Class Review: Metcore at Form Studios | Eclectic Cake: Class Review: Metcore at Form Studios

Monday, 23 February 2015

Class Review: Metcore at Form Studios

I was given pre-warning of what I'd signed up for. A class was just finishing as I walked into the cosy Form Studios and all that could be heard were grunts and yelps. They say you gain nothing without suffering a little pain, so judging from the sounds from next door, I was in for a real treat...if I survived.

It turns out, they were half way through an eight-minute, aptly named, HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training) section of the Metcore class. The idea is to carry out each exercise of the circuit – squat jumps, kettle bells, side step-ups and ski pulls – using every last bit of energy. Once your muscles are quaking, heart pounding and limbs shaking, you're doing it right. That's the pain part nailed. The payoff? Well, once in this zone of exhaustion, your body apparently begins to produce a growth hormone that will make you look and feel younger...just not when you're actually doing the circuit...

During those eight minutes, I probably resembled someone 50 years older – I stumbled around, dribbling, not quite knowing my name because there wasn't any energy left to concentrate on these unimportant tasks. We'd already spent quite a while with a piece of equipment that looked like the three-way love child of a foam roller, TRX and a reformer Pilates machine. Only 'machine' is misleading, that implies it does some of the work but it was definitely me powering every movement.

The class began with a somewhat friendly introduction to our instrument of torture with some stability exercises. It took a while to trust the foam body to not roll away as we stepped on and off. Also, we had to have faith in our footing as we would soon have more to concentrate on other than where we were stepping. The more unstable you are, the more work your core is doing, so as soon as we felt comfortable with one move, it would be made more difficult by adding a squat or a resisted arm lift or twist.

The main part of the class is inspired by pilates, which was clear in all the core work, especially as we took the workout to the floor with plenty of planks and crunches. But our instructor was absolutely thorough, not leaving a single part of the body un-worked. A few sessions will improve your core strength, flexibility, stamina and cardio fitness. So when we approached the final highly-intense eight minutes, I already felt tired.

I guess the first part of the class could be seen as the warm up, building to the most important part. So maybe I was perfectly prepared for the intensity, maybe I was running on the adrenalin of fear, either way, unexpectedly, the HIRT was actually my favourite bit. Yes, it burned but it was pretty good to really see what I'm made of and what I had left.

After the pain, there really was a reward. Whilst I'm not sure I looked any younger, the anti-ageing effects of the workout seemed to effect my mood. I left, giddy as a child on endorphins, and giggled as my wobbly arms failed to tie my shoelaces.

You can try your first Metcore class for free. For details on how to book, click here.

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