I Tried Some of SA’s Craziest Gym Classes So You Don’t Have To

No matter how dedicated you are to your workout regime, day after day of sweating it out in the same damn gym/studio/running route can leave you feeling rather “bleh” about wrestling yourself into a sports bra and lacing up those takkies.

Switching it up with a whole new programme at a totally different place can be super daunting – but so worth it. So in the name of boredom-busting (and a six-pack) I marched into these trendy fitness hotspots.

Several classes (and a forehead wound) later – here’s the lowdown…

SWEAT 1000

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It’s a name so feared in the fitness world that the mere mention of it is enough to send every fitness tracker reading into the fat-burn zone. But is Sweat 1000 really that scary? Well, after my first foray into the hallowed halls – mostly favoured by SA’s celebs and schmodels – I was pleasantly surprised.

Here’s the drill: There’s a row of super high-tech treadmills set up at the back of the studio, and mats with several sets of weights set up behind them. You’ll alternate between cardio stints on the treadmill and strength stints on the floor – so you get your heart rate up nice and high, while still giving those baby muscles a bit of a pump.

The yays: Now, I’m no super-fit schmodel, but I was able to keep up just fine. The constant change of pace and movement means this class just flies by – and after an hour of serious sweating, your calorie burn will be super-impressive.

The nays: If you’ve got dodgy knees like yours truly, they’ll take a bit of a beating on the treadmills. Luckily, there are spinning bikes on hand too to give your wonky joints a rest.

Switch Playground

An in-house DJ, strobe lights, a smoke machine and hot young instructors darting from station to station whopping, jamming and egging you on – it’s like working out at a club, (without all the grinding).

Here’s the drill: Two-man stations are set up all over the club-like studio – everything from free weights to kettlebells, rowing machines to treadmills – in what is basically a massive circuit. You’ll get allocated a number for your starting station, where you’ll head after 10 minutes or so of warm-up yoga. Then the fun starts. You’ll spend two minutes at each piece of equipment doing the respective move before you switch (see what they did there?) over the next one.

The yays: Classes are an hour long, but the constant movement makes the time fly by – although it’s certainly intense enough for you to get a serious full-body workout. You’ll leave the studio feeling super pumped – and sort of like you just had an epic dance session at your fave Friday-night haunt…

The nays: Well, between all the flashing lights, smoke and constant switching, there’s a lot going on. So if you’re a particularly clumsy lass who neglected to pay heed to the serious “Hey-guys-these-treadmills-are-moving-so-be-careful” warning before the class, and you try get on a treadmill running at the rate of knots… Well, you can imagine what happened next. But after a little trip to casualty (true story), I was all patched up and ready to Switch another day. Plus, now I have a great battle scar…

BODYTEC

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Electrocuting yourself to work those muscles… seems a little… intense, no? Well, contrary to what you may have heard that’s not quite how BodyTec (or any other Electro Muscle Stimulation (EMS) training) works.

Here’s the drill: You’ll be strapped into one of those Instagram-worthy suits (or electrode vests), and plugged into one of the two machines in the studio. The electrodes on your skin send currents through all of the major muscle groups in my body, forcing them to contract. As they do, you’ll be guided through a series of basic moves like lunges, squats, standing crunches and bicep curls, to further target those areas. Did it hurt? No – but it wasn’t pleasant. By the end of my 20-minute session, I was panting, and seriously sweaty. And my muscles had already begun to ache.

The yays: 20 minutes. Seriously – you’re in and outta there in under half an hour. Also, the results are quite something. After six weeks’ worth of sessions (that’s just one a week), I was noticeably firmer and much stronger. Hello baby biceps!

The nays: You’re gonna feel it the next day. And the day after that… The EMS machine will contract muscles you’ve probably never been able to target before in your normal workouts. So if you’re a regular gym bunny/runner/yogi who likes to get their sweat on #everydamnday, that next-day stiffness may prove a problem…

Hi, I’m Kirsti and this is my little blog. Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

Hi, I’m Kirsti and this is my little blog. Tell me what you think in the comments section below!

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