I have exciting news – no, not the reason I keep vanishing without posting for days at a time, that’s still secret – instead I would like to announce that recently
I have broken into a sweat at the gym.
I’m aware that this may not sound that exciting, after all, that’s supposed to be the point of going to said establishment, but because I tend to be bored and sulking on the treadmill and hate the exercise bike it never really happens. Now however my gym has introduced some new toys. I’m a member of Virgin Active and they’ve launched something called the Fitness 5 which are five new things to chuck, lift and jump on. The five are….
Battleropes – weighted ropes you wiggle
TiYRs – that’s not a typo, it’s a trademark
Bulgarian Bags – weighted bags you throw about kind of like a kettlebell
The TRX Rip Trainer – big stick you whip kind of like a hockey stick
Plyo Boxes – spongey boxes you jump on and off
They did have press launch on all this recently but I was ‘working on the secret project’ and so couldn’t go, and so I admit, I did spend a little bit of time staring at the toys and wondering what you do with them, Note to Virgin Active – you need something stuck on the wall to show people!
But then I remembered you have this thing now called the internet and has all sorts of information on it – and so, I looked up some moves . Admittedly 90 percent of them had gone out of head by the time I had my trainers on. Two had stuck though and so off I went to wiggle my battleropes and step up and down on the TiYR.
Thirty seconds into battlerope wiggling I was struggling so I swapped to stepping up and down on the TiYR. By the time my 30 seconds was up there I was out of breath, another session on the battleropes and I had sweat dripping off my nose – this continued repeating until I’d done each move five times by which time I had to get on the rowing machine for a rest.
I’ve tried the workout twice now and it’s a killer – by the end of the fifth set of battlerope wiggling my arms can barely lift the things. It’s fun though and I’m actually looking forward to going to the gym to do it – so, just in case you want to try it yourself – here’s a handy, if a little frantic, instruction video that shows you what to do with the ropes. According to this what I do is called ‘Power Doubles’ no I don’t feel so bad that I can only do 30 seconds of them at a time – that sounds really hard!
If you keep watching you’ll also see a load of suggested TiYR moves and, the eagle eyed amongst you will notice stepping up and down on it isn’t one of them. I did check with TiYR makers Escape and they told me so long as you aren’t wearing heels or anything it’s okay to stand on it.
So, here’s how….step up on the TiYR with one foot, step up with the other foot, step back down the same way. Repeat as fast as you can until sweat drips off your nose. You could also use the Plyo box for this, but in my gym they’re not as close to the battleropes as the TiYR.
I did try some of the TiYR moves in the video above – this thing weighs 60kg and so they rely on you having a teeny tiny bit more upper body strength than I have! Also, it’s really loud when you flip it and people stare at you which is a bit embarrassing when you then can’t flip it again! There’s also a move on the Escape website that sees you stand in the middle of the TiYR and do a deadlift like move lifting up up by its handles. That saw me standing in the middle of the TiYR in a squat position, pulling on the handles while nothing happened.
It is however a really good bit of kit to do press ups on if you’re upper body strength is lacking – it takes a lot of pressure off your shoulder (particularly helpful if you may have damaged your shoulder a while ago and not done anything about it yet – if you know anyone that might apply to of course.)
I haven’t tried the bags or the Rip trainer yet. I did however have a go on the Plyo boxes. The idea of these is that you jump onto them helping work explosive type fibres in your legs that create power – well don’t ask me what happens to my legs but it seems I have a complete and utter inability to land with both feet at the same time. Instead something in my brain makes me do this odd little hop thing where one foot lands and the other kind of skips along behind it – imagine if a gamboling lamb decided to jump on a box – whilst still gamboling – that’s kind of the look I’m achieving. I’ll just add that to the list of things I need to work on.