I was pretty excited when I found out Motus Strength had opened up directly opposite our Fulham studio and even more so when they invited me over for a trial session!
As soon as I entered the high ceilinged, airy warehouse space, I knew this was my kind of gym. The perfect playground, there were things to jump on, swing off and throw around as far as the eye could see.
After some intensive mobility testing, followed by a sweaty session of deadlifts, L-sits and getting upside down on the Olympic rings (see photo evidence), I chatted to founder Bruce Butler about what makes Motus so special…
Let’s hear a bit about you background…
We’ve got about 20 years experience in the fitness business between us, both working as specialist trainer/sports therapists. Colleen is an ex-professional ballet dancer and I used to do a lot of endurance sports.
Why did you launch Motus Strength?
So we could create an environment and community that is focused on athletic performance, skill and ability rather than aesthetic goals. We wanted a space where we could use a combination of strength, conditioning and calisthenics.
What are the top five misconceptions about resistance training?
– Weight training will make women bulky and overly muscular; still the big one and prevents many women from realising the massive benefits to be gained from training.
– More specifically, the fear of heavy weight training. There is still a link made between big weights and size gains, this simply shouldn’t be an issue. Lifting heavy loads for few reps within well constructed strength and conditioning programs is highly beneficial for women (and obviously men) and will lead to very little noticeable increase in muscle size.
– Women shouldn’t perform pull-ups, push-ups and other more advanced calisthenics movements. Again just rubbish. Unfortunately I think its a product of the fact that women are diverted away from, or never even try, any sort of athletic conditioning. They then reach adulthood with a level of strength and athletic ability that is so far beneath their actual potential that even simple bodyweight movements are impossible (at first).
– Weight training gyms are intimidating! Even the most hardcore bodybuilding gyms are far more friendly than yoga studios! Health clubs purposefully design their facilities to discourage use as they can’t accommodate all of their membership rocking up to train. One of their tactics has been to design their facilities so use of certain areas feels intimidating – which is possibly where the reputation comes from.
What’s your top tip for realistic goal setting / staying motivated?
ONLY work with performance related goals and never use weight loss, fat loss or aesthetic objectives as motivation to train. Humans instinctively respond positively to exercise, especially if skills are developed, reinforced and progress made. Linking exercise with fat loss can have a negative affect on adherence and therefore prevent the many positive benefits from being realised.
What are the key benefits of training with a set-up like Motus, compared to a conventional gym?
Compared to other PT studios we are much more focused on using specific structured disciplines which all clients/trainees must learn, develop and progress. So in a sense we are more similar to a sports club than a health club or PT studio. The main benefit to our clients being a far higher degree of skill acquisition coaching that will lead to vastly enhanced outcomes within a supportive progressive community.