It's been described by the Express as the ‘pain-free’ way to get fit, and though I’m not sure I’d agree, it’s definitely an awesome workout.
I came across Speedflex thanks to ClassPass – although it wasn’t quite as straightforward as just showing up and doing some serious calorie-burning on fancy machines, like most of their other studios. First, you have to do an induction session which takes all your body composition measurements (a little scary to know exactly what percentage body fat you are vs lean muscle but it’s a great motivator and benchmark for kick-starting a new exercise regime!) and have a talk through your goals with one of the Speedflex trainers.
After that’s done, you get a walk-through of the Speedflex method (short, high intensity cardio and resistance exercise on their specialised machines) and how to correctly do each of the exercises at a particular station.
According to their web site, the Speedflex system 'uses hydraulics instead of weights to completely tailor the resistance level to your ability', which is what prevents the muscle soreness. That said, because it’s circuits, there are also floor exercises with Bosu balls, kettlebells and other normal equipment which I feel slightly reduces the 'pain-free' claim and I can 100% confirm that walking down stairs to the Tube after class was a jello-y leg experience.
(image from the Express.co.uk)
So what was the best part? Definitely the intensity of the workout with a lot less pain the next day than you'd get from a Frame Camp or Barry's.
Also, for anyone with a competitive spirit, the fact that your exertion level is up on screen for you (and everyone else) to see means you'll be pushing yourself to be in the right zone the whole time.
The trainers are also big on watching your form and ensuring you do the exercises right--something I'm always a big fan of for injury prevention and getting the best workout. Having had a couple of classes, with Steve and Julie, (and generalizing massively!) these guys are awesome and really motivating and attentive.
The other good stuff is the nice showers and towels and super-convenient location for City types, right between Bank and Monument stations. Oh and they're celeb endorsed (Alan Shearer) if you're into that kind of thing.
The only down side for me was the lack of cool-down built into the 45-minute session. With the intensity you're working at, it seemed a bit weird for the last alert to sound and then just to walk away. The staff were good about letting me use the workout room to stretch for a little bit after class, but I was really conscious they needed to set up for the morning class and leave for the night so it felt a bit pressured and not conducive to a proper stretch at the end.
It's got the same kind of afterburn effect as most bootcamps, which I also really liked, and they say they tone rather than adding bulk, which is brilliant.
All in all, I'm enjoying my trial and will definitely be going back. It would be the almost perfect circuit workout if they threw in even a five-minute cool & stretch to finish.