If you read my post recently on hot yoga, you’ll know that I don’t do enough resistance or strength training. It’s not that I don’t like it. Well, it can get boring. But I feel like I should be doing something more energetic with my workouts to reap the benefits. A belief I know is wrong.
So I’ve been trying to find a happy medium. A strength or resistance workout which is also pretty intense. Something which kills you internally, makes your legs feel like jelly and you question your choices. Yet one which leaves you with this amazing feel of success (maybe relief) after. One which makes you feel like you really could do anything. And I think I found it.
Speedflex is a new(ish) resistance training craze. It uses specialist machines which ‘resist’ comparable to the amount of effort you put in. The more effort, the harder it feels. So someone who lifts 50kg could use the same machine and same resistance (scale of 1 to 10) as someone who lifts 15kg, and they could both get a great workout…even if on the same resistance. Crazy huh? I obviously had to try it.
The London branch is in bank, only a 5-10 minute walk from the station. It’s right next to boom cycle, down a side street. This spot has a Speedflex studio, changing rooms, a consultation room and a gym on the opposite side of the alley which is included in the Speedflex membership packages. The gym is pretty big, and wasn’t too busy when we visited on a Wednesday evening.
There are a number of these Speedflex machines in the class studio, each for a different exercise, from squats to shoulder press. These are alongside some of the more usual gym accessories like kettlebells and medicine balls. The core element of each class being a circuit style workout.
I tried the 30 minute classic class.
Everyone got fitted with a heart rate monitor and we were off.
We had four rounds of circuits, after a warm up. Each round was a set of four stations (as there were four of us attending – nice and intimate). The timing for each interval was based on how long it took one of us on a specified station to reach a certain number. Brutal. You didn’t want to let the team down. It was tough.
Our circuits included; resistance squats, battle ropes, kettlebell swings, medicine ball throws, a sort of dead lift shoulder press type exercise on a machine, and pushing the instructor across the room (which was seriously tough – he kept shouting at me to sprint and push harder).
Throughout (well after each round) we tried to keep an eye on heart rate, which was on the screen. This was also on show to the instructor, so he could see who was working hard and who was sitting back.
I came out wobbly and feeling a little sick. But dying to go back. Such an intense workout but one which made me feel amazing after. Truly.
The changing rooms are fully equipped with showers in individual cubicles, towels and toiletries for a shower.
There are hair dryers too. And the lockers are all locked with codes, so no need to remember padlocks or coins. They’re actually really nice and the separate cubicles are perfect for getting ready again without the faff of doing it under a towel.
As mentioned earlier they do have an assessment room too, where you can get a full body assessment. It’s one which measures pretty much everything from muscle mass and which arm is heavier, to water weight. All just by standing on this machine, heels on the metal pads, paddles in hand. I don’t normally like this kind of thing, but it’s good to know every now and then if you’re on track/healthy. Great for those with particular fitness goals in mind. The instructor can even tell you how many calories you should be eating to maintain normal functioning etc.
I’ve actually been back since trialling the first class for a 45 minute classic class, and died all over again. All for that after feeling of exhilaration and achievement. Its seriously tough. One I don’t think you really ever get used to. But so worth it.
- Price: one session pass is £10 (not too bad for London classes), and monthly membership starts from £40.
- Fun/serious: More serious. It’s hardcore. But worth feeling sick for – it feels like such an accomplishment to get through
- Level: suitable for all. No matter how fit you are, you’ll still get a tough workout
- Recommend? Yes! If you fancy something a little different, something tough, this is for you
- How to book: You can become a member online, drop in or e-mail reception – all the details are here.
Do you put yourself through extreme workouts for the after feeling?
*I was invited along to try Speedflex. All views my own.