When WF’s Digital Editor, Bec, headed to a session with Bodyism trainer Jamie Wendt she wasn’t sure what to expect.

While Bodyism is relatively new to Australia, in London it’s a pretty big deal. For starters, it’s the most celebrity-bedecked gym in Britain, with two of its own cafes serving lush food, the gym is also well-known for its health retreats to destinations like the Maldives. Plus, its creator and the man behind the Clean and Lean diet, James Duigan, is a celebrity himself. Having published three best selling books he’s regarded as a leading expert in health and fitness.

Considering the Bodyism brand counts women like Elle McPherson, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Lara Stone among its clients, I was pretty excited to see what trainer Jamie Wendt had in store for me in our outdoor session. The workout was unique and really showed me what Bodyism is all about, plus my glute muscles were on fire for many days after which is always a bonus (fingers crossed for a rounder bum). I got the low down from the creator himself, James Duigan, and he told me in his own words what sets Bodyism apart from other fitness offerings.

 

Assessment

Bodyism clients aren’t just thrown head first into a fitness program, assessment plays a big role. Before I got into the harder stuff, Wendt looked at my movement, my core stability, my hips, posture and glute activation. “At Bodyism we offer our Body Oracle Assessment, which is a unique series of assessments that we do for every client, essentially creating their individual blueprint,” says Duigan. “The Body Oracle assessment is so important as we need to know what the client’s health and fitness levels are, what they’re capable of and what their strengths and weaknesses are in order to move forward with a powerful plan for transformation.”

In movement prep

Rather than running me through a few drills or sending me out on a jog, the Bodyism warm up is focused on activating deep core and posterior chain muscles. In fact it’s referred to as “in movement prep” instead of warm up.

“All of the classes at our Westbourne Grove gym include some form a movement prep, which consists of prehabilitation exercises in order to help prevent injury in order to get the most out of your workout,” Duigan explains. “Once you have warmed up and stretched those difficult spots, your muscles will have relaxed and have become more switched on and ready to train – essentially, your entire workout will now be twice as efficient.” I was taken through movements like high plank holds, hip extensions, supermans and banded walks, making for a “prep” that had me feeling pretty sweaty.

Goodbye, steady state cardio

Wendt tells me that I need not fear long runs or endless pedaling on a stationary bike with Bodyism, the brand likes HIIT but tends not to prescribe long bouts of cardio. “The messaging behind long cardio is often misconstrued, as many believe this is the best way to achieve results and burn fat however this is usually not the case,” says Duigan. “Shorter workouts like HIIT mean that you are still burning fat long after your workout has finished, as your body is working hard to achieve those maximum results.”

Changing our mindset

The Bodyism style of training is about creating a healthier mindset as well as a healthier body. “Bodyism likes to remind everyone to be mindful in their everyday life, which means that you are stopping for a moment to tune into your breathing, tune into your body and really take note of how you are feeling,” Duigan explains. The Bodyism workouts don’t require expensive equipment either, Duigan is about showing people that a healthy lifestyle is accessible to everybody. “Bodyism serves as a reminder that self-acceptance and letting go of your shame and guilt are the two most powerful things you can do to achieve optimal health. We pride ourselves on listening and treating our clients with kindness, compassion and respect,” he says.

And you can be a little naughty from time to time…

When Wendt asks me a little about my diet, I feel it’s only right to be honest and tell him about my long-term relationship with ice cream. Surprisingly I’m not met with a disdainful look. Wendt explains that clients aren’t restricted from treats, it’s all about balance. “You shouldn’t have to worry about shame and guilt whilst eating your dinner or not getting that delicious dessert while out with friends. It is important to remember that you have worked hard and deserve to eat what your body craves. Denying yourself of that chocolate dessert means you will only regret it later, and may wind up eating more as a result,” says Duigan.

Clean and Lean supplements are now available at David Jones while Bodyism clothing (which is seriously lush) is available exclusively at Stylerunner.