Sport360 - - Fitness & Health - By Alex Broun @Alexan­der­Broun edi­to­

I don’t be­lieve in ‘no pain, no gain’, you have to lis­ten to your body -Pier­ric Morel

The lat­est spec­tac­u­lar to hit Dubai is La Perle by Franco Dragone at the Habtoor Grand. The show utilises 65 highly trained artists from 23 dif­fer­ent coun­tries in a vast ar­ray of ex­tra­or­di­nary phys­i­cal feats, many while fly­ing through the air.

The man tasked with keep­ing these high per­for­mance ath­letes at the top of their game, and spin­ning through the air ten shows a week, is Pier­ric Morel, La Perle’s Head of Per­former’s Well­ness and Devel­op­ment.

The Dubai based os­teopath’s re­spon­si­bil­ity is to look after each in­di­vid­ual’s care plan in­clud­ing their di­etary re­quire­ments and along with his team, pro­vide the nec­es­sary well­ness coach­ing to re­duce or elim­i­nate high-risk be­hav­iours.

Morel grad­u­ated from six years of Ostepa­thy D.O, spe­cial­is­ing in Pos­tur­ol­ogy and Sports, Struc­tural Tech­nics, Mod­ern Acupunc­ture and Acu­pres­sure and then started his own Os­teopa­thy clinic in Lyon.

He be­gan work­ing in the cir­cus in­dus­try in 2005 with a fa­mous French com­pany called Les Arts Sauts, which led him to leg­endary im­pre­sario Dragone and in 2008 he be­gan work­ing on The House of Danc­ing Wa­ter in Ma­cau.

Morel moved to Dubai in 2015 where Dragone reached out to him again and brought him on board for La Perle.

Like all elite ath­letes La Perle’s per­form­ers have a rig­or­ous sched­ule to keep them fit for their dan­ger­ous stunts.

“The artists have been con­di­tion­ing their bod­ies and mind for the shows for al­most a year now,” said Morel. “The process be­gan late last year, when we be­gan Train­ing and For­ma­tion, which is where the artists learnt the skills nec­es­sary.

“They trained from 9am – 6pm ev­ery day, six days a week, en­sur­ing they were in peak con­di­tion.

“Now that we have be­gun the show sched­ule, we have to en­sure the artists are get­ting enough rest, es­pe­cially dur­ing their two days off, but we have to keep them train­ing ev­ery mus­cle and mo­ti­vated so they re­main in shape.

“It can be a shock to the body to go from rig­or­ous train­ing to only mov­ing once cur­tain is called and we can’t let this hap­pen – we have to make sure they re­main just as fit and healthy.”

Morel’s own philosophy for health and fit­ness is to “keep the fun” but “some­times to keep the fun can be hard, which is why you have to be pas­sion­ate.

“In com­pe­ti­tions, you have to go into sur­vival mode, where you train hard, but you know there’s an end.

“In this in­dus­try, fun and hap­pi­ness is vi­tal be­cause once you lose that joy, your mind slips and you won’t train prop­erly, re­sult­ing in in­juries.

“If you’re not eat­ing prop­erly or get­ting enough sleep, your body is going to start to be­come weak and there­fore you lose your sprit. It’s my job, when I see that pos­i­tiv­ity and hap­pi­ness slip­ping, I fo­cus on the per­son as I know the prob­lems will be­gin.

“You can do all the physio you want, but if that per­son isn’t there men­tally, it’s all for noth­ing – you lose them.”

In terms of his own well­ness regime Morel tries fit in car­dio and ex­er­cise at least twice a week, around his work­ing hours: “I drink lots of wa­ter and at­tempt and get out­side and con­nect with na­ture, some­thing that is so im­por­tant for your health and well­be­ing.”

His tips on stay­ing fit are “eat well, train well and sleep well. This is the base that ev­ery­one must follow.

“It’s all about mind and body, from the mo­ment you have a good bal­ance you will be suc­cess­ful.

“I don’t be­lieve in ‘no pain, no gain’, you have to lis­ten to your body and re­spect it – if you put your body through years of pain then it will break, that pain is your body speak­ing to you.

“If you want a long ca­reer, you have to work with your body, be re­al­is­tic and man­age your body is a pos­i­tive way, neg­a­tive emo­tions will lead to your body to re­act in the same way.”

What: La Perle Where: Al Habtoor Grand Ver­dict: High per­for­mance artists in ex­tra­or­di­nary phys­i­cal feats.

High wire: All La Perle’s per­form­ers need to be in peak con­di­tion.

Spec­tac­u­lar: 65 per­form­ers com­bine to cre­ate the ef­fects.

Highly-skilled: Morel works with all artists in­di­vid­u­ally.

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