Something that gets Alan Shearer training to his “maximum every time” must surely be worth a shot, right? Having heard this report of Speedflex from the former England football Captain, I prepared to be put through my paces.
I arrived at Speedflex HQ in Bank and immediately felt a little “on edge” since the interior is a tad clinical and reminded me of the apprehensive wait to be called into the doctor’s room. YIKES. Think minimal decorating, utilitarian furnishings and so quiet you could hear a pin drop, or in this case, more aptly a sweat droplet drop.. Yummy. It’s no boutique flowery fitness scene such as Psycle where gals and guys hang out and chitchat over chia seeds and coconut water pre-class. No, Speedflex has a way more City/corporate/clinical vibe.
But Speedflex is more science and – well, no fluff so I s’pose it’s right to be up front about it. After filing in a form (are you on any medication etc) I was taken into a small side-room where I was weighed and my body fat, muscle and water composition was measured. From these results, your target heart-rate is determined and the aim is to achieve it once you start exercising. All this info is also a great motivator if one of your goals is to firm up and swap some fat for lean muscle.
But what is Speedflex exactly? In a nutshell, during a private or group session you’ll alternate your time between seven machines. You’ll be using different techniques on each one, which include lifting, pulling, pushing, squatting and standing on your tip toes as you manoeuvre each machine. You’ll be wearing a heart rate monitor so you can see if you’re reaching your maximum heart rate if the red light on the machine lights up. If it’s green then you’re scoring a “C”, amber is “B” and red is the “A*” grade. But here’s the unique and magical unicorn part – you won’t ever get sore no matter how hard you work.
How is that possible? I hear you cry. Well, the Speedflex team explain that since the machines only work your muscles as they shorten and not when they lengthen – you don’t get the painful tearing of the muscles that leaves you with post-workout stiffness. Sounds good right?
Was I stiff? No – but the first session is only a short assessment so I need to go back and properly put the theory to the test! Luckily, this shouldn’t be too tricky since Speedflex give you two weeks completely complimentary. Not bad huh? As for the exercises themselves, Shearer is right – it’s high intensity and allows you to work to your maximum heart rate if you put in the effort. I also love the fact it’s low impact, but it still gets your heart pumping and endorphins buzzing.
I give Speedflex a snazzy 8/10. It’s scientific, low impact, individually tailored, great value for money given the depth of analysis and it all comes with a much smaller risk of injury than many group classes.
Could improve on?
Will I go back?
I’m totally going back – are you with me?