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June Member Spotlight! Meet Pherform member & soon-to-wed Eloise Fardon..


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There is nothing better than hearing someone tell you about their wedding plans and having a smile from ear to ear while doing it.

Eloise Fardon is preparing for the next big adventure of her life and we couldn’t be happier for her. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with her to learn more about her life, what brought her to Hong Kong (and Pherform) and her future plans.

 

Using 3 words, how would you describe yourself?

Organised, sociable, a do-er

 

What career background do you have?

Have always been in law.  Currently working in private practice specialising in insolvency & restructuring and general commercial litigation.

 

If you could quit your job and live anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Somewhere in Japan.  I am trying to learn Japanese at the moment and it is very slow going.  If I didn’t have to work and could immerse myself fully in the language hopefully I could learn it much quicker.  And of course eat a lot of delicious food along the way!

 

Do you believe in fate? Have you ever experienced it?

Yes.  Every time I bump into a familiar face or a connection of a friend in an unexpected part of the world I think that’s a kind of fate.  It reminds me how small our world is and to never say anything mean about anybody.  You never know who and where you might see that person.

For 2018, what do you want to accomplish? Personal, health and professional.

I’m getting married in October this year so that’s the biggest thing on the cards for 2018. I want to plan an amazing, different and fun wedding but make sure I keep everything else in life (health, work, friendships, relationship) in balance along the way.   I don’t think its necessary to do anything too rash diet or exercise wise in the lead up to the big day.  Instead I am hoping to maintain a healthy balance for 2018.

 

Have you ever volunteered for a charity and if so which one? Tell me more….

Yes.  During my university and post university years in Perth I spent a lot of time volunteering for two charities called Uni Camp for Kids and LYF (Leading Youth Forward) which provided camps and mentoring opportunities for children and teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds.  As well as seeing a real difference in those kids lives I built fantastic relationships with the other volunteers and gained an extra appreciation for how lucky and privileged my upbringing was. 

I have done some small volunteering through CSR activities offered at my work in Hong Kong (recently with Room to Read HK).  I am always interested to hear about other opportunities.   I definitely need to set aside more time for this!  Hands On Hong Kong has a great website and calendar with opportunities for volunteering. 

 

What do you feel is your best asset?

Go-getter attitude

 

What brought you to Pherform?

Friends I had made during my time at Bikini Fit who were members at Pherform.  I made some amazing lifelong friends during my time at Bikini Fit.   During 2016-2017 I spent 1 year on secondment at my firm’s office in London.  During the time I was away from Hong Kong Bikini Fit ended and Pherform grew as a gym.   While I was in London I tried a few different places for working-out: 1Rebel, Frame and Basefit to name a few.  It was great that they all had really flexible offerings (membership wise) so I could sample different places, but I did miss (i) the coaches didn’t get to know you on a personal level and (ii) having a supportive consistent group of work out buddies.  When I moved back to Hong Kong I tried out a bunch of different gyms; Pherform seemed like the right fit due to the location, quality of coaches, the coaches knowledge of the members, range of classes and friends who were there.   I also loved boxing classes at 1Rebel in London so was excited that Pherform was offering Rumble classes! 

 

What inspires you? What gets you up in the morning?

I have a pretty busy schedule with work and plenty of extra-curricular activities.  I need to get to the gym in the morning before work otherwise it won’t happen.  Getting out of bed never gets easier, but it is always worth it after a workout.

 

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May 12th 2018 ‘Powherlifting Competition’: See how the Pherform ladies kill it!


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…And that’s a wrap.

May 12th 2018 we are extremely proud to put on yet another amazing event. This time we decided to have our own Pherform Powerlifting competition sponsored by Nocco and Barebells. They did no other training other than follow our FST programming and came to classes consistently.  Our community is an empowered subculture. A culture where we support the successes of others while lifting ourselves (and bars).

Participants were asked to complete squat, benchpress and deadlift as part of the event. There were no weight categories, but there was weigh ins to determine the different classes for the placings..

When given chance to participate in our internal powerlifting event they didn’t blink an eye!!

The Pherform Powerlifting Competiton was a huge success. Congratulations to all the women who participated!! Also can’t forget to thank @leslie.pherformhk for officially judging the competition and @stephpoelman @seb_rawsf @ariyana99, Tanya, @jasminetso and @catastrofree for their support during the whole competition. Team work makes the dream work and all of you helped me bring this event together beautifully.

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May Member Spotlight! Read Nicole Go’s story outside of Pherform..


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Our next Member Spotlight goes to Nicole Go!

Nicole and I met for coffee and had a very honest discussion on our lives. Throughout our lovely meeting, it was evident that despite of our age differences and different walks of life, we are actually very much alike and are both grateful that Pherform and its community allows us to feel confident from the inside out.

