It seemed appropriate that, having spent the weekend wading through obscene levels of snow and grey London slush, I would be starting my week trying out Snow Motion. Commencing on January the 2nd, this newest Gymbox offering is a functional training class that will run alongside the Winter Olympics, and promises to not only give you a full body workout and increase endurance, but also help you strengthen muscles integral to Winter sports. As someone who always shied away from school ski trips, I entered the gym unsure what to expect, but keen to experience a workout that may actually come in useful on the rare chance I ever get whisked away to the Alps.
My class was led by Functional master trainer Firas, who explained that the class would be run in the form of an EMOM circuit. Made up of eight different exercises, the circuit uses paired movements that are designed to compliment each other through their use of similar motor functions. In this eight-week programme, the circuit will increase in difficulty every couple of weeks with the aim of developing an individual’s flexibility, strength and stamina. This should mean that by the programmes end, those who’ve been taking the class should see real improvements in their physical ability and strength.
Whilst in the official classes the same circuit would simply be repeated throughout the course of 32 minutes, I would be trying out the four evolutions of the circuit in order to understand its development. With only a few seconds break between each exercise, and no break between the circuits, I mentally prepared myself to be leaving the gym a broken woman.
After a quick five minute warm up, we found a partner and a starting place in the circuit. Though I was slightly nervous at taking on the class alongside other Gymbox instructors, James Dawkins had agreed to be my partner, and if anyone was going to spur me on, it was him.
As Firas started the timer, James and I began with the ski erg. Having had minor experience on the machine before, I found myself enjoying the chance to get fully equated with it. But soon my minute of fun was over and we moved straight into skater lunges, followed by kettlebell curtsy lunges. It was easy to see how these two movements worked well together; the skater lunges worked my inner and outer thighs, whilst the slower kettlebell exercise allowed me to catch my breath as I continued to work my lower body. Each following pair in the circuit worked in a similar way, with push ups and planks focusing on the upper body, and kettlebell squats, sled pushes and kettlebell lunges moving the focus back to the legs.
Though the circuits EMOM format had initially seemed daunting, as I tackled the rest of the exercises I found that the lack of any real rest time, combined with quick changes between each movement, was actually spurring me on to work harder. I simply did not have enough time to let myself succumb to exhaustion, and with everyone around me working hard I felt determined to not show myself up.
Having finished our last exercise relatively unscathed, James and I moved on to complete the circuit three more times, in all its evolutions. Needless to say, the ski erg lost its novelty when it became an AMRAP move; even more so when it developed further into a three fast/three slow set.
Though the circuit was undoubtedly hard, I was (miraculously) still enjoying it. I could really feel its benefit to my legs, something I was sure I would be paying for the next morning. And I would be lying if I said I didn’t love the final development of the sled push, in which I kicked back on the sled as James pushed me across the room. This was surely a move I was a natural at, and with Uber’s London departure imminent I only wished my future 3am journeys home could be so easy.
By the end of our last circuit I was ironically resembling the result of a hot Aussie summer, but having spent my weekend in genuine fear of frostbite, I appreciated that this snow-themed workout hadn’t resulted in me losing feeling in my toes. And this was not its only positive result; I was aching all over, and feeling proud that I had managed to get through the whole 32 minutes without throwing in the towel.
After a quick stretch I resolved that whilst the London snow had definitely been a one off, my attendance at Snow Motion certainly wouldn’t be. After all, who needs to experience deadly ski slopes when you have a lovely warm Gymbox at your disposal?
If you too want to kick off your 2018 with an epic Olympics inspired class destined to prepare you for the slopes, you too should check out Snow Motion, running at selected Gymbox locations from 2nd Jan to 25th Feb.