Three Rs: Rebel, Reshape, Red-Face | Eclectic Cake: Three Rs: Rebel, Reshape, Red-Face

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Three Rs: Rebel, Reshape, Red-Face

Bright beetroot-red faces emerged from the studio accompanied with sopping wet lycra and ridiculous grins. They were now wiser of what I was about to let myself in for – I was hoping those smiles were more because they'd had so much fun, rather than being from the sheer joy of surviving! In hindsight? I think it was a little of both.

The new boutique workout studio, 1Rebel, which offers Ride and Reshape classes, lures you in with its great design and attention to detail. It's all industrial chic with heated benches and a fridge for towels(!) in the changing rooms, privileges to ease the large price tag of a class. It's almost worth going just to have a nose around. But that's not why I was there...

The Reshape class combines high-intensity exercises using treadmills and specially designed workout platforms. The aim is to exert the body and mind to make both powerful in a "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" way. Walking into the studio felt like the moments before you get seated on a theme park ride – the lights were low and music quietly pulsing in anticipation, unsure if I should be excited or scared. Our instructor cunningly gave us no time to escape. A quick run through the equipment and we were off.

I got to know the workout platform pretty quickly. It was pretty much a whole gym in a box – different sized hand weights, resistance bands and medicine balls were all housed in the small unit that was high enough to step onto with effort and padded enough to lie down for chest presses. The space around it had even been thought of, with lines marking out a zone to jump and burpee in.

The sets of lifting, jumping and squatting were interrupted with time on a treadmill. I normally loathe 'dreadmill' running – the machines you normally find in gyms seem to force me into a weird stride where I'm scared of tripping and dragging my face on the track – but these seemed to feel quite natural to run on. And it was a good job, we were soon instructed to up our pace from a jog to a run to a sprint to an inclined sprint.

A few minutes of breathless sprinting had me missing the weighted work but more sets of arm raises made me look forward to running again. It was hard but each section was short so, as you finished each set, there were lots of little successes to celebrate and get you through. If that method failed, the rocking playlist had my mind dancing as it tried to will my body to keep moving.

Just as those before me, dripping with sweat and high on endorphins, I put my face in the towel fridge to try and return it to a normal colour.

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