 

Three words to describe yourself?

… I’m always hungry. 

 

What career background do you have?

I’m an art writer for a Paris-based, international commercial gallery called Perrotin. Before that, I was doing my masters in philosophy in London, following 1.5 years in another Hong Kong-based French gallery. I’ve always been interested in the art scene though I’ve never studied art formally. It’s a combination of being humbled by what I see and the thrill of learning on the job every day; I figured if I didn’t have the talent to create, I could at least try to articulate how I feel about what’s out there. In the long run, I’m hoping to go back to graduate school for a PHD in art criticism, and/or become a curator.

 

If you could quit your job and live anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

The English Lake District, no second thoughts! My partner took me there on a surprise vacation last year whilst I was still studying; it was like being cradled by life itself again after another depressive episode living abroad on my own. It’s just bare earth, so open and accepting and beautiful. Since then we’d joke about quitting our jobs and becoming shepherds. Growing up in Hong Kong, the English countryside is like heaven on earth for me; I loved yelling out farm animal names as I spotted them on the road, don’t mind me.

 

Do you believe in fate? Have you ever experienced it?

I do believe everything happens for a reason – how I met some of the most important people I now can’t live without, how I found my lifelong passion both professional and personal… how things worked out, one way or another. Maybe it’s not some mystical fate, but there’s always a larger scheme of things: these are the days that must happen to you in order for the narrative to make sense some day. Living with anxiety and depression has taught me just that: “life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards” 

 

For 2018, what do you want to accomplish? Personal, health and professional. 

It’s been exactly half a year since I joined Pherform and started training regularly, so I’m looking forward to breaking some PB’s this year as I continue to polish form and technique. I want to be completely caffeine-free (used to have like 4 espressos a day until my heart started acting up) – by extension I want to commit fully to ridding bad habits (actual and mental), and be consistent. Professionally, I want to self-study Korean and Japanese, since our gallery has a lot of projects and collaborations in those regions. 

Have you ever volunteered for a charity and if so which one? Tell me more….

Not since I finished uni in 2016… I’m penciling this as another 2018 goal- hit me up if you have any recommendations! 

 

What do you feel is your best asset?

Hmmm, discipline, I think. Though it’s a fine line between discipline and stubbornness; in the past it’s backfired and given me a lot of pressure and excuses to self-sabotage. But taking back control has since propelled both my professional life and my workout. Discipline reminds me to keep trying; whilst growing up means coming to terms with the fact that the world at your feet is hardly ever yours for the taking, some things – especially those that mean the most to you – are relatively easy (if not effortless) to commit to. 

 

What brought you to Pherform?

To start with, I was never an active person. Given the nature of my studies and my being, I spent basically all of time in my own head, beating myself black and blue. When I came across yoga in London it was like a wake-up call: I had to re-learn my own body and breath, giving myself the utmost patience, and along the way I came to realize that everyone was in it for more or less the same reason. We all had some parts of ourselves or experiences that we needed to work with, as a post-injury veteran dancer, a sexual abuse survivor, or simply as a human. That knowledge was (and still is) key to my ongoing healing process. Then I started going to Adidas London’s women-only fitness studio regularly. I knew I’d need that momentum forever, so when Kathleen introduced me to Pherform after I moved back to HK, it was just like finding my way home. 

 

What inspires you? What gets you up in the morning? 

Kindness and compassion inspire me whether it’s from strangers, acquaintances or those close to my heart, because life can be so damn hard sometimes. I’m grateful to my partner for being my anchor and reminding me every day that I’ve got to try to give to those around me as much as I’ve received.

Pherform gets me up every morning, literally. The familiar faces, the adrenaline, the ache! Hitting the gym is like a physical manifestation of the mantra: whatever happens today, you’ve got this. 

 

 

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Always wondered what inside Pherform looks like? Shh don’t tell, let’s have a sneaky look


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Ever wondered what it looks like inside Pherform? Well let us give you a little tour 🙂 

Upon entering Pherform you will walk into our lobby, members chill and socialise here before and after classes. You’re greeted at the desk by the first women you’ll see, our admin manager Jez! She makes sure each and every member is of highest priority. To the right is our Pherform kitchen where our kitchen manager Almond produces yummy Instagramable smoothies, smoothie bowls and sells our new healthy Metabolic Precision Meals all at just 300 calories?!

We have two group class gym rooms split up into being called the “main room” and “studio”. Click here to check out our variety of classes: Class Types as well as a bathroom/ changing room with five showers and amenities such as Bathe to Basics products (local and organic to Hong Kong), hair dryer and hair straighteners.

