If you follow me on twitter and log on at the crack of dawn everyday (or 7.30am) you'll have seen that I've been talking about something called Speedflex a lot.
Well, I've sort of fallen in love with it.
A Speedflex is a hydraulic machine with metal arms that you can move up and down. It doesn't move unless you move it, and gives out only as much force as you put in, performing weights exercises such as clean and press on the machine allows a great workout with less chance of injury. The machines are used as part of a circuit interval session, alongside circuits using medicine balls, mats, steps and bosu balls. Surprisingly, despite being a hardcore, sweat drenching workout, there isn't the next day muscle soreness that I always experience after weights classes.
One of my favourite things about the class is the fact that we all wear heart rate monitors that display how hard you're working on a big screen for everyone to see. The goal is to spend as much time in the training zone- above 80%.
Each 45 minute class is different- after a warm up round, followed by a number of circuits. Each exercise is done in rounds of 15-30 seconds, or done for a number of reps with a 5 second rest between each (although it's usually spent moving to the next station!) A typical circuit will include the following exercises; Clean and Press, Rows, High Pulls, Step ups, Squat Thrusts, Mountain Climbers, Lateral Pulls, Step and Press, Medicine Ball Twists, Burpees, and Leg Flicks. It really does work the whole body - my only worry is that my form goes slightly when I’m trying to complete them quickly.
For me, the best classes are the ones which include a little competition, whether it's boys vs girls or one side of the room against the other, knowing that your team mates are counting on you makes me speed up and work harder. I also love the amount of encouragement given to you by the instructors, and always by name!
I was given a 6 week pass to give it a try in their London studio and have been going 3 times a week to the 7.30am class. It's been nice to get to know the others in the class, there's definitely an 'all in this together' mentality. Everyone gathers together at the end of the class to hear our calorie burn and amount of time spent in the training zone. During the first class I found this really embarrassing, but I now really like congratulating others on working hard during the session, and who doesn't like a little praise now and again! By the end of each class I am dripping in sweat and exhausted, but feel ready for the day. I wish I could continue with a full membership at Speedflex for the New Year.
Sadly, the classes are a little pricey for me , but a 6 week pass would be a great pre-holiday plan. You're given a health check at the beginning and the end of the 6 weeks. I'll share my results with you when I get them back.
The photos in this post were actually taken during the summer, when Laura, the Lunges and Lycra girls and I had an induction lesson at Speedflex in their old studio- slightly embarrassed about taking photos in the normal classes!
Monday, 9 December 2013
Saturday, 7 December 2013
You've probably noticed that I'm sharing a bit more lifestyle on the blog recently, due in part to the fact that I'm running less after the NYCM, and partly because I'm trying to develop this to be more of a fitness and lifestyle blog after getting some requests to share more! I hope that this doesn't put any of you off- don't worry I'll still be talking A LOT about running/fitness.
One of my favourite Christmas traditions is our annual ice-skating trip. Last year Tom and I went to Somerset House, so we decided to check out the rink at the Natural History Museum this time. Nike hosted an NTC class here a few weeks ago- so sad to have missed it, it looked like a lot of fun.
After a quick, and slightly disappointing supper at Muriel's next to South Ken station, we got to the rink a little too early, approximately 45mins before our session. We missed the queues for skates, but did have to hang around to get on the ice for a while. I was surprised that the cloakroom was £2 after spending £14 on a ticket, it also meant that people were skating with massive bags!
The lights on the Christmas tree and surrounding trees were absolutely gorgeous and it felt very festive, although I wish they had been playing Christmas music for us to skate to, and sing along with.
The ice was packed with lots of couples, groups and tourists. The crowds made it a little difficult to skate together, and I did get knocked a few times by some bambis on ice. I am certainly not a good skater, but I can make it round the rink fairly confidently. We had a lot of fun, seeing if we could balance on one leg and tandem skate, and trying to stick together. We jumped off the ice just before the end of our session to skip the queues again to return our skates (it's so worth doing this).
A lovely, Christmassy date night on a chilly evening.
The Natural History Museum Ice Rink is open until 5th January- click here for tickets.
I hope you're having a great weekend, what are you up to? What do you think about me adding more lifestyle to the blog, love, hate, indifferent?