We dared our new contributor Stephanie Muzzal to try the legendary Psycho Circuits. "Being a runner who is rubbish at doing strength and conditioning work I knew I needed to be pushed" she says. Did she survive?
URgghhhh, eeeee, ooooffffff. then ahhhhhh. Those were the noises I made as I pushed that barbell over my head during the last rep of the last circuit of Psycho Circuits at Gymbox Covent Garden. Our instructor Robin Persad had said one second to go, but working in our team of three I was determined to push that bar up. One. More. Time.
I've been to circuits classes before, but this one was different. The differences started as soon as I entered Gymbox. The open plan space in Covent Garden is dominated by motivational quotes and night club-esque lighting – much less daunting than the strip lighting and dodgy mirrors in your run of the (tread)mill gym. Gymbox's class timetable keeps the changes flowing with a whole host of classes that beg to be tried at least once, with names like Fightklub, Balates and Pound. Being a runner who is rubbish at doing strengthening and conditioning work I picked Psycho Circuits knowing that I need to be pushed to do squats and press ups!
Heading to the class I was suddenly filled with fear and nerves. The small room surprised me as circuits I've been to before have involved running in around in circles. I needn't have worried, the room reflects the small class size and Robin tailored the class perfectly to the space – and us sleepy eyed lot. It was at 7.30am, after all.
I was keeping up with the dynamic full body and core moves when 20 minutes in (shouldn't have glanced at the clock) Robin said, "right let's set up the circuits, that's the warm up done". OOF, can it get harder? In a group of three girls with four different stations, we pushed ourselves through the next 20 minutes of good, hard work. First, box jumps and alternate leg box jumps, next crunches with a pilates hoop, then squat jumps and finally clean and press with a barbell. No easy moves but changing between them kept it fresh. There is no way I would have done that number of reps, or worked for that long without the support of Robin and my mini team. The girls I was grouped with were great motivation, and the music and lights keep you distracted from worrying about what's coming next or those around you.
I pushed hard knowing that Robin was looking after the time and I could concentrate just on my form. The class ended all too quickly and Thursday had a lot to live up to after such a fantastic start. A great all body workout to kick off any day!
Go on, book your place!