A new workout pioneered by celebrity training gurus Jeff Bell and Carlos Leon is bringing out the animal in fitness fans everywhere. While lizards and crabs may not be creatures we associate with training, Bell and Leon – owners of the famous US gym Belleon – say their Primal Method is at the cutting edge of fitness today.
Leon, aged 51 – the ex-partner of singing superstar Madonna and father of their daughter Lourdes, 20 – teamed up with aerobics guru Bell, 61, to produce the energetic 30-minute workout that combines circuit training, yoga-inspired movements and moves that animals might make.
The Primal Method, born at their New York gym in late 2017, has now spread to the UK and may be the way to a new you in the New Year. As Leon says, once you realise how much better working out makes you feel, it becomes a lifelong commitment and you get to know your body better.
Various creatures have provided inspiration for their ground-breaking, full-body workout created at Belleon Body. The high-intensity exercise routine tones and strengthens your body, while burning fat. Bell describes how it challenges your muscles in a different way, helping to increase strength, balance, mobility and co-ordination using a series of aerobic moves.
The workout doesn’t require the use of any gym equipment, so people can perform it at home or in a hotel room. It’s ideal at any time or in any place and it doesn’t require a trip to a fitness centre. Leon prides himself on the fact that weights aren’t required for their workouts and points out, “All you need is you.”
The moves included in the workout include monkey crawls, crab crawls, lizard crawls and even flea hops! These are combined with more regular aerobic moves, such as jumping and squatting and side-to-side push-ups. The animal moves combine with a dance spin that the trainers say they have “borrowed” from Brazilian capoeira – a 16th century martial art that combines acrobatics, dance and music.
The routine’s crouching crawl was inspired by Bell’s one-year-old daughter, while all the moves are linked by elongated transitions inspired by yoga sequences. The routine combines ground-based movements with standing movements, creating a smooth through motion that becomes increasingly natural the more you do it.
Bell says the lizard crawl is one of his favourites, as it involves a 10-yard crawl along the floor, with participants literally moving like a lizard, completing the deep core, hip and shoulder exercise.
The Primal Method routine is kept to 30 minutes’ duration focusing on high-intensity intervals because research has shown that quick spurts of exercise are ideal for cardiovascular health, spurring your metabolism to burn calories after the workout for several hours.
Leon says people are looking for new ways of getting a svelte, sleek look, without putting in three hours a day at the gym. The Primal Method requires participants to give it their all, with it being only a short workout. When you have finished the workout, it’s best to take a rest and then repeat it again later to achieve optimum results.
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