23 April 2019
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Natalie Tries: January Special

January 20, 2015
Project-Fit-6

Struggling to stick to your New Year’s resolutions? Need some inspiration to get you firing in the gym this month? Give your normal routine an overhaul and try something completely new. Our guinea pig Natalie has been on a mission since Christmas to try out the latest and greatest fitness trends of 2015 to revolutionise your workout.

Project Fit

With the terrifying slogan, ‘You VS Your Body’, you know you’re in for a tough challenge at Project Fit. And dripping with sweat after an hour of high intensity interval training, I really didn’t know who had won. This is interval training for people who really want to push themselves. With hill climbs and sprints on the treadmill intertwined with floor exercises, weights and core work, Project Fit is designed to make you feel the burn in every inch of your body.

Project-Fit-6

The Benefits
Designed to increase your aerobic endurance whilst building on your strength, the benefits of interval training are well recorded, but Project Fit breathes new life into the classic model.

The aesthetic design of the studio is more reminiscent of an 80s rave club than a gym, which at 7am was exactly what I needed to shake off any sleepiness and get me pumped. The music helped as well. Split in to two groups, half of the session began on the treadmill with a steady hill climb, while the other group on the lower platform got going with floor work, including crunches, squats and a variety of challenging planks.

Splitting the class into two components helps to keep it manageable and allows you to break what you’re doing into bite-sized chunks. You’re not getting through an hour of pain; you’ve just got to get through ten minutes of sprints. It’s a great way to make you tackle one thing at a time.

It was my turn to hit the floor and I was already feeling the burn in my legs. Luckily we used the Bosu balls to work on our balance and core strength, with a few lunges thrown in for good luck. Every exercise was rigorously timed and our instructor made sure to correct our form so we were getting the most out of the movement.

I have to commend our instructor. He seamlessly instructed two sets of exercises at the same time, never skipping a beat and making himself clearly heard above the roar of Rihanna and Skrillex, whilst inspiring everyone in the class to really push themselves to the next level.
www.project-fit.co.uk

Top Tip: Try to avoid classes at peak times, the changing rooms are pretty small!

Fly Wheel

This is more than just spinning. The days of pretending to turn up your bike’s resistance as you bounce on a bum-numbing seat as your instructor cranks up the euro-pop are over. Fly Wheel is the new generation of spinning, bringing a modern dimension to the world of indoor cycling.

Natalie-tries

The Benefits
The setting is world-class. The dimmed, blue lighting will help you to focus whilst making you less self-conscious about your sweaty, grimacing face. The sound system is perfect – you can hear the instructor clearly without feeling as though you’re being screamed at – and that’s even before you’ve got to the soundtrack. Dance remixes of RnB chart-toppers, 90s dance classics and club-worthy beats you’ve never heard before – it’s incredible how your mind has the ability to ignore pain when the right music comes on.

What really makes Fly Wheel stand out is their use of cutting edge technology. You control your bike’s individual tech-pack, a tiny screen that digitally displays your bike’s resistance, your RPM and your power output – so you can be aware of how you’re performing throughout the class.

What really made the difference was the use of a leader board. The large-screen displays flash up everyone’s bike stats to see how you’re all performing and who’s winning – but only if you want to! If you’re a competitive nut then this is a great motivational tool. As soon as our sprint session was referred to as a ‘race’ my legs went into overdrive. Your stats are stored and can be accessed on a personal online account so you can track your progression.

The American craze has started to pop up in a variety of London locations. Check the website for any further studios nationwide: http://www.flywheelsports.com

Top Tip: Have a little towel handy – you are going to sweat!

Speedflex Core

Last year Speedflex started in the UK and we trialled the classes, which are high-intensity, low-impact and make use of timed intervals on the Speedflex machines. You burn crazy amounts of calories in just 45 minutes, and push yourself to the max without damaging your muscles. So when Speedflex announced a Core session – I knew it was going to be tough.

Speedflex

The Benefits
The sessions are perfectly timed for early-morning or lunchtime sessions. At just 30 minutes the classes allow you to get a serious sweat on without wasting too much time. Let’s face it – how often do we have time to spend and hour or 90 minutes in the gym? Short, sharp bursts fit into hectic schedules and help to develop your stamina for intense sports performance.

The Speedflex machines are a revelation. Their unique technology allows you to be in control of how hard you work. The machines are all resistance-based, so the more power you put into a move, the more the machine will push back. This allows you to push yourself to your own personal limit, but also makes the classes inclusive for people of a wide range of fitness levels, or those who are returning from injury.

The real joy of Speedflex Core is that you spend as much time doing floor work as you do on the machines. From mountain-climbers to challenging planks, crunches to twisting sit-ups – there’s no area of your core that you won’t work. You might think you can do thirty minutes of sit-ups at home – but without the rigid system of timing, pumping music and motivation from the Speedflex instructor, you just won’t reach the same level of intensity.
www.speedflex.com

Top Tip: Make a note of the calories you burn – see how you progress over the next few sessions.

Reebok Reps

The new Reebok Sports Club in the heart of Canary Wharf, London, is an elite gym that has sport as it’s focus. Reebok Reps is one of the core classes offered by the Reebok trainers, and it is a 45-minute class focused on weight training to build strength, explosive power and core stability – it’s aimed at those who are wanting to take their workout to the next level, and really see results translate into a sporting environment.

Reebok-Reps-Studio

The Benefits
The crucial element of this class is the focus on functional movement. We are not simply lifting weights to target different muscle groups, every movement is specifically designed to use your body in a functional, useful way that mirrors the demands of sport.

Personal trainer and Reebok instructor Kelly Wootton explained: ‘I used to teach Body Pump, and Reps is similar in certain ways, but we are so much more functional in what we do. It’s vital for people to build in functional movement to their fitness regime.

‘We have become so linear – we sit at a desk all day, walk in straight lines, run in straight lines on the tube – that’s not how our bodies were designed. We need to work on multiple planes with our bodies, failing to do this is what leads to people having problems with their knees, back and joints.’

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Reebok Reps is a no-nonsense class. You arrive, set up your equipment and get to work. There’s none of this whooping, high-fiving or peppy encouragement that you often get in the American fitness franchises – and quite frankly at 7am on a Monday morning I was grateful to be left alone to power through the class.

Reebok Reps is a fantastic class if you’re wishing to add another dimension to your workout, in addition to your cardio training. It’s vital to be able to sprint, and have your stamina at its peak – but without strength and core stability, your speed will count for nothing when it comes to sport.
www.reebokclub.co.uk

Top Tip: Get there five minutes early – you need to set up quite a bit of kit.

Natalie Morris, Sportsister
The Women’s Sport Magazine

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