Class review – Track Life

Class review – Track Life

This is a class designed by track and field Olympic hopeful Nima Jam, which focuses on explosive power, speed and agility. The session will mirror similar training techniques undertaken by a track and field athlete. Ready, set, GO! says Amy Capper of blog, The Scientist Runs.

With the Olympic Games in Rio fast approaching, and the shorter, sharper races booked in my running diary, this Summer I'm all about the need for speed. Interval training and focusing on my technique through strength and conditioning exercises are the key components of my build up to mile and 5km distance racing and play an important role to ensure I'm race day ready. Gymbox clearly heard about my upcoming racing calendar and have developed a new class perfect to hone our inner Usain Bolt and Jessica Ennis-Hills', introducing Track Life.

From the class name you could try and guess that trying Track Life for the first time might bring out the inner athlete in you, sharpening those fast-twitch muscles and priming your body for those sprint starts. You wouldn't be far off the starting blocks. With enthusiastic and encouraging instructors in-the-know, Track Life is the perfect preparation for your races, or if you're not a runner, it will prime you beautifully to be fast-footed and on-your-marks-ready for whatever your chosen sport.

As part of #WimbledonWorkoutWeek, Gymbox took over a vast empty office space in Victoria last week with floor-to-ceiling windows giving you views over the city. Obviously I wasn't there to take in the cityscape, but to give Track Life a go alongside almost one hundred other lycra-clad fitness fanatics.

With all the space we could wish for we lined up, soldier-like, for a warm-up, which included lots of fast paced agility exercises to get your heart racing and muscles firing for the workout. Just like a track environment, we formed long rows and worked through drills, lunging, frog-jumping, bunny-hopping and striding with military precision.

Raring to go, our instructor then quickly talked and walked us through a circuit of exercise stations, where we would work at maximum effort for one minute and rest for thirty seconds while rotating to the next. Each of the circuit stations was designed to work on a particular part of running technique or movement and alternate between a cardio or stregthening exercise. In groups of eight we chose our first stations and then the buzzer sounded and we were off.

First up for our team of budding athletes were banded running drills in which we paired up, one wearing a thick rubber band around our hips and running with high knees while our partner held on tight to the band and pulled back. The resistance created from the band ensured that your running form was on point with knees driving and arms pumping to propel yourself forward as you sprinted, and it was a particularly tough exercise but great to build strength and cardio.

Next up were football shuffles to test our agility and speedy footwork as we quick-stepped and zig-zagged between cones in a relay, before moving on to weighted arm drives, perfecting our streamlined and optimal running-arm movement with small 1.5kg discs. Half-way through our circuit and we arrived at the burpee station, no explanation needed here and the challenge was to push out as many reps as possible within the minute. Exhausted from too many burpees, we moved onto mountain climbers to strengthen our core, before another sweat-inducing round of squat thrusts, after which my hip flexors were screaming!

Our final two stations involved some more agility work, hop-step and jumping over ladders, and some flat out sprints to pull everything we'd just worked on together. A perfectly balanced and structured class, with each and every circuit station pushing us to our maximum and developing our speed, strength and power. This is an ideal class if you're looking to mix up your workout with some track and field-inspired exercises, improve your speed and agility, as well as work on your running technique. Ever sat in front of the TV watching our GB athletes sprinting around the track and think, 'I could do that!', then give Track Life a go and put yourself to the test.

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