockey players, celebrities, and recently, even me! Of course, a great friend of mine now teaches the technique and I have experienced her love for this technique for a while now. It’s impossible to deny that this is a fantastic training. It’s a workout routine that mixes dancing and stretching, and that makes your body work hard without sweating. It’s almost as good as using a smith machine! That’s why I wanted to learn more about the subject with Marie-Ève, in order to seduce even you and to convince you to try Essentrics for yourself!
Marie-Ève, how would you describe Essentrics in a few words?
Essentrics is a training that tones your muscles, helps your body gain more flexibility and movement capacity, and to release tensions. In one session, your body will work on eccentric muscular contractions (where the name comes from), meaning the reinforcement of muscles when they are stretched, which will stretch the entirety of your body in a dynamic way. Essentrics is therefore a program that uses bodybuilding to improve flexibility.
Where does this technique come from?
It’s a former professional ballerina, Miranda Esmonde-White who created Essentrics. Because she couldn’t find a training program that allowed her to develop a toned and thin (and flexible!) silhouette like with ballet, she decided to create one herself based on her own experience. Because she was surrounded by professionals, she was also inspired by principles from physiotherapy, that allowed her to stimulate the nervous system that controls muscle contractions, and taï-chi, in which the moderate rhythm and large circular movements incite muscular strength, all the while releasing articular tensions.
What made you want to try this bodybuilding method?
It was the first time that I came out of a training session completely rested, without looking like I had ran a marathon, even though it had been demanding. The music is very diversified (never the same beat!), the continous movements from start to finish and the dynamic stretches reminded me of the dance classes I had taken (and taught) for so long. But what made it different from dance was that it didn’t require perfection. Nor was it competitive! Actually, because we move without stopping for a class, it was impossible to think of anything else, nor did we have time to look at others. It takes away the pressure from other things from our daily lives and it allows our minds to rest a bit!
How would you describe your way of teaching it?
Musical! I am very passionate about music, and I like every genre, so my clients benefit from that. It’s my way of being a DJ during the day (I’m getting old!). Also, one of the studios that I rent on Saint-Laurent in the Mile End looks like a 5 to 7 more than a gym. I love training in an artistic environment (I am also an author). Motivation wise, I prioritize balance and indulgence. I am all for healthy lifestyles, but I also think that only drinking green juices is a bit unrealistic in the long term (in my case at least!). Here’s a great play on words: I like to offer as much flexibility as possible, time wise and also payment wise. I understand the issues with working in offices, as I have experienced that, so I understand that sometimes it’s hard to show up at 18h after work or to show up a Saturday morning when all you want is to go relax in your chalet (so I encourage my clients to leave at noon on Saturdays!). People who follow my classes persist with them simply because it becomes “their” moment, and not a task to scratch off their to-do list.
What can your participants expect in terms of changes in their bodies?
Quick changes! Participants will definitely gain muscular mass, but a subtle one (no big pipes!), their bodies will learn to burn more calories while resting, while also reducing back pains, shoulder pains, hip pains and knee pains – and more. Their posture will improve and their muscles will be defined in length, like ballet dancers’. Essentrics is a training known to help you gain energy and slow down aging. The creator of the program, now 67 years old, is the living proof!
Do you think everyone would enjoy this training?
Before I thought that this was perfect for everyone, but now that I’ve been teaching it for almost three years, I think that it’s perfect for the ones who “wish to be able to walk the day after a workout”. The 1980 saying “no pain, no gain” is tenacious. An Essentrics class is not a military boot camp training (and it’s perfect that way!). It’s actually a program that is perfect for whoever works out too much… and for the ones who don’t like working out!
You love this method, but what would you say to people who are still hesitant about this?
Essentrics is the only workout method that is efficient and that also allows you to go brunching right after a session. It’s easy and fun to follow, and it gives the impression that you are receiving a massage. You also leave the class feeling more energetic than before going into class (and with not too messy hair). The training is chic, because of the elegant movements (yup!). You work hard but you work intelligently. It’s not like cardio (thus why your hairdo stays perfect), it’s vascular. It allows other muscles to participate in circulating your blood. It also allows your heart to relax (and allows our face to be less red when we get to the restaurant). You have to try this first thing on Saturday mornings!
Now that the hesitant ones are convinced, where can they take your classes?
I teach at Studio Essentrics downtown (3431 Stanley St.), on the Plateau on Mondays and Wednesdays from 18-19h at the Studio Air de Tango (4324 Saint-Laurent Blvd.) and on Satrudays from 10-11h at Studio Bizz Mont-Royal (551 Mont-Royal Ave. East, 3rd floor Studio A). I also teach a Total Barre clas (a Stott Pilates training) at 11h on Saturdays, where we train with a stabilizing ball smaller than regular ones. Reminds you of your childhood!