A few of you may be aware of this new piece of equipment gradually entering the gyms and fitness facilities around Europe and the US but I suspect many of you will not.
STOP PRESS! This is something to look out for in the next few years. It has been around for a while and was previously marketed for rehabilitation or home gym use which is where some of you may have seen it.
Recently it has been updated and remarketed and although not taking the fitness industry by storm, it is steadily creeping in through back doors and in a few years you will be seeing them everywhere.
What first impressed me was the versatility of this machine. It is still a great tool for rehabilitation and is found in rehab centres all over the States.
Because it can basically fold away like an ironing board it is great for home use with it's repertoire of over 120 basic exercises (and more if you are creative) so it takes up little space and can replicate every exercise you can perform in the gym.
However now because of it's versatility the new improved GTS (Gravity Training System) is increasingly turning up at fitness clubs worldwide used in group exercise , Pilates classes and personal training sessions.
For those of you familiar with a Pilates Reformer machine it does look similar with the addition that the glideboard (a bench that has the ability to literally glide!) can be positioned at different angles up an incline resulting in all exercises (whether Pilates based or regular resistance training) becoming more or less challenging for the individual depending on where the glideboard is hooked into the supporting tower.
The resistance for all the exercises performed on the GTS comes from the body weight of the user and a fitness professional qualified and experienced with working on the GTS can create exercises for isolated muscle groups or complex muscle groups.
It has great scope for functional training, whether for everyday or sports specific.
Users can work with it to achieve muscle strength or size, flexibility, balance, power or endurance.
Using pulleys, the adjustable inclined glideboard, levers and attachments it can challenge anyone from those in rehabilitation and the total beginner to the athlete and body builder.
Working on three planes (for the fitness orientated readers these are the frontal, sagittal and transverse planes. For the rest of you it means it works at all angles of the body!) and at whatever range of motion is necessary for the required goal it means that any exercise can be executed.
The line of pull can be varied depending where the pulley is moved to (eight positions) and the resistance determined by the angle of the glideboard and the individuals weight.
At Body By Design we have clients that fall into one or another of those categories listed above and many others besides. Two years ago I first attended a 'Gravity' workshop in the UK and saw the potential of this machine for every segment of the population and especially the wide range of clients that walk through our doors. After attending further similar workshops in the UK this year I finally imported a GTS machine for each of our personal training studio branches.
Trainers working with the machine whether for resistance training, fitness and endurance (yes you can do an entire cardiovascular session or aerobics class on one!) or Pilates need not only to have sound biomechanical knowledge but some additional training in order to make the most of what the machine can offer.
So this August 2010 Body By Design welcomed Greg Sellar, master GTS trainer, for an intensive course and certification so that Cairo now has the first qualified GTS team of trainers in Africa and the Middle East!
The photos are taken from our recent course and give you an idea as to some of the ways the GTS can be used for your fitness programs. So if working with dumb bells is not your thing or your workout needs a change or variety, remember there is one available for your personal training program in both Maadi and Zamalek!
And look out for them at your regular high street gym in the future- they are coming!!
Check it out Body by Design Personal Training Studios in Egypt...