Heart to Heart with Jamie
Jamie, a scientist with a PhD and a badass tri-athlete, on how Heartcore has improved her athletic performance.
What's your athletic background?
I have dabbled in a LOT of different sports over the years, but my major loves were track and field, rugby, boxing, and weight lifting/body building. As you can see from this list, I LOVE intense sports. I ran track through college, with the 400M as my main event (this is a brutal event and is the ‘longest’ sprint). Towards the end of college I began to play rugby, and continued to play after college in a women’s traveling team and in the Empire State Games. If you’re unfamiliar with this sport, it is kind of similar to American Football, but is a full-tackle, no padding game (I was pretty lucky, as I only needed 12 stiches during my entire career ☺). Also around the same time, I began training in boxing (including sparing), which became a mainstay of my workout for about seven years. I began lifting weights when I was a teenager, and continue to do so. I also earned my pro-card in natural bodybuilding in 2010. Although I no longer compete in bodybuilding (gotta say, the diet really tough! ☺), but it is such a rush to be on stage in tip-top form. And since moving to the Bay Area last year, I have continued to find new athletic adventures! I have done a few open water swims, begun to put in some serious distances on my road bike, and found a love of trail running. To balance out all of the above, I also really enjoy practicing yoga as well. I am a strong believer of “muscle confusion” and even today I continue to alternate my workouts from day to day, with Heartcore as a key workout I do 2-3 times every week.
How has Heartcore helped your athletic performance?
The workout at Heartcore was completely different than any other workout I’d done before! I had never seen the Megaformer before, and when I moved to Redwood City, I just happened to walk past the studio one day while a class was going on. I looked in the window and thought…”what are they doing?!”. As I am always up for giving things a try (as evidenced by the massive list of sports above I’ve done), I came in for a class and boy I’m glad I did! I IMMEDIATELY found out this is a serious workout! Coming from an athlete that’s done almost everything, I will tell you, the Megaformer is DECEPTIVELY difficult! The burn you get from the slow and controlled movements was so much more intense than I was expecting. I was instantly hooked based upon the burn I felt in my core, legs, glutes… everywhere in fact!
But it wasn’t until a few months of consistently coming to Heartcore, I began to see how the effects of this workout were intercalating into my other sports. My muscular endurance was certainly improving and my long runs just began to get longer. I never considered myself an endurance athlete and I was noticing how distances I previously would have considered crazy (10 mile runs!), were actually quite doable. And just last month, I ran a PR in a 5K and 10K; I am way faster than my 20-year old self, and I currently only run once or twice a week! As a scientist, I am careful to note that correlation does not necessarily mean causation (hehe…sorry!), but I will say that I have exchanged some of my previous workouts with 2-3 days at Heartcore per week instead, and I feel that I am stronger than ever. And not only do I FEEL stronger, but I am PERFORMING in competition better than ever too…the proof is in the pudding.
Have you noticed any changes, mentally or physically, since coming to Heartcore?
A workout on the Megaformer can really mentally “up your game” in other sports and athletic activities. The burn and shake you get from moving slow and holding intense positions in a class at Heartcore is so much more difficult than, for example, the fatigue you feel during a long run. I use that knowledge often during my harder workouts and races - it’s a psychological booster. When I start to fatigue during a race, I check into how my body feels, and often it’s nothing like the intensity of a long jump hold on the Megaformer. Then I use that knowledge to dig deeper, because I KNOW my muscles can work harder. For those that love heavy lifting, I can say that if you do a class on the Megaformer right, your legs will have that same crazy shaky and heavy feeling you get after doing squats. You know that feeling after you do back squats, and then try to run, and it’s almost humorous because your legs are dead? ☺ That’s how your legs can feel after a workout at Heartcore too!
And of course physically, this workout is a full body endeavor that will tighten and tone! I was pretty lean and muscular when I started at Heartcore, but despite than, I have still noticed some modulation of my physique in a very positive way. Those coming in with an athletic background will find that the Megaformer will keep your strong muscular tone, but build that muscular endurance that power athletes (like myself) often lack.
How many push-ups can you do?
Oh, how I love push-ups and all the fun ways you can do them!!! ☺ If I’m fresh, I could probably do 40 push-ups non-stop. If you allow me to ‘hold the push-up’ position for a brief break, I have done 100 before without getting up. I can also do about 25 clapping push-ups non-stop, and have worked on my one-arm pushups in the past year, so I can now do about 10 per arm.