Review: Pinnacle Performance
Pinnacle Performance in Wan Chai is known as the go-to gym for performance and elite athletes, but it also offers world-class coaching and training programmes for recreational enthusiasts too. We have tried and tested it for the last few months - find out more.
Pinnacle Performance: Tailored and Targeted Training
With the year coming to a close, many of us will be starting to put in plans for new fitness goals for 2016. For me, it’s all about getting stronger and improving my mobility and movement. After numerous years of exercising with niggling old injuries and not quite feeling as though I’m reaching my potential, I recently stepped through the doors of Hong Kong’s only dedicated strength and conditioning facility: Pinnacle Performance.
The facility is known as the go-to gym for performance and elite athletes, with it’s unique combination of personalised training programmes and world-class coaching staff and is used by the likes of Hong Kong Golf and Hong Kong Cricket.
My husband is a huge fan of Pinnacle, and the team there are helping him to train for his first full ironman competition early next year, but he and I are at different ends of the exercise spectrum! He has regularly encouraged me to join, but as a mere mortal, I admit that I was a little dubious about how I would fit in – I have more niggles and gripes than the average person, but I decided to give it a try to see just what makes Pinnacle different in the crowded market of gyms and fitness classes. The idea of benefitting from the experience and ability of some of Hong Kong’s leading coaches was hugely appealing in my decision to join as previous experiences with private trainers left me feeling as though I was paying for a premium product but receiving an average service.
Tucked away in an office block in Wan Chai, it’s not the obvious first choice for a gym, and on arrival, doesn’t resemble your average Pure or Fitness First. You won’t find treadmills or rows and rows of machines at Pinnacle. The facility centres around a 22 metre running track, flanked by performance spin bikes, and a well equipped array of squat racks, dumbbells, suspension rings, and prowlers!
The focus is all about personalised programmes tailored around your strengths and weaknesses. For me, that was accounting for a dodgy shoulder, weak wrist, back niggles and all around movement imbalance. The first session involved a functional movement assessment, with one of the internationally accredited coaches, James, who used the data and observations to design a programme just for me. We then scheduled a time for a 1:1 session where he slowly (and very patiently) went through each element of the programme, ensuring I understood it and performed each exercise correctly before I was then let loose on my own.
All around the gym, there are iPads on the walls, allowing each member to follow their programme, track their progress by filling out the details on weights and speeds, as well as watch internally produced clips on how the exercises should be performed. There is something incredibly motivating about watching your ability to lift more weight increase over time, and by recording all this information, the training plan can then be monitored and adapted by the Pinnacle Team.
Based around regular monitoring and assessment, the Pinnacle programmes are split into different services offering individuals full access to coaching for their specific goals. I have been progressing through the strength and power programmes, with a power session (Explode), a strength programme (Load), and a corrective, symmetry session (Adapt) each week. By tracking my session performance and exercise completion it allows the coaches to monitor every member and their progression closely. With ‘Metabolic Loading’ sessions, and the heart rated tracked ‘conditioning’ sessions, I have plenty more sessions to keep conquering.
I’ve had very little experience of lifting weights, and initially found the programme that had a significant focus on this area a little intimidating. However, once I understood how to do the exercises correctly and felt confident, I quickly found myself increasing the weight I could lift/push/pull, which was immensely satisfying.
If you enjoy working out with others, then there are group sessions in both the morning, lunchtime and evenings. You can also work out independently if you prefer, which I do, but fortunately, there’s always at least one of the coaches on site to help out, answer questions and motivate where needed. This for me is one of the huge pluses of Pinnacle as each coach knows each member and is able to support in the right way. It’s also a great community not only between members and coaches but also with the addition of yoga and running events organised weekly, meet-ups and social events that take place regularly.
What struck me initially and continues to be evident, is how well the programme accounts for my old injuries, but also how it evolves month on month to push me to the next stage. Initially it was all about rehabilitation and correcting errors in my movement, which to start with made even very simple exercises really hard. There was an element of physiotherapy in some of the exercises, and although I’ve only been a member for a couple of months now, issues that I had with old shoulder and wrist injuries seem to be waning for the first time in years. I feel stronger, am moving better, and am really motivated to keep pushing myself to see just what level of fitness and conditioning I can achieve, because I know that I’ll have great support along the way.
For more details on membership to Pinnacle, or which of their events and challenges might suit you for a fitness goal, take a look at the website or email Director and Head Strength and Conditioning Coach:
With onsite physiotherapist and sports masseuses, Pinnacle is the facility that offers bespoke training to suit your needs and current ability. Focusing on the mantra of ‘What’s Yours?’ drop in to Pinnacle for a trial and chat about how their programmes and coaching can support you, be that for your next Ironman, or to iron out that niggling injury