Optimal Performance will be first-timers at the NZ Bike Expo, showing off their exhibit that showcases their multi-faceted outfit.  Spearheaded by Anthony Chapman, Optimal Performance has physiotherapy at its heart, but that physio focus has branched out to incorporate bike fit, spin classes and gym work; all with the aim of enabling athletes to get the best out of themselves.

“I would’ve jumped on board from the first year,” says Anthony when we ask him what attracted him to the NZ Bike Expo; first run in 2017.  “I love the idea of having an expo in New Zealand.  I know it’s relatively new and I can really see it growing over the next few years.  We’ve got such a cycling-passionate country in New Zealand, particularly here in Christchurch, such a good proportion of people who ride bikes from right across the spectrum from casual, to recreational, to commuters, to people who race very seriously.”

“And cycling’s my passion, that’s what I love, and I’m lucky enough that I have a job that revolves around it as well as it being my sport.  I just saw this as an opportunity to tell more people that Optimal Performance exists, that we’re passionate about cycling like they are, and just get the name out there amongst other people who are also passionate about cycling.”

Optimal Performance fill a void, in that they not only provide physiotherapy and gym services, but their entire operation is geared largely to focussing on cyclists.  It’s an interesting element that Anthony has introduced at Optimal Performance, combining physiotherapy with bike fit in particular, but it’s something that makes absolutely perfect sense; a marriage of expertise.

“Physiotherapy is the main part of Optimal Performance, it’s the heart of it.  Around that we’ve also got the bike fits which I do personally.  I do bike fits from a physio perspective, so looking at things like the anatomical and injury side of things a bit more.  The knowledge of the human body that we gain through physio is really useful in helping me to see things that are happening on the bike.  So we’re helping people to either minimise injury or get over injury to help with their performance as well,” Chapman says.

“A lot of the bike fits that I do see are the more difficult ones.  They might have had one done in a bike shop previously or they’ve got a particular injury whether it be pain or numbness or something else that they haven’t been able to alleviate previously.  And there are some people who think that having pain is part of cycling and there shouldn’t be.  There should be pain in your legs from pushing hard but there shouldn’t be aches and pains in the body.  So we’re trying to get rid of that false belief and help people to get on their bike and have more fun.”

Along with the bike fit and physiotherapy elements of Optimal Performance, Anthony and the team boast an on-site gym where weight, programmes, strength programmes, rehab programmes are put in place to either help aid performance or address injuries or other issues that have arisen for athletes.  

“We have a whole range of free weights, leg presses, squat cages and deadlift stations so we can take people through a really well coordinated programme to help them gain there.  We also offer a pilates/yoga class & a stretch and relief class and we also do a running group which we start up over the summer.  So while that’s not for the pure cyclist, it’s certainly for those who like to dabble in a bit of triathlon or just running itself,” Anthony explains.

We’re excited about what Optimal Performance bring to the table for cycling in New Zealand, an extremely versatile and diverse outfit that covers so many necessary bases for cyclists all under the one roof; with Chapman and his team of five joining him with passion for the outdoors and a huge range of expertise between them.  At this year’s NZ Bike Expo get set to see them unite with the team at Revbox to provide something just a little bit special.

“At the exhibit we’re going to have – tied in with Revbox – three Revboxes on a couple of different sized bikes; and there will be the opportunity for people to get on the Revbox and try it out, similar to what we have in the classes.  If they do a certain time on the Revbox they can go in the draw to actually win the Revbox,” Chapman says.

“There will also be myself and some of our team there and people will be able to ask questions about little niggles or pains or anything they’d like to ask us and we’ll be happy to give some guidance on a couple of stretches or a couple of exercises.  And there’s also the opportunity to make bookings while we’re there.  We can make appointments for people to come and see us and we’ll also have some PURE Sports Nutrition there.  We’re not really a health store but we do supply good products and PURE is definitely one of those.”

The 2018 NZ Bike Expo will be running this weekend from the 13th-14th October at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.  For more information about the event, including how to sign up for the Battle of the Garage Mechanic or Southern Cross CX Cyclocross event click here. 

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