What they say:
"Without getting too technical, you only get what you give. Speedflex machines respond to you.
Suitable for anyone of any age or fitness level, Speedflex enables everyone to exercise at high intensities, but at levels set by each individual.
This coupled with the added benefit of little (or no) post training muscle soreness; Speedflex is efficient, enjoyable and delivers a cardiovascular and resistance workout simultaneously."
|Pre Class Selfie. Always.|
What I say:
When I was first invited to try Speedflex, I've got to admit, I was a little (a lot!) skeptical. The promise of little or no muscle soreness, as appealing as it is, doesn't make sense to me. When you train, particularly in strength, you create tiny little micro tears in the muscle, and when you rest your body replenishes these whilst adapting to stress i.e. growing the muscle so that the next time it is more prepared. Therefore, in my mind, if Speedflex is promising no muscle soreness either 1. it doesn't work, or 2. they're lying. So naturally, I was keen to find out which one!
What we did:
|No muscle soreness, but still please sign your life away|
Entering the studio in Aldgate, we were initially given an 'introduction' session to learn the basics of the machines and how they operate. This was particularly important as the Speedflex, unlike traditional exercises machines, work on a free motion bar, meaning you have to apply force through the entire exercise, as opposed to just in one direction - meaning more/opposite muscles are engaged throughout the movement. With no weights, the machines operate is a 'closed circuit loop', meaning the resistance adjusts automatically as you move. So the more you give, the more you get back! (A bit like a rowing machine, you have to put in effort to generate the resistance)
After giving the machines a shot, we were handed a MyZone Heart Rate Monitor. "This is so we can gauge the intensity you're working at," the instructor told us. Great, no chilling in the back then!
|MyZone, we meet again|
With the room having 10 Speedflex machines in total, we went straight into a circuit style workout, moving from one machine to the next. Whilst each machine is exactly the same, the numerous different positions you can place your body within them gives loads of flexibility in the exercises you can use them for. Squats, lunges, chest presses, shoulder press, pull downs, rows - you name it, we worked through them all!
Once we'd worked round the circuit three teams, we went into a HIIT finisher. One station of burpees, one station of sprints up and down the room, one station of clean and press on the Speedflex, going straight from one to the other for ten minutes with zero rest - safe to say it was an absolute killer!!!!!
|The Set Up|
Honestly, Speedflex was probably one of the most high intensity classes I've been to. Maybe it's just the fact I wasn't really expecting to get my heart rate up, as from what I had understood from what I'd read it was more strength focused. I don't get out of breath doing chest presses on a Smith Machine, surely I wouldn't on a Speedflex?! HOW WRONG WAS I?!
We did the 'Classic' session, however there's a number of different options depending on your focus, goals, time available to train. 'Rolling', for example, allows you to drop in and out when suits you. Meanwhile 'Coreflex' has more focus on, yes, you got it, the core, whilst 'Pureflex' is geared towards heart rate training - bringing it up as high as possible in a high intensity state, with periods of rest allowing it to drop before coming back up again. The most effective way of heart rate training, in my experience.
Our instructor was great, both at demonstrating the basic fundamentals of the class, to motivating and pushing us to go above and beyond the basics! As the classes are taken in small groups, the instructors have a dedicated focus - there's no hiding in the back (!) - and they aim to get your heart rate to be working between 85-95% throughout.
Sophia and I finished the class both averaging 65-70% - "You weren't giving it your all!" according to our instructor. The sweat dripping from our faces, too out of breath to even speak properly, I think we would have said otherwise!!
Speedflex operate a membership for regulars, but also have drop in classes from £15. If you're not based in London, the machines can also be found at a range of different gyms across the UK - check out https://speedflex.com/locations/ to find your closest, there's also the chance for a two week free trial.
Would I go back?
|Would you go back?!|
For sure! The workout was a LOT tougher than I imagined, and I definitely found it challenging both cardio and strength wise but, as they promised, I didn't suffer from muscle soreness the next day! How the science works behind that I still don't know, but one things for sure, I most certainly got a good workout from it!!!
|Thanks Speedflex, see you soon!|