Pherform may be surrounded by dark walls, women smashing PR’s, lifting weights, working up a sweat and killing it in the classes….. So should you be concerned that you’re not strong enough to join Pherform? Don’t be intimidated! We may not be limited to just cardio equipment and stereotypical “girl” weights but we have “newbies” join us every single day . Our world class coaches make sure every lady is integrated into our classes smoothly with no previous fitness experience required we promise. 

We apply all the latest understanding of sports science to specifically train each modality to optimise the response in female hormone spectrums…. and have all the equipment to ensure our women can smash their goals and become the best versions of themselves. Want to learn more? Click here: What Is FST?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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April 21st 2018: ‘Be Mindful’ focusing on mindfulness, goal setting & trusting ourselves


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Another day and another event at Pherform..

At Pherform we believe it is very important to not just train and help our ladies achieve their fitness goals but also to educate on other areas. Having frequent social events is important to us. On average we have around one social event per month. Our community manager and staff always ensure these are fun, exciting and appealing to everyone involved….. and are often full of laughs!

On April 21st Pherform held an Event called Be Mindful.

Helped by our very own yoga instructor @jessicaleeyoga the event focused on mindfulness, goal setting and trusting ourselves. 

Along with learning how to trust our strength and instincts with acro-yoga, members done some mind mapping, vision setting and guided meditation to end the event. 

 

 

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Break the sterotype.. Why Women Should incorporate Weight training into their routines!


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One of the most sinister and limiting myths that women must overcome in order to incorporate a significant amount of weight-training into their fitness routine, is the belief that they’ll end up looking like a cheap cross-dressing version of Arnold Schwarzenegger with a floral skirt and fanny-pack.

Whilst the data around cellular metabolism and body composition slips this belief into the same category as the boogieman and scientology, we still have so many women who are terrified of lifting weights and becoming bulky. We need to do more to educate ladies about how muscle is actually built. With knowledge comes power. Sexy, smooth, aesthetically pleasing power.

As someone who has spent the better part of their life trying to put on as much muscle as possible, and working with many competitors who wish to do the same, allow me to divulge something which is heartbreakingly true:

“Muscle is the hardest thing imaginable to grow, and to even maintain, and the easiest thing to lose.”

 

Don’t believe me? Go find some dude wearing American flag spandex and a bandana with a lifetime gym membership, and ask him how easy it is to get bulky… After you’ve consoled a weeping man-child for about five minutes, it would be safe to say that even you’ve forsaken your career, relationships and any other interests to gain muscle, it’s still painfully hard to do. So why then do so many women feel like they will be confused for a female bodybuilder just by looking at a dumbbell? The reality is that they have never trained with weights for long enough to know the truth.

THREE MAIN REASONS WHY YOU MAY THINK YOU’RE GETTING “BULKY”:

  1. You are carrying more body fat then they realise. That fat makes you feel bulky.
  2. There is a temporary inflammation and nitrogen increase in muscle stores when you first start lifting weights. This will give you a very brief “pumped” feeling initially, and many ladies might fear that they’ve doubled their size, so they stop.
  3. Idiot friends. There are lots of people who know nothing about the human body, but have very loud opinions. Sometimes people will tell you that you look bulky simply because they know you are doing weights, or they are jealous. Unfortunately the power of other’s perception confuses many people. Stay strong and keep squatting.

 

THE NUMBER ONE REASON WHY YOU WON’T GET “BULKY”: HORMONES 

The reason women have such a significant structural difference to men isn’t just due to high quality moisturiser and great styling. Obviously, the two genders have something very different going on internally to create this divide. And the answer lies in the hormonal profiles.

Now whilst there is somewhat of a hormonal spectrum, with “manlier men” and “girlier girls”, the dividing line between the genders is due to specific hormones. Many hormones are at play here: growth hormone, progesterone, oestrogen, but the most “muscle-building” of them all is testosterone. The average male will produce around 6-10mg of testosterone per day. The average female will produce around 0.5mg per day. So without even considering what kind of exercise, or what nutrients you ingest, hormonally women are already somewhere at a 12x to 20x disadvantage when looking at an ability to build muscle. If it were “that easy” to build muscle, every guy would be walking around with 20 inch arms and a barrel-chest. The guys who disagree are lying or have given up.

So when you see an image of a woman with enormous bulging muscles, almost zero body fat and facial hair, trust that along with decades of very specific training and diet, they have most probably used synthetic hormones to get that look.

MUSCLE VS FAT:

Keeping things nice and simple, let’s just get one thing clear: muscle and fat are two completely different things. You cannot “turn fat into muscle” or “muscle into fat” anymore than you can turn a pair of 2 dollar flip-flops into Louboutins… It. Cannot. Ever. Happen. Think of muscle as your body’s engine. It is metabolically active tissue, which requires nutrients to sustain itself, and a very specific environment in order to grow. It provides function to the body so you can move and groove. Fat, on the other hand, is stored fuel. It is a dumping ground for all those cheeky daiquiris and afternoon raids of the office pantry. The excess nutrients your body didn’t need to sustain itself go here, and until you increase the use of muscle and give your body somewhat less energy than it needs, the fat’s here to stay.

