Skinny Rebel Workout. I have no words, but I’m gonna try.
It’s a simple concept really- stick on an altitude mask, restrict your oxygen intake, and realise you’re really bad at that thing you do everyday without thinking- breathing.
The mask is a little rubber mould that sits over your nose and mouth, strapped round the lower half of your face with soft stretchy kind of neoprene.
When I failed understand how to coordinate the action of breathing and doing a burpee, I had to take the mask off so I was laughing so hard at my lack of basic motor function. HOW could it be so tricky to do this?! Easy- the mask forces you to breathe properly, and breathe deeply, which the majority of us fail to do all day, every day!
The workout itself combined lots of elements a good session PT should- body weight resistance, intervals, free weights, plyometrics- the kind is all body conditioning sesh that makes your muscles scream, and leaves you breathless.
Breathless and with this bitch of a mask on? Whole new ballgame.
I was panting like mad after the warm up, and trainer Dean was good- naturedly laughing at my wide little eyes and muffled expletives behind the mask. I was honestly taken aback at how much more challenging things were when breathing properly was forced upon me. This was only the beginning.
Dean was a legend- he encouraged me to take the mask off it at any point it got too hard (and I took it off during every rest period just to breathe in that cool lovely 100% air) but he also kept right by your side determinedly spurring you on to get to the end of your set.
It was encouraging and actually made me keep the mask on during the workout a lot more than I would have done if I was policing myself!
I had the mask set at the lowest air- restriction setting, partly due to the fact it was my first go, and also due to my naughty asthma, but the fact I could try this out with my inhaler dependent lungs made me like it even more.
The science then- and I’ll keep it as easy as I needed it explaining! Why on earth was I down in a posh hotel basement gym looking like Hannibal Lecter? Well- the air restriction does two things. It decreases the amount of oxygen going into your body; oxygen being the one thing your muscles are screaming out or during a workout… Meaning they are forced to work harder and rely on the measly amount of oxygen you’re feeding them.
And secondly- the restricted air flow means you gotta improve how you breathe. None of this shallow, lazy, mouth-hanging-open no nonsense. Nope- you need to use your full lungs to suck in air. Oh, hello there lower half of my lungs that I never bother using. Nice to breathe you.
So, there you have it. Sweat, breathe, curse your very existence, and scare the sh*t out of the other people in the gym with your Hannibal-Lecter-chic. It was like nothing I’ve tried before but the sadist in me LOVED it!!
Currently only available in the Conrad St.James Hotel in London, you need to book in your session via email. It’s a bespoke service currently- but up to 3 of you can train at once to help split the cost.