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The Library Gym: a temple of 15-minute fitness.

The Library is a new concept in gyms, designed to fuse the idea of a private members club with an intimate boutique gym.

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Founded by Irish nutritionist Zana Morris in 2013, The Library Gym is a private members club housed inside a former synagogue in the leafy heart of Notting Hill.

Its open-plan space is all about creating a warm and cosy feeling for its members. In the middle of the ground floor are two large units featuring various adjustable weights machines, surrounded by brimming bookcases, panelled walls and stained-glass skylights. The second floor is an interior balcony wrapped around the second storey, replete with leather sofas and traditional décor, the perfect place for members to take time for themselves, work in peace or socialise.

The Library specialises in revolutionary, high-intensity workouts lasting only 15 minutes, where speed and weights are your steadfast allies. Their system’s outstanding results prove that these workouts generate an average fat loss of 7.5 pounds and muscle gain of 3 pounds in just 12 days, training only 12-15 minutes per day.

The programmes have been made to work every muscle in your body equally, applying well-balanced exercises to transform your figure and posture, as well as to develop real fitness and a strong, healthy body. Aside from getting unlimited personal training, with committed trainers who won’t hesitate in calling you for a follow up or if you haven’t been around in a while, members receive an individually tailored nutrition program designed to balance the body’s insulin levels. According to founder Zana Morris, the combination of the two is the real key to a successful outcome. The Library also offers yoga, Pilates and boxing classes, to complement your workout.

Lean tissue building is a huge part of this programme, and it’s very easy to understand why. Lean muscle tissue uses up 50-100 calories to maintain itself at rest each day but the same amount of fat uses only a measly two calories a day. So we actually burn fat doing nothing, if we keep fit.

These short, intense workouts also enhance your athletic capacity and condition, improve cardiovascular health, reduce cholesterol levels significantly and improve your insulin sensitivity, which helps the exercising muscles use glucose for fuel to make energy more easily, and improved fat burning. Reducing insulin resistance should be a goal for everyone as it means keeping diabetes and pre-diabetes at bay.

Additionally, HIIT workouts burn more calories than traditional workouts, especially, and here comes the best bit, after the workout, due to the massive disturbance it creates in your muscle tissue. The post-exercise period is generally about a 2-hour interval after exercise, where the body is restoring itself to pre-exercise levels, and hence uses more energy, accelerating your metabolism for up to 48 hours after a workout. Aside from stimulating your muscle fibres, they activate your body’s natural growth hormone – a natural “youth” hormone that aids both in fat loss and in building youthful toned muscle.

Since hitting 30, most adults lose around ½ pound of muscle each year, meaning that even if we maintain the same weight throughout our lifetime, fat is constantly replacing muscle. To make matters even more depressing, remember that 1lb of this firm muscle tissue burns approximately 50 to 100 calories per day, every day. Any loss makes it easier to gain fat, even if our food intake stays the same. This loss also includes loss from our vital organs, such as our heart or liver, which can potentially lead to other issues such as cardiovascular problems or reduced hormonal secretion. The solution is to keep building muscle mass, and HIIT workouts are perfect for this. 

As you can see, HIIT workouts at The Library offer all-around advantages, aside from burning insane amounts of fat and keeping you in tip-top shape, it’s only 15 minutes a day…so there really aren’t any valid excuses.

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