When I was offered a chance to try out Speedflex, a new concept in low-impact, high-intensity workouts I was intrigued. Their selling point is that their resistance machines provide an intense cardio workout whilst allowing participants to work at their own level and (this is the bit I’m struggling to get my head round) won’t give you any muscles soreness following the workout. I had to try it out.
The studio, located near Bank station, is inviting, luxurious and clean. It was very quiet on a rainy Thursday evening, in fact there was only me and one other person in the induction.
I was sent into the (beautiful) changing rooms to fit my heart rate monitor which was exciting as I’ve never really tracked my heart rate during a workout before.
I was then taken down into an assessment room where I was weighed and my height was measured. I stood on an InBody machine which sent signals through my hands to my feet and measured the speed that the signals travelled through all the tissue. They travel faster through muscle as it has a higher water content than fat and by measuring the speed the machine can work out your body composition.
I was pretty pleased with the results as my muscle mass came out as above average, especially in my midsection and legs. Bizarrely though, I have significantly more muscle in my right leg than my left! Must stop standing on my right leg all the time…
We then went into the studio which looked like an alien spaceship. The machines are certainly new-age…
Each machine can be used in several different ways and the trainer demonstrated each one (eg. squat + press, bent over row, lat pull up + press, military press). In a normal 45 minute class up to 15 participants would circulate around the room with additional equipment (such as kettle bells, free weights, swiss balls etc.) between each machine with tabata-style timings (15-45 seconds on, 5-20 seconds rest).
Your heart rate appears on screens around the studio meaning that you can’t hide anywhere! The numbers change colours depending on which training zone you’re in and you get a summary at the end of the class of all your data including calories burnt and how long you spent in each zone.
We just tried a 7 minute round with 30 seconds on each machine and 5 seconds rest in between. It certainly works the body and within the 7 minute circuit my heart rate rose to 83% of my max heart rate, well and truly into the training zone.
So what did I think? Well, to be perfectly honest, I’m not sure it’s much more than a fad, albeit a good one that provides a great workout. I personally prefer my circuit workouts a bit more lo-tech where I can get down and dirty with some weights and burpees. Some of the moves on the machines felt a bit alien and they’re very arms, shoulders and chest heavy. The trainer said that the lower body workout comes in more in the additional stations between the machines.
My feeling is that it will be perfect for the city workers who need a new fad to feel ahead of the curve and like a bit of luxury but give me a set of dumbbells and a skipping rope any day.
What? Speedflex – more info on their site
33 – 36 Lombard Street
City of London
When? Classes run between 7am and 8pm
How much? There’s no prices on the website (which suggests it might be expensive…) but they offer an induction and first session for free and plenty of packages which should bring the price down.
Thanks to Entice Communications for the opportunity to review Speedflex