And what’s the best way to increase the use of muscle? Add weight and do stuff!

GOOD MUSCLE VS BAD MUSCLE

Bad (or ‘unsightly’) muscle:
Whilst I am firmly of the belief there is no such thing as bad muscle, I appreciate that cannon-ball shoulders and arms that split shirtsleeves might not be what most women want – and I agree. The only time a female will find that they have increased a significant amount of muscle tissue in a certain body part is due to one or some of these reasons.

  1. They do the same training movements. Think of it this way: If you only ever did overhead pressing movements, and did these very often, eventually you may find that your shoulders look big. No brownie points for guessing why.
  2. Genetics. If you were dealt a strong genetic hand like Serena Williams, then yes, after training you may find you look “bulky”. However rest assured that these genetic beasts are about 1/10,000 of the population at the absolute most and if you are reading this article, you’re probably not one of them.
  3. A lot of sport in formative years. If you were a competitive swimmer, rower, gymnast or the like while going through puberty, then you may find your body tends to respond in muscle growth relative to that sport. That is due to high demands on the body while you were in a hormonal symphony of “weird things happening” for a few years. Never fear, by avoiding a few movements done too frequently you can avoid adding slabs of beef to your back. The further away you are from that period, the less effect it has. And let’s be honest sister, it’s been many a full moon since you were cheerleading captain.

Good muscle:

Creating fuller muscle bellies will ALWAYS give the body better shape. Michelangelo’s David doesn’t resemble a malnourished hipster for a reason. And women are no different! Strong is sexy, and it’s so refreshing to see the shift of women’s health moving away from eating carrot sticks and any exercise apart from walking, to popular trends now glorifying nutrient-dense food and throwing steel around!

Your calves will sit higher, your hamstrings will have a sweep, your butt will be perky and your arms won’t flap around in a strong breeze. Functional muscle looks great on everyone. And forgetting the aesthetic component for a second, let’s not overlook the greatest benefit to building “good muscle” – the health benefits! By strengthening your frame you will improve core strength, and provide balance for life. Of course softer approaches like yoga and pilates are fantastic, but they are essentially using the similar forces of resistance. Putting weights on your back and turning the music up loud is just a “beefed-up” way to do it.

WHAT TYPES OF WEIGHT TRAINING SHOULD YOU BE DOING?

Athletic:
Athletic workouts are usually relating to performance. They can be full-body workouts designed to create a huge metabolic increase and minimise nervous system stress. As long as the workout is well designed and well supervised, these are fantastic! Think kettle bells, power ropes, medicine balls, suspension training.

Aesthetic:
What woman doesn’t want a well-sculpted ass? There is certainly a time-and-place for very specific body part workouts, where the general idea is to keep tension in a certain muscle or group of muscle as long as possible. Gym equipment is fantastic for this, however, you can mimic the movements with free weights and know-how.

The best training system for an all-rounded approach is to incorporate both. Athletic workouts will increase overall fitness and function, while aesthetic workouts will target certain muscle groups and focus on creating better muscle activation, balance and shape in the body.

WHY WEIGHT TRAINING WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE:

Think of all exercise as a “means to an ends”. Of course having fun and enjoying your training is a massive bonus, but essentially we are looking for a tangible return on your energy investment. And “how” we force the body to make changes (get stronger/burn body fat/build functional muscle) is by causing a stress. That stress stimulus requires in adaptation.

The simplified reason as to why weight training trumps any other form of exercise in terms of “best possible results”, is that there are more variables to play with. Simply the act of adding weight means that every time you change rep scheme, amount of sets, tempo or workout routine – you can multiply the variables by an exponential amount by varying the weight also. This means it’s easier to cause a new stress and forces the body to change, faster.

In addition, here’s but a few of the other awesome benefits of weight training:

  • Fix structural imbalances and improve posture
  • Increase metabolism
  • Burn body fat
  • Optimise hormone regulation
  • Improve libido
  • Make you stronger – and feeling strong is an amazing feeling.
  • Make you live longer
  • Improve heart-health & respiratory system
  • Increase bone density and avoid osteoporosis.

To wrap up, whether women should be incorporating weight training into their regime isn’t debatable, it’s simply a fact!

The details of what movements, how much weight, how often is of course something you want some guidance on, seek the counsel of a qualified professional who has a good track-record and learn some basics.

Trust me that in next to no time you will look back on the days you had distorted views on weight training and mumble “what was I thinking?!”. I’m yet to meet anyone who has adopted a well-planned weight-training program and not fallen in love with both the way you look, and feel!

Ditch the stair master machine and lift something!

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