I love how gyms are thinking outside of the box. There are loads of unique gyms just popping up all over London – cycle studios, HIIT studios and now Fitness first have opened up a heart rate based training club in Charing Cross called BEAT.
Running 14 sessions a day with a 5 class format tailor-made to suit a range of different levels and abilities, they range from 65% HR, giving you a taste of what is on offer in some of the classes, right up to 90% – which is pro athlete HIIT training.
I went middle of the road and took the fat burner class, which makes your heart beat stay a steady 70% heart rate capacity, while doing circuit training, which ultimately makes you burn fat and improve your fitness and endurance.
The theory sounds okay, but how does the practical side fare?
Starting off with POLAR Heart Rate Transmitters attached to us, we were logged on the computer which beamed down on us showing us how hard we were working, so unfortunately no slacking was allowed.
We were given 4 minutes to work as hard as possible, starting on the treadmills we used resistance to work as hard or as little as our bodies could push us. We then had 30 seconds to get to our next station which involved a ViPR weight, doing a minute on 4 different exercises – including lunges and chucking the weight in front of us in order to clamber back and forth, on our toes and hands, to grab it again. Yep, it’s as hard as it sounds.
The class continued with the bikes and 4 minutes sections on the floor and on various cardio equipment until my by HR was way into the 70%, sometimes even higher. With sweat trickling down my face and my breath shortening after every set of exercises, I could definitely feel it working my whole body. The last part saw us getting into a circle and performing ab exercises, keeping our heart rates up as we did it.
As they’re monitoring you throughout you also get to track, relevant to your weight and height, your progress – including calories burnt and how hard you’re working throughout the class – mine was pretty steady and the calories burnt were pretty impressive for a 40 minute class. And the next day I definitely felt it in my legs and arms, but as they say – no pain, no gain.
To give Beat a go at Fitness First in Charing Cross, take a look here.